Family’s Closure Rests on Remote Alaskan Glacier

webadminC-119 Gamble Chalk 1

Frank Blasi still remembers the last time he saw his brother, Daniel Blasi.

Frank was at a neighbor’s farm in St. Leo, working during the harvest. Daniel had just been drafted into the Korean War and came over to tell his younger brother.

“He cried before he left that day and we all felt he had a feeling he would never come home,” Frank said. “It still bothers me that I saw him crying because I had never seen him cry.”

Growing up on a 160-acre farm in Kingman County, and with 17 brothers and sisters, there was too much to do and little time for tears.

But Daniel’s premonition was right. On Nov. 7, 1952, the 22-year-old died in an Alaskan plane crash aboard a C-119. For years, the family only knew a few details. Mainly, that 19 servicemen, including Daniel, died when the plane collided with the side of Mount Silverthrone around 2:50 a.m.

In August, Frank and Jeanette Blasi found out for sure that is the site of where Daniel died. It took over 15 years of work from their son, Father Leo Blasi, and the help of a total stranger before a piece of evidence was found that was so compelling the U.S. Air Force agreed it was the site of Gamble Chalk 1.