Mount Rainier Detachment 504 hosting annual memorial Aug. 27

The annual memorial service honoring military men who died on Mount Rainier more than six decades ago will take place Saturday, Aug. 27.

  • Monday, August 15, 2016 7:40pm
  • News

The annual memorial service honoring military men who died on Mount Rainier more than six decades ago will take place Saturday, Aug. 27.

The 90-minute event, hosted annually by Mount Rainier Detachment 504 of the Marine Corps League, is scheduled to begin at noon at Veterans Memorial Park.

Thirty-two Marines died Dec. 10, 1946, when their military airplane slammed into the face of Mount Rainier while making a journey from California to Seattle. They were part of a group of six military aircraft. Due to inclement weather, four pilots abandoned their plans and returned to California; one plane made it safely to Seattle; the other remains entombed on the mountain.

The most solemn part of each year’s ceremony comes with the tolling of a bell, the reading of the names of the 32 lost Marines and the laying of roses in front of the ceremonial marker.

Killed in the 1946 crash were Lt. Colonel Alben C. Robertson; Maj. Robert V. Reilly; Master Sgt. Charles F. Criswell; Master Sgt. Wallace J. Slonina; and privates Duane R. Abbott, Robert R. Anderson, Joe E. Bainter, Leslie R. Simmons Jr., Harry K. Skinner, Lawrence E. Smith, Buddy E. Snelling, Bobby J. Stafford, William D. St. Clair, Walter J. Stewart, John C. Stone, Albert H. Stubblefield, William R. Sullivan, Chester E. Taube, Harry L. Thompson Jr., Duane S. Thornton, Keith K. Tisch, Eldon D. Todd, Richard P. Trego, Charles W. Truby, Harry R. Turner, Ernesto R. Valdovin, Gene L. Vremsak, William E. Wadden, Donald J. Walker, Gilbert E. Watkins, Duane E. White and Louis A. Whitten.

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