Gustavus Historical Archives & Antiquities

Maintaining the historical integrity of Gustavus & surrounding areas by collecting and preserving important early documents, photos and artifacts

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Captain Bob Emory Kafader; Died In 1957 Gustavus, Alaska Plane Crash.

Portrait photo in uniform of Capt. Kafader taken 5 years before piloting the National Guard twin engine Douglas C-47 "Gooney Bird" aircraft which crashed in a snowstorm. 4 crew members died. 7 passengers survived. Bulk of badly damaged aircraft remains today. Click for more.


Bob E. Kafader was the son of Ardyth Eva Taylor and Percy Charles Kafader. He was born in Selma, California on 7/23/20. Bob was a fraternal twin to Betty Eunice Kafader, and had a younger brother Donald Charles Kafader, born 7/23/23.

He was raised in Selma and later Los Angeles, where he attended Fairfax High Schol. Bob married his high school sweetheart, Dorthea, in 1941. They had three children, Judy, Susie, and Bert. They divorced in 1950.

Bob joined the Air Force on August 7th, 1940.

Captain Kafader was the great-great grandson of Zachary Taylor, the 12th President of the United States.

Married Geraldine Quinn on June 19, 1953 in Japan, where he was stationed in the US Air Force. Two children, Madeleine Camille Kafader, born 7/27/54 and Robert Quinn Kafader, born 8/7/55.

Following the tragic plane crash on November 23, 1957, Capt. Kafader was returned to Selma, California, where he is buried in the Kafader family plot.

Geraldine and her two young children moved back to Los Angeles to be close to both the Quinn and Kafader families.

In 1962, Geraldine moved her young family to San Diego, where Geraldine lived for almost 45 years, happily in "America's finest city". Geraldine passed away on October 19, 2006, surrounded by her children and fiance.

All above information provided by Capt. Kafader's children Madeleine Pavel and Robert Kafader.

Read "The Complete 1957 Plane Crash Story" by Rita Wilson by clicking here or searching on Reference # 10000. Also see Fact of the Matter related article with more information about Capt. Kafader Reference 10048.

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