It looks like a second WWII era airman has been found frozen in the Mendel Glacier, high in the mountains of Kings Canyon National Park and just over Lamark Col from Bishop.
In October of 2005, climbers on Mt. Mendel found the remains of a WWII era airman still attached to his unopened parachute. After months of research and DNA work, Military Scientists identified the remains as Leo Mustonen from Brainerd Minnesota. Mustonen was one of four Army Air Corp servicemen killed on training flight on November 18, 1942.
Last week a hiker found the remains of what appears to be a second WWII era airman about 100 feet from where Cadet Mustonen was located. Alexandra Picavet, with Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park, says that the remains appear to be from the same ill fated flight in 1942, but with 60 plane crash sites in the Park, military scientists can’t confirm that fact yet.
Picavet did say that these remains appeared to be wearing WWII era clothing. A parachute found nearby was also of that vintage.
The military scientists with the Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command are expected to take the remains to Hawaii for identification. The JPAC scientists have 18 teams that travel all over the world to find and identify the remains of fallen soldiers. While they have remains from as far back as the war of 1812, 78,000 of the close to 90,000 soldiers missing over the years were lost in WWII.
8100 are missing from Korea, 1800 from Vietnam, 120 are listed as missing from the Cold War, and one soldier from the first Gulf War is still missing.