Mount Yale, CO Bomber Crash, Sep 1956
COLORADO AIR CRASH KILLS 12.
CHARRED BODIES FOUND IN DEBRIS ON MOUNT YALE.
CRAFT IS MILITARY; SCENE IS REACHED AFTER LONG CLIMB.
Salida, Colo. (AP) -- An Air Force C-47 crashed into the rocky north face of 14,172-foot Mt. Yale in southwest Colorado Monday, and undersheriff Harold Thornoff said a ground party found 12 charred bodies in the burned wreckage.
The plane was attached to Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) at Colorado Springs, Colo., and was bound for Hamilton Air Force Base near San Francisco.
Col. Barney Oldfield, public information officer, said the twin-engine plane left Colorado Springs' ENT Air Force Base at 10 a.m. and was due at Hamilton AFB at 4 p.m. Its failure to arrive there, plus the partial numerical identification, helped establish its identity.
Oldfield said 12 persons, including one woman in service, were aboard the plane. They included both military and civilian personnel.
Despite the fact one occupant still was unaccounted for at the crash scene, Oldfield said it was presumed all were killed.
The undersheriff said the 12 bodies, all burned beyond recognition, were found strewn among a huge rockslide above timberline near the Continental Divide 120 airline miles southwest of Denver.
Seven members of the ground party traveled five hours to reach the remote crash scene at about the 11,000-foot level.
They said one wing of the plane bore the number 34846. The prefix AF normally is used for Air Force planes, but this apparently was burned off the wreckage, thus delaying indentification of the craft.
The undersheriff said deputy sheriff Frank Mansheim and Coroner Joseph Stewart intended to remain overnight at the scene and that no attempt would be made to remove the bodies until Air Force officials arrive.
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