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Robert W. Parker - Personal Communication
Phone conversation 16 July 2001Bob Parker joined the 87th Mountain Infantry in June 1942, while the regiment was still stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington. He sent me an account of a day of weekend R&R, when he and three friends skied from Paradise to Camp Muir, meeting George Senner at the Anvil Rock lookout. One of Parker's friends skied into a crevasse and Senner helped the group rescue him. This account seems to be the same as the one later published in Bob's book (parker-2005).
by Lowell Skoog
I asked Bob for leads on the 15th Infantry ski patrol, which was formed before the 87th Regiment, in 1940-41. He said that the only two people in that detachment are still around, John Woodward and Buster Campbell. He gave me names of several other people in the 10th Mountain Division, including Bil Dunaway, who ran a ski hill after the war across the highway from the Mountaineers' Meany Ski Hut. He also mentioned Nelson Bennett, who ran the first professional ski patrol in the U.S. at Sun Valley before World War II and invented the first toboggan used by the National Ski Patrol (called the Sun Valley toboggan).
Bob Parker became president of the University of Washington's Husky Winter Sports Club in 1948. At that time it was the largest ski club in the U.S., with about 500 members. Bob was president a couple of years. The club had a ski cabin and rope tow across the railroad tracks and slightly up the valley from the Mountaineers' Meany Ski Hut. (It seems likely that the U.W. hill was close to the Stampede Tunnel, probably south of Mosquito Creek.) Every weekend the Huskies would shovel the snow off the rope tow line, crank up the old car that powered it, run and ski the rope tow, and party in the old cabin. Eventually the snow pressing down over many years collapsed the cabin. Bob thought the cabin was at the site before World War II. He wasn't sure about the rope tow, but he thought it may have been there as well.
Phone conversation 24 July 2001I called Bob back to ask for a few details about the story he sent me. He asked whether I'd contacted some of the people we talked about. He mentioned that Clarence "Buster" Campbell won the military patrol race at Camp Hale twice. Bob thought this race was the most grueling thing anybody in the 10th ever did. (He said it was too tough for him to enter.) The race involved something like 25 miles, carring a full pack and rifle, and requiring target shooting along the way. He said the second place finisher in one of these races was a cross-country champion in Europe. He also said the Campbell had already won many ski jumping titles before he joined the 15th Infantry.
by Lowell Skoog
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