Two climbers on a Sierra Nevada glacier discovered an ice-encased body believed to be that of an airman whose plane crashed in 1942.
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Two climbers on a Sierra Nevada glacier discovered an ice-encased body believed to be that of an airman whose plane crashed in 1942.
The man was wearing a World War II-era U.S. Army Corps parachute when his frozen head, shoulder and arm were spotted on 13,710-foot Mount Mendel in Kings Canyon National Park, park spokeswoman Alex Picavet said Wednesday.
Park rangers and specialists camped on the mountainside in freezing weather for an excavation expected to take several days. The body was 80% encased in ice, Picavet said.
“We’re not going to go fast,” she said. “We want to preserve him as much as possible. He’s pretty intact.”
The excavation crew included an expert from a military unit that identifies and recovers personnel who have been missing for decades.
Park officials believe the serviceman may have been part of the crew of an AT-7 navigational training plane that crashed on Nov. 18, 1942. The wreckage and four bodies were found in 1947 by a climber.