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USAF #2469

US Air Force C-54D Skymaster

On board this Flight were one of the largest groups of military personnel ever to go missing


44 - Eight crewmen, and thirty-six passengers, including three civilians


January 26, 1950

Low clouds, fog, drizzle. Low temperatures.

Enroute from Elmendorf AFB - Alaska, to Malmstrom AFB - Great Falls, Montana.


The plane’s final destination was Biggs AFB near El Paso, Texas. The missing plane was last heard from over Snag, 10 miles into Yukon territory from the Alaskan border.

Transportation of personnel

Douglas C-54D “Skymaster”, #42-72469, powered by four Pratt & Whitney R-2000-11 engines

The subsequent search was dubbed “Operation Mike”, a name taken from the missing plane’s commander, 1st Lt. Kyle E. McMichael.

Despite one of the largest searches until that time, no trace of the plane, or its personnel, have been found.

Flight Crew

Major Gerald F. Brittain,  Pilot, 36   
First Lt. Joseph W. Metzler,   Navigator, 31  
Master Sgt. Clyde A. Streitmann,   Engineer, 29
Staff Sgt. Raymond H. Snow,   Engineer, 24

First Lt. Mike Tisik,   Co-pilot, 25
First Lt. Kyle L. McMichael,   Aircraft Commander, 28 
Tech. Sgt. Harry W. McConegly,  Engineer, 30
Staff Sgt. Clarence A. Gibson,   Radio Operator, 35


Eldon V. Dolansky, Sunny Side, Washington

Mrs. Joyce M. Espe, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska.

(wife of M Sgt Robert E. Espe, 57th Air Installation Squadron

Victor E. Espe (Infant), Elmendorf AFB

Capt. Frank E. Gregory, Eielson AFB, Alaska

T-Sgt. Jack P. Faris, Houston, Texas.

S-Sgt. Robert E. Ahearn, Charlton City, Massachusetts

S-Sgt. Jack E. Dickerson, Dunsmuir, California

S-Sgt. Burnis T. Lively, Long Branch, West Virginia

S-Sgt. Raymond G. Mangold, Rodney, Arkansas

S-Sgt. John J. McDonald, Lowell, Massachusetts

S-Sgt. Clinton D. Tompkins, Langley, Washington

Sgt. Ray L. Asel, Los Angeles, California

Sgt. Donald W. Dagle, Hawarden, Indiana

Sgt. Noel B. Jones, Harlingen, Texas

Sgt. Roy F. Jones, Marietta, Georgia

Sgt. Junior Lee Moore, Montgomery, Pennsylvania

Sgt. Harold R. Noell, Nebraska City, Nebraska

Sgt. Tommy E. Rhoads, Flint, Michigan

Sgt. Julian C. Thomas, Lake City, South Carolina

Cpl. Albie P. Baughman, Tioga, Texas

Cpl. Henry S. Kerchner, Thomasville, Pennsylvania

Cpl. Jeff D. Johnson, Allentown, New Jersey

Cpl. Raymond H. Matheny, McKenzie, Tennessee

Cpl. Bernard Portrey, Preston, Nebraska

Cpl. Richard L. Suggs, Crossville, Tennessee

Cpl. Thomas J. Young, Sulphur Rock, Arkansa

Pfc. John A. Chalopka, Richmond, Missouri

Pfc. Charles W. Cook, Van Dyke, Michigan

Pfc. Billie C. Cummins, Corbin, Kentucky

Pfc. Francis D. Hofer, Seattle, Washington

Pfc. Herman L. Lawson, Pauline, South Carolina

Pfc. Loyd E. Lowry, Mustoe, Virginia

Pfc. William W. Cranor, Dallas, Texas

Pvt. Robert M. Hiatt, Toppenish, Washington

Pvt. Blake F. Maxwell, Lynn, Massachusetts

Pvt. Robert T. Reitmeyer, St. Louis, Missouri

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