Franklin County soldier’s remains returned home after being found in glacier


FRANKLIN COUNTY, MO (KTVI) – A mystery buried in an Alaska glacier has been solved for a Franklin County family as the remains of a U.S. Air Force Tech Sergeant were discovered in a field of snow and ice.

Sgt. Leonard Unger died more than six decades ago in a military plane crash. On Thursday afternoon his remains were carried by a white hearse down the interstates toward his final resting place. About two dozen Patriot Guard members escorted the airman.

“It was horrible. It was horrible. We didn’t know what to think,” said Theresa Boland, Sgt. Unger’s sister.

She won’t ever forget the day Sgt. Unger died. Theresa was his baby sister, he was the oldest of eight children; she the youngest. She has fond memories.

“He would get in the car and take me for a ride and that was a big thrill for me,” she said.

The joy turned to sadness in November 1952. Unger was riding in a C-124 Globemaster along with 51 other people, when the plane crashed into Mount Gannett in Alaska. Grief gripped the family as they prayed for a miracle that never came. Their pride in him only grew stronger.

“He was a great inspiration for all of us. We loved him very much,” Boland said.

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