a blog by Peter Stekel

FINAL FLIGHT is the story of four aviators lost in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks on November 18, 1942


Read more about FINAL FLIGHT here.


Summer, 2012

Donate to the Golden Sierra High School Mendel Glacier Expedition HERE.

Read their press release for the trip HERE.

Tax deductable donations can also me made by check to:

Black Oak Mine Unified School District

6540 Wentworth Springs Road

PO Box 4510

Georgetown, CA 95634

530-333-8300 Phone | 530-333-8303 Fax

California's past winter was light and it was short. Some areas of the southern Sierra Nevada received only 20% of the normal precipitation. This was followed by an early, and hot, spring. Summer, so far, has been unseasonably hot in California. These are ideal conditions to return to Mendel Glacier. There should be no residual winter snow on the ground and the glacier itself will probably be at its smallest size in decades.

I plan to return to Mendel Glacier with a few friends in late August for a reconnaissance trip. Who knows what we will find? If we're lucky, we will discover Lt. Gamber and Cadet Mortenson. If we're not lucky, perhaps the tide of luck will change after Labor Day when History Flight researchers reach Mendel Glacier. They have a proposal being considered by the National Park Service to fly in by helicopter with state-of-the-art electronic equipment to locate the missing AT-7 - or at least to locate the largest portions of the airplane. It is hoped that Gamber and Mortenson's remains might be associated with the wreckage.

History Flight will also have a cadaver-smelling dog with them. These specially trained dogs are incredibly successful in locating human remains. I'm confident that if Gamber and Mortenson can be found, this is the year it will happen. After nearly 70 years they can be laid to rest and their families finally find closure.

Students from Golden Sierra High School in Garden Valley, California, their teachers, and the school's administration have expressed an interest in being at Mendel Glacier in September when History Flight is doing their work. If you are able to make a financial donation to defray the cost of getting four students and their adult chaperones to Mendel Glacier, please see HERE.


History Flight is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and honoring American WWII, Vietnam and Gulf-War aviation history and aircrew combat veterans. History Flight has four important objectives that we seek to accomplish with the support of corporations, foundations, and the general public - in addition to donations raised during our annual, self-funded Barnstormer Tours.

1. To research and help locate the remains of over 78,000 American service members still missing in action (MIA) from World War II.

2. To educate the public about historic American military aviation with History Flight's "flying museum" that we take on old-fashioned, seven-month Barnstormer Tours of regional airports in the central and eastern U.S.

3. To continue and broaden our aviation scholarship program.

4. To continue and expand our executive leadership program.


To date, History Flight has already self-funded more than $1,300,000 to underwrite these programs.



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Final Flight, Mendel, Mendel Glacier, Sierra Nevada, Peter Stekel, Leo Mustonen, Ernest Munn, William Gamber, John Mortenson, Kings Canyon National Park, Beech 18, AT-7, plane crash, mummy, JPAC, Wilderness Press, finalflightthebook, blog, 41-21070, airplane, lenticular cloud, hypoxia, navigation, wilderness