United States The Marine Memorial

5 images 1 contributors

T. Kirkendall and V. Spring

About this spot

On December 10, 1946 a group of 200 US Marines climbed into 6 Curtis Commando C46/R5C planes and headed from Southern California towards Seattle. The weather deteriorated as they flew north and 4 of the planes turned back and landed in Portland, Oregon. Of the 2 planes that continued on, navigating by instruments only, one landed safely and one simply disappeared. People around Mt. Rainier remembered hearing a plane fly by at around the right time and there was an intensive search launched centered around The Mountain. The weather remained awful, with 5 feet of snow falling in the next week. However, once it cleared the search intensified, but nothing was found. It was not until the summer of 1947 that a park ranger, William J. Butler, spotted wreckage of the plane on the South Tahoma Glacier. The tragedy was devastating for park and the families of the lost marines. It was ultimately decided that the area was too dangerous to attempt to remove the bodies and the South Tahoma Glacier was closed to all hiking and climbing access. A memorial was built on the summit of Round Pass with a view of the South Tahoma Glacier. Even though the view has become mostly blocked by trees, the memorial remains carefully tended. The signage to the memorial is poor but Marines and families still make the trek to honor those who lost their lives. For more information go to: http://www.historylink.org/File/7820

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