Crusty old Joe's

Kodiak Alaska Military History

The official web site of the Kodiak Military History Museum

Sgt. John Claxton

C47 Plane Fdls; Four Men Are-Lost ANCHORAGE, Alaska --An Air Force C47 transport with a four-man crew crashed on Sitkinak Island in the North Pacific Wednesday and a spokesman here said all aboard were believed lost. The Elmendorf Air Force Base public information office said a search plane spotted wreckage several hours after the plane was listed as overdue on a flight from Kodiak and saw no sign of life. Names were withheld.

1955 JUN 1
(From Check-Six.) USAF. Highest point on Sitkinak Is. 10 POB. Unrecovered. C-47 Skytrain 15594. N56 34, W154 10

Newspaper from Alliance Ohio 1955 June 1

Husband and Brother Of Alliance Women Dies in Alaska Crash

Mrs. Paul Novillino of 736 S. Wade Ave., received word Thursday evening that her brother, Sgt. John Claxton, 26, of Decatur, Ill., was one of the 10 men killed in the United States Air Force transport crash near Anchorage, Alaska, late Wednesday.

The plane was taking supplies to another unit in Alaska when it ran into a dense fog and struck a mountain, according to the report received.

Family In Alaska

Sgt. Claxton who spent much time in the home of his sister here, is well known in Alliance and his wife is the former Nina Chilli, daughter of Mrs. Salva Chilli of 746 S. Wade Ave., next door to the home of Mrs. Novillino.

Son of Mr. And Mrs. George Claxton of Decatur, Sgt. Claxton is a graduate of Decatur High School where he was co-captain of the football team and played baseball and basketball. He also played both baseball and basketball in the armed forces. He enlisted in the service eight years ago, and was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division.

With his wife and two daughters, Jacqueline Ann and Debra Sue, who have been in Alaska since Christmas, he leaves his parents; two sisters, Mrs. Novillino of this city and Mrs. Chester Miller of Decatur, and a brother, Major George Claxton who is stationed at Seattle, and had gone to Alaska to accompany Mrs. Claxton and family and the body to the United States for funeral and burial services.

Air Raid System

The 10 tragic deaths were chalked up as one of the early costs of an air raid warning installation that is being made by the United States on isolated Sitkinak Island, which is off the soouthern tip of Kodiak Island, Alaska.

The 10 victims were in an Air Force C47 transport from the Elmendorf base at Anchorage and were flying from Kodiak to drop supplies.

The crew's seat belts were unfastened and a plane door apparently open at the time the plane hit the peak, the first party to reach the wreck reported.

The crew of four was accompanied by three Western Electric Co. representatives engaged on the installation, and three soldiers from the 558th Aerial Communications System.

Only last week bids were opened for the four-million-dollar project which will look westward to the Alaska penninsula and the Aleutians. It will be one of several such warning systems ringing much of Alaska.

Turbulent weather handicapped searchers but one party reached the wreckage and recovered eight bodies Thursday.

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