IN 1947, ITAMATARE WAS AN isolated village in the Brazilian interior, 90 minutes by air from Belem. The site of a gold mining camp, it was a bumpy two-hour Jeep drive from the River Gurupi, which served as its airport. That's where I was headed. Anaconda Mining Co., my employer, bought a war surplus Grumman Goose for $10,000. After zero timing the Wasp Juniors and installing a 60-gallon cabin tank for hauling auto gas, I got to ferry the amphib from Long Beach, Calif., to Brazil. I was ...

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