On December 10, 1946, a flight of six Marine Corps R5C Curtis Commandos took off from MCAS El Toro, California, with over 200 Marines aboard, to NAS Sandpoint in Seattle, WA. Somewhere over southwest Washington the flight ran into a fierce Pacific Northwest storm. 4 of the aircraft turned turned around and landed at Portland, a 5th aircraft landed at NAS Sandpoint, and the 6th aircraft with 32 souls onboard disappeared.
Although a ground search was started immediately, an air search couldn’t start for two weeks because of the weather. After a week of searching, no debris from the plane could be found. It was determined the plane was pushed off course and crashed into Mt Rainier and there were no survivors.
In June of 1947, wreckage was spotted high on the South Tahoma Glacier and a team was sent to determine if it was the missing plane. Documents recovered indeed revealed it was the missing aircraft. A recovery mission was launched but it was determined that the conditions made impossible to recover the Marines and they were buried in place.
For 71 years the Marines of the Department of Washington, Marine Corps League, have gathered to honor the memory of their fallen Brothers. On Saturday, August 31st, we will gather for the 72nd consecutive year at noon in the Veterans Memorial Park in Enumclaw WA, to once again to honor the fallen.
>Marine Security Battalion, Naval Base Kitsap, Bangor
>Seattle Young Marines
>Scottish American Military Society
For more information, call or text George Hilbish; 253-970-9707 or email ‘email@example.com’.