WASHINGTON, D.C. (21Alive) -- The Department of Defense announced the recovery of 17 service members from an aircraft that went missing in 1952.
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Lawrence S. Singleton, Pvt. James Green, Jr., and Pvt. Leonard A. Kittle; U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Earl J. Stearns; U.S. Navy Cmdr. Albert J. Seeboth; U.S. Air Force Col. Noel E. Hoblit, Col. Eugene Smith, Capt. Robert W. Turnbull, 1st Lt. Donald Sheda, 1st Lt. William L. Turner, Tech. Sgt. Engolf W. Hagen, Staff Sgt. James H. Ray, Senior Airman Marion E. Hooton, Airman 1st Class Carroll R. Dyer, Airman 1st Class Thomas S. Lyons, Airman 1st Class Thomas C. Thigpen, and Airman Howard E. Martin were recovered from and are in the process of being returned to their families for burial.
Wreckage of the aircraft was first spotted in 2012 during an Alaskan National Guard training mission. Three days later, crews landed at the site and identified the wreckage as being from a C-124 Globemaster aircraft.
According to the release "a C-124 Globemaster aircraft crashed while en route to Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, from McChord Air Force Base, Washington. There were 11 crewmen and 41 passengers on board. Adverse weather conditions precluded immediate recovery attempts. In late November and early December 1952, search parties were unable to locate and recover any of the service members."
DoD scientists were able to use forensic tools and circumstantial evidence to make identifications. Additional personnel have yet to be recovered.
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