It started with a question in DC-3 Yahoo Groups (dead link by 2021): who had information about this DC-3, lying on a Yukon Mountain?
Photos were published on a snowmobile website (www.ksa.yk.ca/photos.html - dead link by 2021), showing a DC-3 wreck to which tour per snowmobile were organized.
A second image described a DC-3 in the 'Ruby Range' of the Yukon, as seen on Jochen Mezger's website: www.uni-mainz.de/~mezger/ (dead link by 2021). This one shows it in the summer.
I saved a copy of the photo as Jochen's website seems unmaintained and could become offline, click here for Jochen's photo.
Here are some photos relayed to me by Roland Shaver of Bear North Adventures, www.yukonsnowmobile.com (dead link in June 2007), which is located in Haines Junction, Yukon, Canada:
These photos were taken by John Jennings, a local pilot and aviation historian.
Through relay by Roland Shaver, I have the story how this aircraft got here; it was originally published in the Whitehorse Star:
On January 26, 1950 a U.S. air force C-54 transport plane en route from Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage to Great Falls AFB in Montana vanished somewhere near Whitehorse. There were 33 military personnel, eight crew and three civilians. To this day this aircraft has never been found.
The search lasted 23 days, involved dozens of aircraft and hundreds of searchers, was the largest search in North American history and was the most expensive at $700,000 U.S. dollars. (This was 55 years ago!!) .
The aircraft you saw a photo of, was a U.S. air force C-47 that was involved with the search dubbed 'Operation Mike'. It went down 48 km north of Haines Junction on a barren snowy mountain top. All 10 airmen on board survived. The pilot WALKED 13 km out to the Alaska Highway (that in it's self is a miracle!) in extreme terrain, was picked up by a transport truck and driven to Whitehorse. He led a search party back to the scene and all were rescued. The search for the original plane was called off the next day.
Roland continues, for those who are interested in booking a trip to this C-47:
I have been to the site many times, but do not have any numbers for you. It is an awesome snowmobile trip to the base of the mountain, but is not always possible to ride to the top. (Hiking is possible). The mountain gets very wind blown and is rocky as well as very steep. The snow can get blown off it very quickly making the final climb difficult. The spring time March/April conditions are most favourable for this trip, and we are the only tour company that provides this excursion. It is a one day trip return trip and can be included with any of our tour destinations. End Quote
[In June 2007 I did some more research on a wreckage located near Beaver Creek,YT. And it seems
I found the DC-4 they were looking for...]
|Martin Pole brought in this photo, taken by Jochen Mezger (geologist), and note the magnificent scenery!
The best I could make of it, after fiddling around with contrast and brightness in Adobe Photoshop, was 51037.
Photo confirmation, by a much better photo, was found in the book 'Wings Over the Alaska Highway', by Bruce McAllister and Peter Corley-Smith (Roundup Press, Boulder,CO; 2001). Look up pages 124 and 125, it is 45-1037 !
And there it is: Douglas C-47B 45-1037 (17040/34306) at Haines Junction in the Ruby Mountains, 06Aug03.
The fly-by could not be made in a straight line, so Kate (our pilot) flew in the direction of the DC-3 and had to make a hard break to the right to avoid crashing against that mountain....
In June 2004 I received en email from Craig Fuller-
"Concerning your DC-3 mystery, you did indeed confirm it correctly: 45-1037. Attached are two pages of the official USAF Accident report. Feel free to use them if you like, but I would greatly appreciate a reciprocal link to my web site. By any chance did you get a GPS coordinate on the crash when you flew over? It is a great site and would like to visit it someday to record it.
AAIR Aviation Archaeological Investigation & Research
Falcon Field Station Box 22049
Mesa, AZ 85277-2049 (480)-218-8198
Thanks Craig, unfortunately I have no GPS data, however at Haines Junction Airport the pilots are familiar with its location.
The 2 pages of the USAF Accident report can be read here and here. The report has details of the events that lead to the crash.
Here is the location of Haines Junction, to give an idea of the location:
Janna Swales contacted me Sep.2007 and related her challenging hike, together with Colin Beairsto, to the crashsite..
As we neared the ridge the brush gave way to alpine beauty, short shrubby heather and flowers and grassy meadows. We chatted and laughed our way up and along further despite the drizzling weather and low foggy cloud. We had the UTM location of the crash and lots of walking time. No problem!
Hans Wiesman also made it his goal to get to this aircraft...
Hans Wiesman collects (worldwide! www.avionart.com) DC-3 wingtips to convert them into furniture!
Hans Wiesman passed on in 2021.
SEE PHOTO BY PHOTOGRAPHER RICHARD MOSSE, WRECKHUNTING FOR HIS 'THE FALL' PORTFOLIO
AND 2009 EXHIBITION; INTERVIEW BY BLDGBLOG OR ACROBAT READER DOCUMENT
'Scudrunner' published this photo on the AvCanada Forum:
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