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April 2, 2014

Step Back in Time: April 2, 2014

50 years agoApril 2, 1964 

Two more families Wednesday learned that their servicemen in Alaska are safe after an earthquake devastated the Anchorage area. Members of both families are stationed within a few miles of Anchorage.

Mr. and Mrs. William Maerz, Otego RD 2, Otsdawa, reported they had received a letter from their son, Pvt. James Maerz, Wednesday noon. The letter was written Saturday, one day after the huge quake snarled communications between Anchorage and the outside world. Maerz is serving at Fort Richardson, about 10 miles from Anchorage.

He wrote in part:

“Nobody was hurt in our barracks, but a lot of people in Anchorage were hurt and killed. Buildings were sunk down out of sight in Anchorage…One small Eskimo village disappeared. The ground must have opened up, the house fell in and the ground closed up again.”

“The shop where we work is condemned. Nobody is allowed to go in it because the ceiling and walls are falling in. There are supplies all over place. The floors and all the water pipes are busted.”

Another family, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Madson, Morris RD, received a telegram through the Southern Otsego County Red Cross Chapter in Oneonta. Miss Edith Barney, chapter executive director, said the wire was addressed to the Madsons and said: “Military authority advises service man OK.”

The Madsons’ son, Airman 2nd Class Carl H. Madson, is stationed at Elmandorf Air Force Base, near Anchorage.

Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.

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