Ben Guild

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Bernard "Ben" Guild
File:Ben in Kodiak 1992.jpg
Born April 14, 1924
Died May 10, 2003
Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
Cause of death Lung Cancer
Resting place Fort Richardson National Cemetery
Known for Author POW

Bernard "Ben" Guild (1924–2003), was an authority on Alaska mushrooms and a supporter of the founding of Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve.

Every grave on the lands and in those oceans are a tomb to an idea. Some wrong, some right, but mostly political. But the graves are never wrong - they are monuments to the heroic men who sleep there. For who has the right to say that any man who has borne the brunt of battle and given up his life in doing so, was wrong?[1]

— Bernard Guild on May 20, 2002

World War II

Ben was part of the Twelfth Air Force, 57th Air Division, 321st Bomb Group (see 321st Air Expeditionary Wing), 447th Squadron. He was shot down on 6 February 1945 on a mission to Rovereto Station to attack the a rail bridge in Crema, Italy.[2] The plane was called "The Maybe" and Ben was radioman.[3] Ben was captured and became a POW held by Germany in Stalag Luft III Sagan-Silesia Bavaria (Moved to Nuremberg-Langwasser Stalag XIII-D) 49-11.[4]


Bernard Guild was a microbiologist by training, and an ex-teacher of science and ecology, who moved to Alaska in 1970 to hunt and fish and photograph and write—mostly to write.[5]

Bernard Guild was a teacher and writer by profession, adopted Alaskan by avocation and a muzzle-loader for the pure sport of it.[6]

"On an investigative trip out to the Caldera in August 1976, [Ralph] Root encountered one of Aniakchak's first non-hunting visitors since Hubbard, a mycologist and former hunting guide named "Ben" Guild. Root described Guild as 'very pro-park' in his 1976 report. He also noted that Guild had exchanged his rifle for a camera. Guild had spent six weeks in the Caldera three years earlier....Although the NPS appreciated his knowledge of the area, local residents in Port Heiden found it odd that anyone who was not there to hunt or trap would choose to live under such extreme conditions. Because of his apparent devotion to wilderness, local villagers called Guild the 'Wild Man of Aniakchak.'"[7]



  1. "Memorial Day ceremony touches on battles past and present". Alaska Star. May 20, 2002. Retrieved 2009-10-07. Bernard Guild, guest speaker for a Memorial Day ceremony at American Legion Post 33 in Peters Creek, talks about the sacrifices of those who died in the United States' eight wars and innumerable military exercises. Guild was a prisoner of war in World War II.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Sheet No. 134". Historical Record, Twelfth Air Force, 57th Bombardment Wing, 321st Bomb Group, 447th Squadron: For the month of February 1945. Declassified IAW EO12958.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "12th Air Force, 57th Bombardment Wing, 321st Bombardment Group, History: February 1945" (PDF). |chapter= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Records of World War II Prisoners of War, created 1942 - 1947, documenting the period 12/7/1941 - 11/19/1946 - Record Group 389", World War II Prisoners of War Data File, 12/7/1941 - 11/19/1946, The National Archives Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Guild, Ben. The Alaska Psychoactive Mushroom Handbook (Paperback). Back cover.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. White, "Doc". "CHISTOCHENA MOOSE 1972". Retrieved 2009-10-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Ringsmuth, Katherine Johnson. "CHAPTER TEN: Hubbard's Aniakchak Legacy". BEYOND THE MOON CRATER MYTH, A New History of the Aniakchak Landscape, A Historic Resource Study for Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve. Report AR/CRR-2207-63. Retrieved 2009-10-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>