Colony Glacier Crash Recovery Story (Alaska)



Video by Airman 1st Class Richard Hayes 

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Public Affairs

On November 22nd, 1952, a C-124 crashed into Mount Gannett in the Chugach Mountain
Range in Alaska. On June 9th, 2012, the Army National Guard located some wreckage from the
C-124 crash on a routine training mission. Every year since, a team has traveled to the glacier to
recover human remains and aircraft wreckage.

Tampa woman works nearly two decades to bring heroes home


One Tampa woman has worked tirelessly for nearly two decades to help the families of fallen service members find something they need to be at peace.

“It’s so much research, I had to break it into two binders,” said Tonja Anderson-Dell as she carried two full three-ring binders to her coffee table.

Since 1999, she has been writing, and researching, and hoping.

“I look at him and I just want to know what type of soldier he was. What type of person he would have been. What type of grandfather he would have been?” she said looking at a framed photograph of her grandfather, Airman Isaac William Anderson. He was one of 52 servicemen killed when their military plane crashed into a mountain during a snowstorm in 1952. They were on their way to Anchorage, Alaska.

“Well, speed it up to me writing all of my letters in 1999, to fighting, and then 2012, a Blackhawk team during a training mission spotted something on a glacier. And we now are where we are today,” Anderson-Dell said.

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Flight ban set over glacier to protect remains from 1952 Air Force crash

Searchers on Alaska’s Colony Glacier anchor themselves to the glacier wall before attempting to search for possible evidence of the 1952 Air Force C-124 crash in a crevasse, June 30, 2013.



The Federal Aviation Administration has placed a five-month flight restriction over an Alaskan glacier to prevent sightseers from disturbing debris and human remains from an Air Force plane crash in 1952 that killed 52 people.

Recovery missions on Colony Glacier during the past four summers have repatriated the remains of 35 crash victims of the C-124 aircraft.

The unprecedented flight restriction, which begins Friday and ends Oct. 15, extends one nautical mile around the tip, or “toe,” of the glacier, according to an announcement from Alaskan Command, which had requested the FAA action.

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PVT Robert Card 1952 Military Plane Crash

Missouri Family Receives Closure From Investigation of 1952 Military Plane Crash



JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Remains of a 1952 military plane crash victim have been identified as those of a man with family in Missouri.

Army Private Robert Dale Card, originally of Kansas, was among 52 service members killed when their C-124 Globemaster crashed into Mount Gannett in Alaska.

The Past Conflict Repatriations Branch has confirmed to Missourinet that the remains have been identified as Card’s.

The organization is under the Army Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operation Center (CMAOC) at the Army Human Resources Command (HRC) in Fort Knox, Kentucky.

A wheel from the C-124 Globemaster; part of the wreckage that gradually is exposed as the Colony Glacier melts. (Photos courtesy; U.S. Air Force photos/Tech. Sgt. John S. Gordinier)
The plane’s debris was hidden with snow and vanished soon after the 1952 accident, but was rediscovered in 2012. It had been carried some 16 kilometers from the crash site by the Colony Glacier.

Card has family in Springfield, including his niece Tonya Card.

“I think they all deserve to be brought home, whatever can be found. It’s nice for the families to have something to bury,” says Card. “It’s nice for the relatives that continue living to know a little bit about their family tree. My kids have enjoyed hearing about it and I have pieces of the plane in pictures. They’ve gotten to take those to school and take about it to their friends. Preservation is important.”


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Airman Wayne Jackson



After attending Airman Moon service the following weekend I was in Downing, MO for the services of Airman Wayne Jackson. This meeting would be a little more emotional because since the crash was found, I have spent the past 4 years talking with his sister Ms. Vicki over the phone and Skype.

I pulled up with my son Tevin and my friend Janet to the hotel and in the lobby was Ms. Vicki waiting. Also in the lobby was the brother-n-law of Airman Howard Martin. She and I hugged for several moments because it felt like this day would never get here. We all sat in the lobby meeting each other’s family before I had to go rest.It was a long trip for me but her and I ended up talking till late in the night about just life…our lives.

The services started out with a wake on Friday evening. People came out to show their respect to the young man that left the small town but returned their Hero 64 years later. I got a chance to just sit, watch his classmate talk about him and meet his oldest living cousin Ms. EllaB. She warmed my heart when she tapped me on the shoulder to tell me who she was.

The next day we lined up with the family and walked into the church; for a moment I felt a little overwhelmed because I so long for the day I bring my grandfather home. I pulled myself together and gave Ms. Vicki the support she needed giving her speech. She spoke on what a wonderful person Wayne was. Wayne was her brother by heart. Ms. Vicki from a baby grew up in the home with Wayne and his mom. Her face showed just how much she loved and adored when he came home on leave. He would take her for rides in his car…just doing things big brothers do.

We made our way through the town to take him to his final resting place. People stood along the way holding flags and waving to the cars as they passed. The local restaurant put a sign out welcoming Airman Wayne Jackson home. We watched at the honor guards pulled Wayne from the hearse and placed him between his parents. Wayne finally made it home 2 days before his mother’s birthday.

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself ~Joseph Campbell

Wayne, you did just that and I thank you for it. ~Tonja Anderson-Dell

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2nd LT Robert Moon



July 29th I went to the services of 2nd LT Robert Moon. It was a wonderful moment to sit and listen to his sister talk about his childhood and how he was her “Knight in shining Armor”. The smile she had on her face talking about it made me see just how much of a bond they all had. His cousin stood and sung a bidding Farwell song to him and what a lovely voice she had.

As the family stood, turned and walked down the aisle I notice a face I have seen before. I could not place it until later. I walked with them behind the horse drawn carriage as they lay their Knight in shining Armor in his final resting place. It was very moving to see the familiar face stand and put his hand on his forehead. 2LT Robert Moon’s cousin was Buzz Aldrin and he attended the services to welcome his fallen cousin home.

Don’t wait for the knight in shining armor. His armor is shiny because he has never been to war. Instead, look for the knight with torn and tattered armor. He is the one who knows how to fight and is sure to be the one who can keep you safe from harm ~unknown

To the family, Airman Moon armor was torn and tattered. He spent his time showing you his love and his fight to keep you safe. I am so blessed to be allowed to see this Knight make his way home. ~Tonja Anderson-Dell



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A Wisconsin airman’s remains are finally home after more than 60 years.

Airman First Class George Marion Ingram of Beloit, died November 22, 1952, when U.S. Airforce C-124 he was on crashed near Anchorage, Alaska. He was 23 years old.

In December 1952, search crews were unable to find any survivors, and only found the tail section of the plane. The U.S. Airforce declared the 11 crew members, and the 41 other service members were deceased.

60 years later, on June 9, 2012, the wreckage was spotted by Alaska’s National Guard. Roughly 2 years later, the Department of Defense announced the remains of 17 victims had been identified through DNA samples.

George is survived by numerous family members including, nieces, nephews, cousins, and other relatives.

His family says they gave up on the idea that his body would ever be found. They say his remains were found 12 miles from the initial crash site.

“I’m glad that this day finally came because he’s been found after all these years and it brings somewhat of a closure to the situation,” says nephew George Ingram.


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Nearly 65 Years Later: Air Force veteran’s body returns home for hero’s welcome in Beloit


UPDATE (WKOW) — It’s a homecoming more than 60 years in the making. The community of Beloit, coming together as they pay tribute to a fallen veteran who is now home.

Firefighters, police officers and other first responders lined the streets along with several residents as a hearse carrying the remains of Airman First Class George Ingram drove slowly down the streets of Beloit.

“It’s way long overdue,” said veteran Robert Pokorney who brought his family out to pay their respects. “I hope it lets them know that the people care. The community really, truly cares. This community is very supportive of their service members.”

In 1952, Ingram was flying to Alaska when his plane crashed. He wouldn’t be found until decades later. But now, he’s home.

It was a scene veteran Bruce Slagoski described as remarkable.

“To see this, to see him actually come home, it’s special. It gives everybody chills just the thought of putting him to rest and get this man home to where he belongs,” Slagoski said.

Beloit fire chief Brad Liggett hopes bringing Ingram to his final resting place can bring closure to the family.

“He served honorably with distinction and is now home so the whole family can celebrate his life and his legacy,” Liggett said.

An important journey home, not only to his family but to fellow veterans as well.

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My visit to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson JBER


I have finally made it back home from a week in Anchorage an able to sit and write. It has been an emotional Rollercoaster. 32 men has been ID and we have 20 men to go. To those families still waiting with me, the team goes up 6 days a week and working very hard to bring our men home.

I witnessed these men for 2 days preparing to go on the glacier. They get to the office by 730 am all 6 days, it takes them about 30 minutes to put all their gear on and then they go in the office for their morning briefing. Once they take off they are on the glacier most of the day…unless weather is bad.

There is also a small team that sleeps across from the glacier in a 3 day rotation to keep an eye on things and the weather. This shows the dedication they have for bringing out men home.

Listening to the men talk, they say the glacier has revealed a lot of things this year. I hope to hear how much as time goes on. Nope, I could not find out what it did reveal…lol

Captain Collier, is the person that set this mission up for this year. All the details big or small. Thanks soooo much Sir for the great job you have done and are doing

Talking with Captain Collier and COL Travis Koch about things, they made me feel very welcome there.  To the both of them thanks because everyone says I am a bit to much.

Dr. Gregory E. Berg, thanks for coming back 1 more year to work with the new team.

Allen Cronin, thank you for making sure I was able to meet the team and say thank you to them. Thanks for all your hard work with making sure the families are well informed of things.

To all I did not meet but played a part in this. Thanks and my hat off to you all

Special Thanks to Fly Around Alaska ∙ Palmer (Don) taking me to see the glacier when all I can for was to meet you all for the 1st time.~Tonja Anderson-Dell

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A 1/C George Marion Ingram

A 1/C George Marion Ingram, 23, formerly of Pontotoc, Mississippi, and Beloit, Wisconsin, died on November 22, 1952, when the U.S. Air Force C-124 he was aboard crashed near Anchorage, Alaska.

George was born on March 10, 1929 in Pontotoc, Mississippi, the son of Frank C. and Viola H. (Howard) Ingram. When George was a teenager the family moved to Beloit, Wisconsin and became members of Emmanuel Baptist church. Many of the Ingram family are still members to this day. As a young man George enlisted into the United States Air Force and attained the rank of A1C (Airman First Class).

On July 26, 1951 George was assigned to the 34th Air Transport Squadron at McChord Air Force Base in Washington. He was scheduled to be part of the crew on the flight of a Douglas C-124 Globemaster departing on November 22, 1925 from McChord Air Force Base and scheduled to land at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska. On the flight manifest George was listed as the “Loadmaster”. During the flight it is documented that the aircraft encountered extremely severe weather conditions. Around 4pm on November 22, 1952, a distress call from the C-124 was faintly heard by a Northwest Orient Airlines Commercial flight. The reception was poor, but the Northwest captain made out the sentence: “As long as we have to land, we might as well land here.” No further communication from the Air Force C-124 was ever heard again and subsequently the plane never arrived at Elmendor

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