Clifford E. Phillips
US Infantry
Died non Battle 18 September 1944
Memorialized at the Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii

A C-47 plane from Anchorage, Alaska to Fairbanks, Alaska, went down over Mt. Deception, Alaska. The plane struck one of the higher peaks of the Mt. McKinley group, within one hundred feet of the top of the peak. It is believed that the wing of the plane struck the peak, causing the engine to be torn from the plane. 18 military servicemen and 1 civilian died.

The Hancock Democrat – 30 November 1944:
The final postscript in the tragic story of the 19 men who perished in the crash of a C-47 on an unnamed mountain peak in McKinley Park was written last week.
A memorial service for the men was conducted at Ladd Field, where Army chaplains representing the Catholic, Jewish and Protestant faiths, spoke briefly. A military guard of honor fired a volley, followed by playing of Taps. An ATC plane then took off from Ladd Field and winged its way to the scene of the crash, high in the rugged peaks of the Alaskan Range. There three floral wreaths were dropped over the snow-covered mountainside where the bodies of the victims are buried beyond recovery.

Victims of the crash included Roy Proebstle, pilot, Minneapolis, ; L.H. Blevin, co-pilot, Minneapolis; Pvt. James A. George Jr., Russelville, Ark.;  S 1-c Bernard Ortego, Opelsas, La.; Maj. Rudolph F. Bostelman, La Grange, Ill.; Pvt. Charles E. Gill, Nashville, Tenn.; Lt. Orlando J. Buck, Rosebank, N.y.; T-4 Timothy D. Stevens, Suffern, N.Y.; Pvt. Howard A. Pevey, Roseland, La.; Pfc. Alfred S. Madison, New Auburn, Wis.; Pfc Clifford E. Phillips, Lake City, Tenn.; Cpl. Charles N. Dykeman, Holland, Mich.; T-5 Maurice R. Gibbs, Caro, Mich.; Pvt. Anthony Kasper, Allamucky, N.J.; T-5 Edward S. Stoering, Duluth, Minn.; Sgt. William E. Backus, Lake Wales, Fla.; CWO Floyd M. Appelman, Akron, Ohio, and Carl V. Harris, Texarkana, Tex.

A website with the full story of the crash and recovery of the plane:
http://www.cactusweb.net/mckinley/mckinley.html

Photo’s of Mt. McKinley in Alaska submitted by Terri Matson.

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