U.S. News


Military IDs Bodies From 1952 Plane Crash

The U.S. Department of Defense says it has recovered and identified the bodies of 17 service members lost in a cargo plane crash in Alaska in 1952.
Posted at 1:27 PM, Jun 19, 2014

More than 60 years after a military plane crashed on the side of a glacier in Alaska, the bodies of 17 service members have now been recovered and identified. 

"The 17 were among 52 people on board a cargo plane flying from McChord Air Force Base in Washington state to Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska." (Via KXAS)

The U.S. Department of Defense says the crew's Douglas C-124 Globemaster, a cargo plane commonly referred to as "Old Shakey," went down Nov. 22, 1952. (Via U.S. Air Force)

However, search parties were unable to find the crash site at the time because of inclement weather.

The plane's wreckage was finally discovered on accident a few years ago during an Alaska National Guard training mission. It's taken a military task force until now to fully recover and identify just 17 of the 52 missing. (Via KCBS)

When the more than 1,800 pounds of debris were discovered, an Air Force historian told the Los Angeles Times it appears the plane "literally just flew into the side of the mountain. ... It looks as though there was an avalanche of both snow and rock that came down and buried the debris."

The Department of Defense's website lists the names of those 17 identified and explains authorities are still searching for the remaining personnel around the crash site. 

In its statement, the DoD said the remains are being returned to their respective families for burial with full military honors.