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North Cascades
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PostFri Nov 21, 2008 6:14 pm 
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Does anyone have any info on the plane wreck near Salish Peak?  I've heard vague whispers that it was a 1950's wreck, but no solid info.  I'm curious about the specifics such as plane model, date of wreck, was it weather or mechanical failure?, etc.  A member of our forums, don b, has a picture and trip report here
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lopper
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PostFri Nov 21, 2008 8:56 pm 
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I recall reading that the two jets were USAF F-89 Scorpions....based at Paine Field.

The following is from the Seattle Mountain Rescue newsletter.....July 1956


MRO DEVOTES FURTHER ATTENTION TO WHITE-HORSE JET CRASH --
following through on a search which began back in early March, seven members of MRC, Major Kirk of Paine AFB (Everett, Wash.) and Jim Battson, aircraft manufacturerss representative; climbed to the site of the crash of the two USAF jets on Whitenorse Mountain near Darrington.  Purpose of the trip was to make positive identification of the four missing airmen and to soout the area to determine feasibility of evacuation of the remains. The party, consisting of Max Eckenburg, leader, Jim and Louis Whittaker, Dave Willis, Paul Williams, Arnie Campbell, Rudy Miller from MRC, and the two others mentioned above, reached the crash scene over a very steep, rugged, brushy route. It is now hoped that a helicopter can be used in the final recovery. Lt. Beeba of Sandpoint has scouted the area for possible landing sites.The Whitehorse episode is the first one in which MRC has been called out in connection with the crash of jet aircraft, MRC has worked on many rescues and evacuations where propeller aircraft crashed.  When the MRC was first called in to search for the planes in March, extremely bad weather forced a complete halt. The mountain was socked in and it was impossible to scout the crash by air.  One advance MRC party was forced to bivouac in a blizzard. By the time the weather cleared, there was no likelihood of survivors and there remained only final identification and recovery of remains.
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North Cascades
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PostSat Nov 22, 2008 9:50 am 
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Wow that's cool!  Even Jim and Lou Whittaker were involved!  Thanks Lopper!
Oh Yeah...according to Wikipedia the F-89 Scorpion was the only aircraft to have fired an air to air nuclear missle. huh.gif
Fortunately for us the planes weren't carrying any...might have messed up my views of the area.biggrin.gif
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Backpacker Joe
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Backpacker Joe
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PostSat Nov 22, 2008 11:02 am 
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North Cascades wrote:
Wow that's cool! Even Jim and Lou Whittaker were involved! Thanks Lopper!
Oh Yeah...according to Wikipedia the F-89 Scorpion was the only aircraft to have fired an air to air nuclear missle. huh.gif
Fortunately for us the planes weren't carrying any...might have messed up my views of the area.biggrin.gif

Ive worked at a nuclear test site in Idaho where they were once building a nuclear powered airplane!  It was so big the paved runway couldnt support the weight..... paranoid.gif  huh.gif  paranoid.gif

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

Abraham Lincoln
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RC
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PostThu Jan 21, 2010 7:34 pm 
jet wreckage at Salish Peak / Jet Tower
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1969 Late summer, Ken Carpenter and I went up Squire Creek and bush-wacked to a bivi near the referred to jet wreckage on our way to climb Mt. Bullon. The largest part of metal was about the size of a garbage can lid with metal scatted throughout the rockslide. It appeared that if the planes had been just a few feet higher altitude they would have cleared the ridge and gone down to Paine Field for a landing. We did see some potential solid rocket propellent and perhaps a bit of ammunition amongst the wreckage. Sorry no photos though.
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daffish
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PostThu Jan 21, 2010 8:55 pm 
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In late July 1998, a friend and I crossed Salish Ridge to go to the Bullon Lakes. High on the talus traverse, we started coming across small pieces of metal. Then more - - and more - - - and more; until finding the wreckage of the planes. Here are some interesting pics:

plane wreck on Salish Ridge
plane wreck on Salish Ridge
wreckage and wing close-up
wreckage and wing close-up
emblem
emblem

A quick Google search brought up a document from the 1956 Seattle Mountain Rescue Newsletter with sparse information about the wreck on page 3.

http://www.seattlemountainrescue.org/newsletters/newsletter_1956_07.pdf

Other unconfirmed verbal information said that they were returning from a training flight around Glacier Peak in poor visibility and had altimeter problems.

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"Be moderate in everything, including moderation"     Horace Porter
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North Cascades
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PostThu Jan 21, 2010 10:07 pm 
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Awesome!  Great Pics!   up.gif  up.gif
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borank
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PostThu Jan 21, 2010 11:42 pm 
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I was up that way in 2005.  The planes were from the 321st Fighter Squadron at Paine Field.  Found an engine serial # plate for the S'most wreck.  Lots of little pieces spread around and not many big pieces - a rather sober spot, I thought.
321st
321st
603a
603a
619a
619a

Emblem and squadron info pulled from a now defunct webpage.
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Malachai Constant
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PostThu Jan 21, 2010 11:45 pm 
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We never explored that one, F-89D's did not have machine guns only air to air missiles frown.gif

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Backpacker Joe
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PostFri Jan 22, 2010 12:28 am 
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Hey daffish, is the Salish ridge the ridge in between the Graigs and the Bullons?

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

Abraham Lincoln
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Backpacker Joe
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Backpacker Joe
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PostFri Jan 22, 2010 12:30 am 
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Malachai Constant wrote:
We never explored that one, F-86's did not have machine guns only air to air missiles frown.gif

Yo Mal, better check on that one again.  F-86's had six forward .50's.  There werent air to air guided missiles at that time.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

Abraham Lincoln
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Malachai Constant
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PostFri Jan 22, 2010 8:43 am 
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My bad F-89 A-C had 20mm Cannon the D's and later models had Falcon Missiles and rockets in the wing tip pods. I put F86 in my original post, now corrected. doh.gif

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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daffish
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PostFri Jan 22, 2010 5:10 pm 
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BPJ  - Perhaps the name I used for that area of the ridge is misleading. I was referring to the major north/south ridge between Three Fingers and Whitehorse. The wreck is on the east side of that ridge and a little north of Salish Peak.

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"Be moderate in everything, including moderation"     Horace Porter
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Magellan
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PostFri Jan 22, 2010 8:45 pm 
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Thanks for the history lesson guys.  I was thinking about heading up that way sometime soon.
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yorknl
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PostSat Jan 23, 2010 10:10 pm 
Follow-Up from MRC - September 1956
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http://www.seattlemountainrescue.org/newsletters/newsletter_1956_09.pdf

Bottom of the first page.

I'm glad to know that the remains of the airmen were retrieved.  Nonetheless a sad story, and knowing that the wreckage of the aircraft is still up there - and recognizable 50+ years later - just makes it that much more so to me.
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