DOD identifies 17 recovered from 1952 plane crash in Alaska

An inside look at the recovery and history of the C-124A Globemaster found on Colony Glacier, Alaska.

A Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command recovery team works at a wreckage site from a military aircraft on Colony Glacier, Alaska, in this undated photo.


By STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 18, 2014

The Department of Defense announced Wednesday that 17 servicemembers  have been recovered from a C-124 Globemaster aircraft that crashed in Alaska on Nov. 22, 1952.

A total of 52 crew members and passengers were aboard the aircraft that departed from McChord Air Force Base, Washington, and was heading to Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. Due to adverse weather at the time, search and rescue crews were unable to locate and recover any of the servicemembers, according to a DOD statement.

On June 9, 2012, an Alaska National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crew spotted aircraft wreckage and debris on Colony Glacier, west of Mount Gannett. Later that month, recovery operations began. In 2013, additional artifacts were visible and JPAC conducted further recovery operations.

DOD scientists used forensic tools and circumstantial evidence in the identification of 17 servicemembers, the DOD statement said. The remaining personnel have yet to be recovered and the crash site will continued to be monitored for future possible recovery.

The following have been recovered and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors:

U.S. Army

  • Lt. Col. Lawrence S. Singleton
  • Pvt. James Green, Jr.
  • 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
  • Airman 1st Class Marion E. Hooton
  • Airman 2nd Class Carroll R. Dyer
  • Airman 2nd Class Thomas S. Lyons
  • Airman 2nd Class Thomas C. Thigpen
  • Airman 3rd Class Howard E. Martin


A C-124A Globemaster is unloaded on an airfield in Korea during the Korean War.