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Glacier Crash Site Likely Of A C-124 Aircraft That Went Down In 1952 Killing 52
By Eddy Metcalf

July 1, 2012 - The Alaska Air National Guard has recently discovered the wreckage of a Douglas C-124 Globemaster II, nicknamed "Old Shaky" on Colony Glacier, which is about 40 miles east of Anchorage. It is believed the wreckage is the C-124 Globemaster II that had departed McChord Air Force Base in Washington State with 41 passengers and 11 crewmembers that vanished on November 22, 1952. 

When the C-124 Globemaster went down in 1952, a military rescue team of 12, tried three times to make it to the site, but was hampered by bad weather. Over the years, snow and ice had accumulated over the crash site. Army Capt. Jamie Dobson said "The ice gives up what it wants to give up when it wants to give it up," she said. "It's really in control." 


The Douglas C-124 Globemaster II, was a heavy lift cargo aircraft built by the Douglas Aircraft Company in Long Beach, California. The C-124 was the primary heavy lift transport for United States Air Force Military Air Transport Service (MATS) during the 1950s and early 1960s until the C-141 Starlifter entered service.

It served in MATS, later Military Airlift Command (MAC), gained units of the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard until 1974. 

The C-124 was developed from 1947 to 1949 by Douglas Aircraft from a prototype created from World War II-design Douglas C-74 Globemaster and based on lessons learned in the Berlin Airlift.  



The aircraft was powered by four large Pratt & Whitney R-4360 piston engines producing 3,800 hp each. The C-124's design featured two large clamshell doors and a hydraulically-actuated ramp in the nose as well as a cargo elevator under the aft fuselage. The C-124 was capable of carrying 68,500 lb cargo, and the 77 ft cargo bay featured two overhead hoists, each capable of lifting 8,000 lb.  

Tonja Anderson, 41, a grandchild of airmen Isaac Anderson who was one of the passengers onboard that deathly flight has tried in vein over the years to get the military to go out to the crash site to recover the remains of all those who died. She explained that the military informed the family that recovery of the remains would be unfeasible and too expensive.  

Anderson said, "If they can bring me one bone of my grandfather or his dog tag that would be closure for me". It could take months before anthropologist will be able identify the remains.

First deliveries of the 448 production aircraft began in May 1950 and continued until 1955. The C-124 was operational during the Korean War, and was also used to assist supply operations for Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica. They performed heavy lift cargo operations for the US military worldwide, including flights to Southeast Asia, Africa and elsewhere. From 1959 to 1961 they transported Thor missiles across the Atlantic to England. The C-124 was also used extensively during the Vietnam War transporting materiel from the U.S. to Vietnam. Until the C-5A became operational, the C-124, and its sister C-133 were the only aircraft available that could transport very large loads.

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