Global Warming in Alaska Reveals Remains of 1952 Air Force Crash
A melting glacier in Alaska has exposed remains of a U.S. Air Force plane that crashed more than 60 years ago, killing 52 servicemen.
The C-124 Globemaster II cargo aircraft slammed into Mount Gannett on November 22, 1952, during wintery conditions. Between bad weather and the remote location, the Air Force was unable to reach the site at the time of the accident. The wreckage was eventually buried under snow and disappeared from sight.
That is until June 10, 2012, when an Alaska National Guard crew flying a training mission with a Black Hawk helicopter out of Anchorage spotted the wreckage in a receding glacier known as Colony Glacier. Officials then notified the Hawaii-based Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), which collected some of the remains.
Members of JPAC returned this summer to gather more remains, including some human. The remains will be sent to a laboratory in Hawaii for analysis, including possible DNA matches with surviving relatives.
Some of the personal items collected so far include a fishing kit, a compass, a survival kit, a survival suit, a hockey puck, a camp stove and a mini-box of Camel cigarettes.
These items and others will be saved for a future memorial to be established, according to Doug Beckstead, a historian at Anchorage's Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
To Learn More:
As Glacier Melts, Secrets of Lost Military Plane Revealed (by Yereth Rosen, Reuters)
Melting Glacier Reveals more from 60-Year-Old C-124 Plane Crash (by Oriana Pawlyk, Air Force Times)
Debris from Old Military Plane on Glacier Collected for Analysis (by Casey Grove, Anchorage Daily News)
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