AF announces Operation Colony Glacier casualty recovery

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WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force announced on March 7 the names of two service members who have been recovered from a C-124 Globemaster II that was lost on Nov. 22, 1952.
Airmen 2nd Class Thomas Condon and Conrad Sprague have been recovered and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

On Nov. 22, 1952, a C-124 crashed while en route to Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, from McChord AFB, Washington. There were 11 crewmen and 41 passengers on board. Adverse weather conditions precluded immediate recovery attempts. In late November and early December 1952, search parties were unable to locate and recover any of the service members.

On June 9, 2012, an Alaska National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk crew spotted aircraft wreckage and debris while conducting a training mission over Colony Glacier, immediately west of Mount Gannett. Three days later, another Alaska National Guard team landed at the site to photograph the area and they found artifacts at the site that related to the wreckage of the C-124. Later that month, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and a joint task force team conducted a recovery operation at the site and recommended it continue to be monitored for possible future recovery operations.

In 2013, additional artifacts were visible and every summer since then, during a small window of opportunity, Alaskan Command and Alaska National Guard personnel have been supporting the joint effort of Operation Colony Glacier.

Medical examiners from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used testing done by the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, along with other forensic evidence, in the identification of the service members. DNA testing continues to identify the remaining personnel. The crash site continues to be monitored for future possible recovery.