The Firewise folks held their monthly meeting a week ago at Kasilof Fire Station. Their slash disposal brush pile was stacked about 15 to 20 feet high and torched Oct. 25. Flames licked away at the bottom of marshmallow clouds. All good fun and under direct supervision of the experts much safer than lots of little burns operated by amateurs during fire dangerous summer months. Ken and Diana Coby delivered more than 208 loads to the disposal site. Bill Casey, 87, of Cohoe is something of a hero. He converted a boat trailer into a brush hauler and rounded up about 80 loads.
Of course Bill has been a hero for a long time. He joined the Navy Aug. 17, 1940, and became a plane captain (chief mechanic). He got into Dutch Harbor in June 1942, about a week after the Japanese bombing raid. Bill stayed on during most of the Aleutian campaign. He had the luxury of riding in the planes during bombing runs, which ran him across an occasional adventure.
"One mission didn't come off too well," Bill said. "We were going to Kiska Harbor to torpedo a ship. We also had a 500 pound bomb for another target, but the weather socked in right down to the water. The idea of going in with a five-plane formation was out of the question. The formation broke up and scattered. We had to jettison our stuff [bombs]. It took a week to get the planes all back to base."
"We flew Catalinas, which was a real advantage because they could set down on the water. But coming down after dark was tricky. If you hit a wave wrong it could split your hull, or if you hooked a wing it could cartwheel the plane. Once we taxied all night. We had enough fuel to taxi but not fly. When daylight came we saw rocks all around."
After the Aleutians, Bill's unit was sent to Okinawa where they got shot up pretty bad. So they withdrew to recuperate. That was near the end of the war and Bill got out of the Navy Aug 19, 1946.
A couple big affairs are on the docket at Tustumena Elementary School. The local historical association is holding its annual auction at 7 p.m. Thursday. Sweet bidders are invited to come do a preview at 6 p.m. With the Hollywood writers are on strike, you can polish your funny bones at the auction. And at the same time cross things off your Christmas shopping list. Proceeds keep the historical association afloat a tough job any winter.
On Friday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. the parent-teacher organization Family Bingo Night will also be held at the school. Pat Shields introduced the event in 1992 and it's gone on every year since. Adults play with money for turkeys and hams while kids have their own non-monetary game in the library. Door prizes and a grand prize are a new twist for bingo-ers this year. The grand prize is one night in the jacuzzi room at The Riverside House in Soldotna.
Other Kasilof news
Kilfoyle goes on tour
Kasilof resident Rebecca Kilfoyle toured with the St. Olaf College band of Northfield, Minn.
The band toured Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Kilfoyle is a sophomore and plays the clarinet.
She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Kilfoyle and a graduate of Skyview High School.
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