Flightlines

Melting glacier reveals more from 60-year-old C-124 plane crash

Family members of the crew flying on a C-124 Globemaster II that crashed Nov. 22, 1952, may finally be getting some answers.

Still from a DoDLive.mil video depicting debris found during the June 2012 search mission. (Air Force)

The shifting of an Alaskan glacier that unearthed some wreckage and frozen remains from the cargo plane that crashed near Mount Gannett, Alaska has given Alaskan Command and the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) more evidence to work with.

According to ABC News, additional layers of the glacier melted away this winter, yielding more possibilities of finding remains. JPAC returned to Alaska last month to continue the investigation said Lee Tucker, a JPAC spokesperson. JPAC concluded its investigation on July 9.

The search for answers initially began Dec. 1952,  when investigators went back to explore the crash site. But instead, all evidence of the crash had disappeared, submerged into the glacier.

It wasn’t until June 10, 2012, when a Black Hawk helicopter crew discovered  a tire, yellow life rafts and oxygen bottles on the glacier during a routine training mission for the Alaska Army National Guard.

So far, the investigation has yielded some human remains and material evidence of the crash. The material items have included hockey pucks, a piece of a raft, a camp stove and pieces of the aircraft, Tucker said.

But there is still another mission looped into all of this: removing the crash debris that is not useful to the investigation.

As of early July, local military personnel had removed about 1,800 pounds of aircraft debris, according to Reuters.

Still, concerns lie with the families who lost loved ones and are awaiting answers.

The remains will be sent to a laboratory in Hawaii for analysis, including possible DNA matches with surviving relatives, officials said.

No positive identifications have yet been announced. It usually takes several months to complete laboratory work,  Tucker said.

Identifications are expected to be announced “in the near future,” according to Dr. Gregory Berg, the team’s leading forensic anthropologist, at a news briefing last week.

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Comments

  1. Tonja Anderson-Dell Says:
    July 14th, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Thank you for sharing our story. We look forward to the day we can bring them home.~C-124 families

  2. Buck Wheat Says:
    March 5th, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    Does anyone know the callsign used by that aircraft at the time of the crash?