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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The wreckage of a military plane found this month on an Alaska glacier is that of an Air Force plane that crashed in 1952, killing all 52 people aboard, military officials said Wednesday.
Army Capt. Jamie Dobson said evidence found at the crash site correlates with the missing C-124A Globemaster, but the military is not eliminating other possibilities because much investigation still needs to be done.
Processing DNA samples from relatives of those on board the plane could take up to six years, Dobson said.
"We're still at the very beginning of this investigation," she said. "This is very close to the starting line, not the finish line."
Thanksgiving was just five days away on November 22, 1952 when a huge Air Force plane nicknamed "Old Shaky" went down East of Anchorage, AK killing all 52 servicemembers on board.
The U.S. was in the thick of the Korean War at the time and the plane was filled with troops from the Air Force, Army, the Navy, and Marines — all of whom were likely eager to enjoy the holiday with family and friends.
As they flew above the Chugach Mountains, only minutes away from landing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, the massive C-124 Globemaster suffered a malfunction and began losing altitude.
The reason even this is known, explains Casey Grove and Mike Dunham at Stars & Stripes, is because a nearby Northwest pilot deciphered a scratchy radio signal over his headset that said, "As long as we have to land, we might as well land here."