Remains of airman killed in 1952 military transport plane crash coming home
JANESVILLE, Wisc. (Tribune News Service) — After his military transport plane crashed into an Alaskan mountainside nearly 70 years ago, Edward J. Miller is finally coming home.
On Friday, July 16, Miller will be transported to Maple Hill Cemetery in Evansville, where he will be laid to rest.
Miller, an Evansville man and former U.S. Air Force Airman Second Class of the 1701st Aerial Port Squadron, died on Nov. 22, 1952, after a transport plane he was on crashed into a glacier on a mountain 45 miles east of Anchorage, Alaska.
The wrecked plane and everyone aboard were buried under ice and snow after several days of blizzard conditions.
It wasn’t until a series of search-and-recovery missions during the summers between 2012 and 2019 that the remains of Miller and all but a few of the other 51 servicemen were discovered and identities confirmed. The story of the recovery of the men’s remains was featured in The Gazette last month.
According to his obituary, Miller was being relocated to Alaska on the day of the crash and was one of 52 passengers aboard an Air Force C-124 Globemaster. It would be another year before the wreckage was discovered, but severe weather and terrain conditions hindered recovery attempts for decades.
Starting at the General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, a military convoy — to be joined by the Rock County Sheriff’s Office and Evansville Police Department — will escort Miller and members of his family along a route leading to the funeral home.
The release encourages members of the public to show its respects by lining East and West Main Street during the procession. There will be no parking on East Main Street or onthe north side of West Main Street from First Street to Fourth Street.
On Saturday, July 17, Miller will be buried with full military honors graveside at the Maple Hill Cemetery. The service is slated to begin around 1:00 p.m. and is open to the public.
Miller is survived by sisters Dorothy Miller Wheaton and Nancy Miller Cox, both of whom reside in Florida.
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