Body Of WWII Airman Found In California Glacier...

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Airplane Was Lost In 1942

A body found in a receding glacier last week on a remote California mountain may be that of a crew member from a military airplane that crashed nearly 60 years ago. The body, that of a blond-haired man in his 20s, was intact and still wearing a parachute when it was found by climbers. The airman is suspected to have been aboard an AT-7 navigational training plane that left a Sacramento airfield Nov. 18, 1942. The plan was for a routine training flight through the Central Valley, but the airplane vanished. Five years later, an engine, clothing, a dog tag and scattered remains were found far from the plane's course, and the four crew members were presumed dead. The body was found Oct. 16, near the summit of 13,710-foot Mount Mendel in Kings Canyon National Park in the Sierra Nevada. Michael Nozel, one of the climbers, told KFSN-TV that a fluttering parachute caught his eye. ''As I got closer, I started to think, gosh, that doesn't look like a rock sticking out of the glacier,'' Nozel said. ''And then of course, as I got closer, I thought, my goodness, I think that is a body.'' The ice preserved the airman's skin and muscle as well as his green uniform, including thermal undershirt and sweater, according to The Associated Press. The recovery team found a fountain pen, a sewing kit and the rip cord for his unopened parachute. It took about six hours to free the body from the mountain.