Remains from two more of the men that died in an Korean War-era military plane crash in Alaska have been identified so they can be returned to families for burial, but men with ties to Missouri still haven’t been found. The military tells Missourinet it could be weeks before more IDs are released.
The remains identified belong to Captain Walter Perrin Tribble of Champaign, Illinois, and Airman 2nd Class Bernis F. White of Fordyce, Arkansas. Their families will be offered burial will full military honors.
Those men and 50 others died when a C-124 Globemaster crashed into Mount Gannett in Alaska on November 22, 1952. The wreckage and their remains were lost until they were spotted in 2012, some 16 kilometers from the crash site where they had been carried by the Colony Glacier.
Two Missouri men were on that plane: Army Technical Sergeant Leonard George Unger of Gerald, in east-central Missouri, and Air Force Airman 3rd Class Wayne Dean Jackson of Downing, in northeast Missouri. A third man, Private Robert Dale Card originally of Kansas, has a brother and other family living near Springfield.
Remains from 17 other men were identified and returned to families last year, making 19 in all that have been afforded a chance at a proper burial. Tribble’s and White’s remains were among those recovered in June, 2014.
Efforts continue to identify other remains found at the same time, but Armed Forces Medical Examiner Colonel Ladd Tremaine told Missourinet it could be several more weeks before additional identifications are released.
“There are some other cases that are extremely complex that deal with multiple fragments, and those are the ones that we’re really having trouble with – linking samples back to specimens,” said Tremaine.
Tremaine’s agency received the remains in August after a jurisdictional change caused them to be handed over from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.
“We’ve actively been working these since getting them in August and it’s going to take probably a few more weeks to get a couple of them out,” said Tremaine.
The site of the wreckage is only accessible two weeks out of the year in June. Remains recovered in June of this year are also undergoing an identification process.