Defense Department forensic scientists identified the remains of 17 US military personnel, including 12 airmen, who died in the crash of a C-124 transport in Alaska, west of Mount Gannett, in 1952, announced the Pentagon on June 18. Officials will return their remains to their families for burial with full military honors, according to DOD’s release. Recovered were: Air Force Col. Noel E. Hoblit, Col. Eugene Smith, Capt. Robert W. Turnbull, 1st Lt. Donald Sheda, 1st Lt. William L. Turner, TSgt. Engolf W. Hagen, SSgt. James H. Ray, A1C Marion E. Hooton, A2C Carroll R. Dyer, A2C Thomas S. Lyons, A2C Thomas C. Thigpen, and A3C Howard E. Martin; Army Lt. Col. Lawrence S. Singleton, Pvt. James Green Jr., and Pvt. Leonard A. Kittle; Marine Corps Maj. Earl J. Stearns; and Navy Cmdr. Albert J. Seeboth. The C-124 went down on Nov. 22, 1952, while en route to Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, from McChord AFB, Wash. There were 11 crewmen and 41 passengers on board. In June 2012, the crash site was discovered; recovery operations began that same month. Future attempts to recover the still-missing personnel are possible, states the release.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.