Historian Mr. Doug Beckstead (left) and Tonja Anderson-Dell (right) and one other piece from the debris. Tonja Anderson-Dell visited the site where debris from the U.S. Air Force Globemaster emerged from the frozen river in June (2012) in an emotional trip. She was shown the area and was able to view some of the artifacts that tumbled to the surface of the glacier as it made its way along a valley. Photo provided by Tonja Anderson-Dell.
TAMPA — A Tampa woman whose grandfather was among 52 servicemen killed when their Air Force transport plane crashed into an Alaska mountain 63 years ago has accused the military of lagging behind in conducting DNA tests on remains recovered from the crash site last year.
Tonja Anderson-Dell, who is coordinating efforts by descendants to identify those who perished in the crash, says the contingent that uncovered the remains in June and July 2014 kept the tissue samples for over a year without doing any testing, then shipped them halfway around the world where they now rest.
“For a year and three months, they never touched them,” Anderson-Dell said of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, now known as the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, based in Hawaii. “Those remains should have been tested.”
Left in the dark are the descendants of those killed in the crash, who are awaiting the identification and return of the remains of their ancestors so they can be properly buried.