Baby Born in Flying Machine, Named Josephine

planeThe story behind Adele reminded me of this one:

On the night of March 19, 1955, a baby girl was born to an indigenous Alaskan woman in a single-engine plane flying over the Yukon River toward Tanana, Alaska. The baby was delivered by female physician Jean Persons, and the plane was flown by Alaskan bush pilot Garfield Hansen.

The baby was named Josephine after the song “Come Josephine In My Flying Machine.”

Source: “Baby Born in Plane High Over Yukon River.” Hartford Courant 22 Mar. 1955: 9.

6 thoughts on “Baby Born in Flying Machine, Named Josephine

  1. Garfield Hansen was my Great Uncle, he died in a crash in the Yukon later that year. Thanks for sharing the story!

  2. “From Dog Sleds to Float Planes, Alaskan Adventures in Medicine” by Dr. Jean Persons. This book has the actual story written by the Doctor who delivered the baby. Poor baby would have been named Garfield if a boy! Thanks for your condolences, I am working on a book with Mr. Hansen’s great life stories!

  3. As you may know, my dad was Earl “Sonny” Markosen. He was Garfield’s first cousin. They spent many happy times together during their youth. My sister who is great at remembering family history told me this week that Garfield’s body and plane were found in the 1970’s in or near Great Slave Lake or Lesser Slave Lake in Canada. I am having flashes of memories about that as well but I am unable to confirm it so far. Maybe you have better resources?

  4. Hi Joyce,
    I loved Sonny! He gave us rides to every Florence Sporting event there was. Yeah, Garfield died on October 10th 1956 near Tanana Alaska. The body was never found, nor his plane. One of his passengers was found in the Yukon River the following summer. His passengers were Vince Olin, and Bob Swenson. Bob was a native chief, he was the one found the following year. I’ve confirmed this with his closest friends from Tanana, and actually have a copy of his will. It would be neat to think that he survived, but every one I talk to has the same story of his crash. Would love to chat with you, feel free to email me. Thanks! Joe

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