Tags: 1952 | alaska | plane | crash | bodies | ice

1952 Alaska Plane Crash Bodies of Servicemen Saved as Ice Melts

Image: 1952 Alaska Plane Crash Bodies of Servicemen Saved as Ice Melts
(REUTERS/U.S. Navy handout)

Blackhawk helicopter lands near aircraft crash site on Colony Glacier.

By    |   Thursday, 17 Mar 2016 07:37 AM

A 1952 Alaska military plane crash site that was hidden in ice for more than 50 years continues to yield remains of airmen, soldiers, sailors and a marine as the Colony Glacier recedes.

Bodies of four more servicemen were recently recovered and identified from the crash of the heavy transport C-124 Globemaster II that went down on Nov. 22, 1952, on the glacier west of Mount Gannett, reported the Air Force Times.

The Globemaster with 52 servicemen aboard went down during a flight from McChord Air Force Base in Washington State to Elmendorf Air Force Base, according to the Alaska Dispatch News. The plane's wreckage was found six days later but quickly disappeared because of the shifting glacier, leaving it buried until 2012.

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Paul Cocker, a lead planner for Operation Colony Glacier, a mission started in 2012 to recover the remains and debris from the flight, told the Air Force Times that the glacier moves between 200 and 300 meters each year, exposing more of the wreckage as it recedes.

The Air Force identified the four bodies found last month as Capt. Kenneth Duvall, 2nd Lt. Robert Moon, 2nd Class Thomas Condon and Conrad Sprague, said the Air Force Times.

"We don't know how far up the glacier the debris field, if you will, may exist," Cocker told the Air Force Times "A good estimate would be three to five more years, just based on what we've seen over the past four summers. I don't think anybody would be able to predict exactly how long this will go."

Since the discovery of the debris field in 2012, searchers from the Alaskan Command and Alaska National Guard have been supporting Operation Colony Glacier each summer, noted an Air Force release.

The Air Force's Medical Examiner System used testing done by the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, along with other forensic evidence, to identify the service members, noted the Air Force.

The Air Force Times said 31 of the 52 service members on the 1952 flight have been identified so far, including 25 from the Air Force, four from the Army, one from the Navy and one from the Marine Corps.

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A 1952 Alaska military plane crash site that was hidden in ice for more than 50 years continues to yield remains of airmen, soldiers, sailors and a marine as the Colony Glacier recedes.
1952, alaska, plane, crash, bodies, ice
365
2016-37-17
Thursday, 17 Mar 2016 07:37 AM
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