Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of the American West
Mt. Moran DC-3 N74586
Many years ago a photo was sent to me of a wrecked
DC-3 with a note that said "somewhere in Wyoming". On 7/16/02 while
visiting Grand Teton National Park I made some inquiries and found out that the
DC-3 in the photo was DC-3 N74586 c/n 19711 now located on towering Mt. Moran at
the 11,200' level above the Skillet Glacier. N74586 had crashed during a
snowstorm on 11/21/50 killing all twenty-one people on board. Among those killed
were seven children whose bodies along with all of the other fourteen people
remain on Mt. Moran to this day. I visited with one veteran climber who had been
to N74586 on several occasions. He described a scene where wreckage is jammed
into crevices and cracks on a nearly vertical wall of rock, where personal
effects still litter the mountain after more than fifty years. Some months after
the crash a group of climbers and church minister conducted a memorial service
at the wreck site. All who pass this way are expected to show their respect by
leaving this mountain gravesite undisturbed.
Recommended readings for this story are “Never a Bad Word or a Twisted Rope” by Glenn Exum and “Teton Tales” by Paul K. Petzoldt.
Click on thumbnail to see large view!
G. Pat Macha points to Mt. Moran and N74586 crash site above
the Skillet Glacier.
Another view of mighty Mt. Moran and the Skillet Glacier.
When the sunlight is just right, N74586 shines like a diamond, visible for many miles.