Wreckage Missing Since 1964 Recovered In Yukon
Many relatives of Chuck McAvoy, Albert Kunes and Doug Torp hoped
that someday, the three men would walk out of the Alaskan
wilderness. In 1964, the three men, with McAvoy at the controls,
climbed on board the aircraft loaded for a gold hunt. They flew
into the Great White North, into the Canadian arctic wilderness,
and were never heard from again.
For 39 years, family members, suspecting the worst but still
clinging to hope, waited for word. Some refused to change addresses
when they moved, keeping two mailboxes for fear they'd miss a vital
communication from the men in the process. But in the end, the
wreckage of the aircraft was found in the bush, about 250 miles
north of Yellowknife, the provincial capital of The Yukon
Territory. Remains of all three were recovered.
There's no indication why the aircraft went down, although
family members say the wreckage of the fabric-covered aircraft was
Bruce Torp, Doug Torp's brother, said his mother "was always
hoping that he would walk out of the woods someday. He might have
been adopted by the Indians, or who knows," Torp said Saturday from
his home in Burnet, Texas. "But after five years or so, you figure
that's too far-fetched and just assume he died."
Kunes will be buried near his parents in Phillips (WI). His
mother kept two mailboxes — one in Prentice (WI), where her
son was high school valedictorian, and one in nearby Phillips,
where they later moved. "She just wouldn't change any address for
fear that someone would write and they wouldn't be able to find
them," said Lucille Kunes, widow of James Kunes, who died last
year. "Every single day his mother would listen for the phone to
ring." The phone never rang.
After a long, cold sleep in the arctic, Chuck McAvoy, Albert
Kunes and Doug Torp have officially gone west. Happy landings to