Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of the American West
Last week Peter Stekel went to the Beechcraft AT-7 crash site at the Mendel Glacier in Kings Canyon National Park where he located another of the missing airmen from the 11/18/42. A recovery team flew to the wreck site by helicopter on 8/20/07 to remove the remains of the unidentified USAAF crewman. Mr. Stekel is doing research for a book about the crew of AT-7 serial number 41-21079. With drought conditions continuing in the High Sierra the remaining two crewmen may also be recovered in the near future.
Ever since October, 2005 I
have been conducting research for FINAL FLIGHT, a book I am writing that
documents the crash of a Beech 18 AT-7 Navigator #41-21079 piloted by 2nd Lt.
William Gamber. This is a great story - one befitting our greatest detectives.
The aircraft disappears on November 18, 1942 and reappears briefly five years
later when four UC Berkeley students discover wreckage on Mendel Glacier in
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. With winter coming on fast, one of the
students guides a group of Army Air-Sea Rescue captains to the site. They spend
three days getting to the site and three hours poking around the glacier,
finally finding engine identification tags which confirm the wreck is the
missing AT-7 piloted by Lt. William Gamber with three aviation cadets [John Mortenson,
Ernest Glenn Munn and Leo Mustonen] on board. No bodies are recovered. The
following summer a team of soldiers tries to recover remains and fail.
Keep up-to-date on press reports and my research for FINAL FLIGHT - the story of four aviators lost in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks in November, 1942: http://www.peterstekel.com/Final_Flight.htm
JPAC announced this week that the human remains discovered on the Mendel Glacier in the High Sierra by Peter Stekel during the summer of 2007 are those of Aviation Cadet Ernest G. Munn. For more information see the latimes.com 3/12/08 article by Steve Chawkins.