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USAF #2469  


An Air Force C-54D Skymaster - one of the largest groups of military personnel to go missing

Total Persons on Board:

44 - Eight crewmen, and 36 passengers, including 3 civilians. 


Flight Crew
Major Gerald F. Brittain, pilot, 36First Lt. Mike Tisik, co-pilot, 25
First Lt. Joseph W. Metzler, navigator, 31First Lt. Kyle L. McMichael, aircraft commander, 28

Master Sgt. Clyde A. Streitmann, engineer, 29

Tech. Sgt. Harry W. McConegly, engineer, 30

Staff Sgt. Raymond H. Snow, engineer, 24

Staff Sgt. Clarence A. Gibson, radio operator, 35
Eldon V. Dolansky, Sunny side, WA Mrs. Joyce M. Espe, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska. wife of M Sgt Robert E. Espe, of the 57th Air Installation Squadron  Victor E. Espe (Infant), Elmendorf AFB
Capt. Frank E. Gregory, Eielson AFB, AlaskaT-Sgt. Jack P. Faris, Houston, Texas. S-Sgt. Robert E. Ahearn, Charlton City, Mass.
S-Sgt. Jack E. Dickerson, Dunsmuir, Calif.S-Sgt. Burnis T. Lively, Long Branch, W. Va.S-Sgt. Raymond G. Mangold, Rodney, Ark.
S-Sgt. John J. McDonald, Lowell, Mass. S-Sgt. Clinton D. Tompkins, Langley, Wash. Sgt. Ray L. Asel, Los Angeles, Calif.

Sgt. Donald W. Dagle, Hawarden, IA

Sgt. Noel B. Jones, Harlingen, Texas. Sgt. Roy F. Jones, Marietta, Ga.
Sgt. Junior Lee Moore, Montgomery, Pa.Sgt. Harold R. Noell, Nebraska City, Neb.

Sgt. Tommy E. Rhoad, Flint, Mich..

Sgt. Julian C. Thomas, Lake City, SC

Cpl. Albie P. Baughman, Tioga, TX

Cpl. Henry S. Kerchner, Thomasville, Pa.

Cpl. Jeff D. Johnson, Allentown, N. J.Cpl. Raymond H. Matheny, McKenzie, Tenn..Cpl. Bernard Portrey, Preston, Neb.

Cpl. Richard L. Suggs, Crossville, Tenn.

Cpl. Thomas J. Young, Sulphur Rock, Ark.Pfc. John A. Chalopka, Richmond, Mo.
Pfc. Charles W. Cook, Van Dyke, Mich.Pfc. Billie C. Cummins, Corbin, Ky.

Pfc. Francis D. Hofer, Seattle, Wash.

Pfc. Herman L. Lawson, Pauline, SC

Pfc. Loyd E. Lowry, Mustoe, VA Pfc. William W. Cranor, Dallas, Texas
Pvt. Robert M. Hiatt, Toppenish, Wash.Pvt. Blake F. Maxwell, Lynn, Mass. Pvt. Robert T. Reitmeyer, St. Louis, Mo.


January 26, 1950


Low clouds, fog, drizzle.  Low temperatures.

Flight Route:

Enroute from Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, to Great Falls, Montana. The plane's final destination was Biggs AFB near El Paso, Texas.

Area Believed Crashed:

The missing plane was last heard from over Snag, 10 miles into Yukon territory from the Alaskan border.

Reason for flight:

Transportation of personnel

Type Plane:

A Douglas C-54D "Skymaster", serial number 42-72469, powered by four Pratt & Whitney R-2000-11 engines

Search efforts: 

The search was dubbed "Operation Mike", a name taken from the missing plane's commander, 1st Lt. Kyle E. McMichael.

On January 30th, a C-47, attached to the 57th Fighter Wing at Elmendorf Field, and piloted by 1st Lt. Charles H. Harden, crashed near Mt. McClintoc, injuring four aboard.

In 2012, a new effort - armed with modern search tools - is mounting to locate the wreck site.  Visit for more info.


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


For more information, view the following:



Alaska's Bermuda Triangle

Examine every aspect of the mysterious disappearance of two congressmen that prompted the largest search and rescue operation ever launched by the U.S. military.

Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.

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This page last updated Tuesday, November 22, 2016

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