Saturday, September 5, 2020

Remembering the Ga. ANG Airmen of C-124 Globemaster 52-1049

 By Maj. William Carraway

Historian, Georgia Army National Guard

 

A Georgia Air National Guard C-124 GLobemaster in flight. Georgia National Guard Archives


On Aug. 26, 1970, C-124 Globemaster 52-1049 of the Georgia Air National Guard’s 165th Military Airlift Group took off from McChord Air Force Base, Wash. bound for Cold Bay, Alaska with a cargo of satellite equipment. Ninety miles from the destination, aircraft commander Maj. William Goggans, of Savannah, and co-pilot 2nd Lt. Bobby Bowen, of Atlanta, made radio contact with ground control. When the aircraft missed its expected 10:00 pm landing time, the Alaska Air Command Rescue Coordination Center at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage initiated search and rescue operations. The search was immediately hampered by poor weather conditions and the vast 4,500 square mile search area that encompassed remote mountainous regions as well as open ocean. Eight aircraft from California, Hawaii and Japan contributed to the search effort while two Coast Guard vessels initiated sweeps of the Pacific Ocean.[1]

Cold Bay Alaska and vicinity. Photograph by C. F. Waythomas, courtesy of the Alaska Volcano Observatory / U.S. Geological Service.
On Sunday, Aug 30, 1970, an Air Force C-130 discovered the wreckage of 52-1049 on the slope of 8,200-foot Mount Pavlof in the Aleutian Islands. The Globemaster had struck the mountain at more than 200 miles per hour scattering wreckage over a wide area 200 feet from the summit of the snow-swept peak.[2] Several attempts were made to reach the crash site, but the remains of the crew were never recovered. The tragedy marked the first loss of life for the Ga. ANG since it began flying air transport missions worldwide in 1961.[3]

 

Mount Pavlof, 36 miles northeast of the runway in Cold Bay, Alaska. Taken from the southwest, this image captures the point of impact of 52-4019. Photo by David Fee Courtesy of the Alaska Volcano Observatory / University of Alaska Fairbanks, Geophysical Institute.

The crew of the C-124 II Globemaster II 52-1049 were:

Major William Goggans of Savannah, aircraft commander

Second Lt. Bobby Bowen of Atlanta, co-pilot

Major Paul R. Jones, of Haines City, Fla., navigator

Tech Sgt. Charlton L. Cohen of Pooler, Ga., flight engineer

Master Sgt. Wesley E. Vaughan of Garden City, Ga., flight engineer

Master Sgt. Carl J. Worrell of Garden City, Ga., mechanic

Staff Sgt. Thomas Fogle of Aiken, S. C., loadmaster

Graphic depicting the flight path of 52-4019 in yellow with the Cold Bay Airfield destination and Mount Pavlof viewed from the flight elevation of 2,400 meters.
Google Earth illustration created by Maj. William Carraway


Georgia Air National Guard Chaplain Capt. Thomas E. Crawford conducted services for the fallen Airmen at the Calvary Baptist Temple in Savannah Sept. 5, 1970. Following the memorials, Maj. Gen. George Hearn, Adjutant General of Georgia, remembered the fallen Airmen in a message to the Ga. DoD.

Georgia's Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. George Hearn addresses the media from Dobbins Air Force Base in 1970. Georgia National Guard Archives
"As we look ahead, we mourn those recently lost in the service of our state and nation," noted Hearn. "They were mighty good men. May their supreme sacrifice remind us of our heritage as volunteers in the service of our country and inspire us to meet the responsibilities of the uniform we so proudly wear."[4]



[1] “Big Search Under Way for Lost Georgia Plane.” Atlanta Constitution, Aug. 29, 1970, 2.

[2] “C-124 Wreck Seen on Active Aleutian Volcano.” Atlanta Constitution, Sept. 1, 1970, 3.

[3] “Seven 165th MAG Air Guardsmen Lost as Globemaster Crashes in Alaska.” Georgia Guardsman Magazine, July/September 1970, 3.

[4] “The Adjutant General’s Message.” Georgia Guardsman Magazine, July/September 1970, inside cover.

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