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Debris field found from 1950s plane crash

Posted: June 28, 2012 - 12:07am  |  Updated: June 28, 2012 - 7:07am
A Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) recovery team works at the site where military aircraft wreckage was found on Colony Glacier in Southcentral. The surface was marked with deep crevasses so the team took numerous safety precautions to mitigate the risk. The five-man team initially went out to investigate the area, but deteriorating conditions on the glacier caused the team to transition into recovery mode to ensure the most amount of evidence could be recovered for further analysis at JPAC’s Central Identification Laboratory.

ANCHORAGE — The wreckage of a military plane found this month on an Alaska glacier is that of an Air Force plane that crashed in 1952, killing all 52 people aboard, military officials said Wednesday.

Army Capt. Jamie Dobson said evidence found at the crash site correlates with the missing C-124A Globemaster, but the military is not eliminating other possibilities because much investigation still needs to be done.

Processing DNA samples from relatives of those on board the plane could take up to six years, Dobson said.

“We’re still at the very beginning of this investigation,” she said. “This is very close to the starting line, not the finish line.”

The Alaska National Guard discovered wreckage and possibly bones June 10 on Colony Glacier.

An eight-man Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command arrived last week, military officials said. It completed its work Tuesday at the glacier about 40 miles east of Anchorage.

The team recovered materials like a life-support system from the plane’s wreckage and possible bones from the glacier. The evidence was taken to the command’s lab in Hawaii for analysis.

The debris was discovered while guardsmen were flying a Blackhawk helicopter during a training mission near the glacier. The guardsmen flew over the area several times.

Federal aviation officials implemented temporary flight restrictions over the area as the military investigation was conducted.

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