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M. Kelly Gardner, who has served as a Scoutmaster three times and a registered Scouter for 53 years, was recently presented with a 50-year pin for service to Scouting.

Gardner, a native of Myton, Duchesne County, and a Salt Lake City resident for nearly 40 years, was a Scoutmaster in LDS wards in the Provo and Salt Lake areas. He is the recipient of the Eagle badge with five palms and was presented the Silver Beaver Award in the late 1970s.During World War II he was the pilot of a C-46 that crashed in the Himalayas during a flight to Kunming, China. Gardner, now 68, was injured and unconscious. He was removed from the crash site and kept by Chinese peasants in rice paddies in the mountains. He was listed as missing in action for several weeks but was later returned by steamship to the United States, where he recuperated for more than a year in the former Bushnell Hospital in Brigham City.

He was a loan officer for 13 years at Walker Bank and a vice president at American Savings, where he worked for 25 years before retiring in 1991. He enjoys swimming regularly at the University of Utah. He and his wife, the former Bae Bishop, have three children and seven grandchildren.

Rulon Doman, Scout executive emeritus of the Salt Lake Council who presented the award to Gardner, said he has known the Scouter since the 1940s.

Gardner has "given excellent service to Scouting. He has been very close to boys," Doman said.