Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of the American West


Mt. Moran DC-3 N74586
11/21/50

 

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.

 

 

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