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New Hero Search LeRoy Garvan Bohuslov
- Mar. 05, 1964 -

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Alaska Fish & Game Service Patch
Resided: McGrath AK, USA
Born: Jan. 03, 1926  
Fallen: Mar. 05, 1964
Race/Sex: Caucasian Male / 38 yrs. of age
Dept: Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game
1255 W 8th St  
Juneau, AK   99802   USA
County: Juneau
Dept. Type: State/Police
Hero's Rank: Officer
Sworn Date: 1960
FBI Class: Accident - Police
Weapon Class: Aviation
Agency URL: Click Here
On The Job: 4 years
Bio: LeRoy Garvan Bohuslov, 38, was born on Jan. 3, 1926, in Hollywood, CA, to Emil H. and Pearl Bohuslov. He was one of four children, LeRoy (born in 1926), Gwennyth Norene (1928), Ronald Lloyd (1932) and Gordon Noel (1944).

Young LeRoy grew up in Escondido, CA, and graduated from Escondido H.S. in 1943. He joined the U.S. Army Air Force in 1943 and was stationed in Hobbs, NM. He did not see combat during World War II. LeRoy Bohuslov married Donna Shebal in 1948 and moved to AK. Their two children, David (born in 1949) and Carol (born in 1952) were both born in AK.

After LeRoy and Donna's divorce, LeRoy married his childhood sweetheart, Harriet Bergman, on Dec. 27, 1957, in NV. Harriet had three children from a prior marriage, Douglas, Tom and Maureen McGiffin. The couple had one son together, ValGene Bohuslov (born in 1959 in Salt Lake City). Bohuslov attended the U. of Utah from 1956-1960 and graduated with a BA in biology in 1960. He planned to attend medical school but then decided to return to AK after the territory achieved statehood and joined the Dept. of Fish & Game in 1960. Bohuslov joined the Fish and Game Dept. in 1960 and thus was a 4-year veteran of the Dept. at the time of his death. He was a "conservation officer" and had been earlier stationed at Aniak until he was transferred to McGrath in Nov. of 1963. He was a pilot and had flown over the area "for several years" and thus "was familiar with the terrain."

Bohuslov had at least one prior "close call" with death. In 1962 he was piloting a Fish & Game plane and was trapped in a "whiteout." Almost out of fuel, he attempted a landing near Scammon Bay (on the west coast of AK) but the plane cracked the ice and he was trapped on an ice flow for three days. He was rescued by an eskimo with a dog team after a five-day ordeal.

Survived by:
Harriet Bohuslov - Wife
his children (from the first marriage), David Smiley, 15, and Carol Kelly, 12; a son ValGene Bohuslov, 5, of McGrath, AK; three step-children, Douglas McGiffin, 14, Thomas McGiffin, 12, and Maureen McGiffin, 11, all of McGrath, AK; his parents, Emil H. Bohuslov of West Covina, CA, Pearl Bohuslov of Yakima, WA; and by his by his siblings, Ronald Lloyd Bohuslov, 32, of Berkeley, CA, Gordon Noel Bohuslov, 20, of the U.S. Air Force, and Mrs. Lee (Gwennyth Norene) Francis, 36, of Kingston, Jamaica.

Fatal Incident Summary
Offender: None
Location: AK   USA   Thu. Mar. 05, 1964
Summary: Alaska Fish and Game officers LeRoy G. Bohuslov, 38, and Gary Wohlfeil, 21, were killed in the crash of their "light aircraft" on March 5, 1964. The airplane, a Champion 150, disappeared and was found four days later crashed 15 miles northwest of Farewell. The two officers were stationed at McGrath (on the western coast of Alaska) and were "conducting a caribou survey" from McGrath to Farewell, Nicholi and Medfra at the time of the crash.

The last radio contact with the plane was at 12:04PM on March 5. Once it was apparent that the plane had disappeared, an intensive search was conducted. Bohuslov piloted the plane and knew the terrain well having worked in the area "for several years." The craft was "ski-equipped" and "carried a full emergency and survival gear."

"More than a dozen planes" began an intensive search for the missing plane the day of the disappearance. The search "team" included the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the AK Fish and Game, the Air National Guard, The U.S. Air Force, and "civilian guides and pilots." The search was co-ordinated by Bill Waldron, the "Civil Air Patrol leader in Anchorage." Two days later a newspaper reported that "thirty-five airplane crews flew 64 sorties without success over the rugged McGrath-Farewell area."

The crash site was discovered on March 9 (4 days after the accident). The small gray and orange Champion 150 airplane was buried in snow and difficult to spot from the air. The plane had crashed nose-first into the snow and had evidently hit the ground "at a sharp angle."

Source: Book       Excerpted in part or in whole from Dr. Wilbanks book-


By Dr. Wm. Wilbanks FL International University

To be published by Turner Publications in early 1999

Related: Gary George Wohlfeil
More from Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game
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