This Article Appeared in the ABC Local News 30 Web Site
Link to the abclocal.go.com


KFSN-TV/DT   abc30.com
November 15, 2005

Family Believes Frozen Airman is Their Uncle

- Another family believes they could be linked to a decades old mystery found in the Sierra. They believe the frozen remains of a World War II airman could be those of their uncle.

He was with three other airman when their plane went down in 1942 and their bodies were never found.

They were on a training mission that took off from Sacramento and was never heard from again.

Memories of Airman John Mortensen lie on Carol Benson's table. Her uncle and three other airmen died in the plane crash November 18, 1942.

"It was 200 miles off course. We assume there was a big storm in the Sierras and the plane was lost," said Benson.

In 1947, human remains were found, but never identified. A letter addressed to Benson's aunt explains, "It is with regret that an identification will be hard to make. Therefore a group burial will be made."

Airman Mortensen and the three airman were buried in a California military cemetery.

We thought they found the plane, no one survived, and that was closure for that time," said Benson. But an amazing discovery in the Sierra Mountains is giving Benson new hope. Last month, hikers found a perfectly preserved body of a World War II airman near where Mortensen's plane went down.

"i just got an eerie feeling that it just might be the wreckage my uncle was in," said Benson. The body of the airman is at a special forensic identification laboratory. Scientists say the body is in very good condition and an I.D. will soon be made.

"He is an adult, white male about six feet tall," said forensic specialist Robert Mann. And there are other clues, like a corroded name badge, a uniform and coins.

The military believes they know who it is, but want a DNA test to confirm the identify.

Back in Ogden, Carol Benson is willing to wait it out. "I'm getting more anxious to know that hopefully soon, they'll know," she said.

 

 

 

Copyright 2005 ABC Inc., KFSN-TV Fresno

Oct 18, 2005    Oct 19, 2005    Oct 20, 2005    Oct 21, 2005    Oct 24, 2005
Oct 24, 2005    Oct 26, 2005    Nov 2, 2005    Nov 3, 2005    Nov 4, 2005
Nov 10, 2005    Nov 15, 2005    Feb 4, 2006

 

button2.gif (2200 bytes)