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AF announces Operation Colony Glacier casualty recovery

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Air Force announced Nov. 3 the name of a service member whose remains were recovered from a C-124 Globemaster that was lost on Nov. 22, 1952.

Airman 2nd Class Bateman R. Burns has been recovered and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

On Nov. 22, 1952, a C-124 Globemaster crashed while en route to Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, from McChord Air Force Base, 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 (AKNG) UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crew spotted aircraft wreckage and debris while conducting a training mission over the Colony Glacier, immediately west of Mount Gannett. Three days later another AKNG 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 Globemaster.

Later that month, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) and Joint Task Force team conducted a recovery operation at the site and recommended it continued 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 AKNG 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.

For more information, please contact the Air Force public affairs at 703-695-0640. For service record specific information, please contact the National Archives at 314-801-0816.

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