Lost on Mt. Rainier
December 10, 1946
Annual Memorial Service for our 32 Marines buried on Mt. Rainier
The service at the Rock in Veternans Memorial Park in Enumclaw will be hosted by Mt. Rainier Detachment and Rock 32 Pound 284 of the Military Order of devil Dogs.
The Memorial Service for the 32 Marines that died on Mt.Rainier on Dec. 10, 1946 is held on the same day each year. It is the last Saturday in August. The Service starts at 12:00 noon and runs exactly one hour until 1:00 PM.
NEW MT. RAINIER MARINE MEMORIAL
On December 10, 1946, a U.S. Marine Corps R4-D transport aircraft with 32 Marines aboard crashed into the South Tahoma Glacier on Mt. Rainier.
Winter snowfall covered all traces of the plane and its occupants, mostly young Marines who had just completed boot camp. In July, 1947, following several months of futile efforts to locate the crash site, Assistant Chief Ranger Bill Butler sighted the parts of the wreckage at about 8500 feet on the glacier. A month later Ranger Butler located the victims and other parts of the plane at about 10,000 feet.
Due to the extreme hazards from rock falls and avalanches from the adjacent Tahoma Cleaver during any possible attempt to evacuate the remains, the bodies were left to be covered by subsequent winter snows. The families elected not to have their Marines removed from the Mountain and incur more loss of life. Point Success towering above the remains is an appropriate headstone. For many subsequent years, in deference to parents and other survivors of the victims, most of South Tahoma Glacier was off-limits to travel and exploration.
In memory of those Marines, a stone Memorial was placed at Round Pass on the west side of the road, within sight of the glacier. Due to the constant moving of The Mountain, it is no longer safe to pay annual tribute to our 32 Marines from their memorial site. At first it was considered to move the current Rock Memorial from Mt. Ranier National Park to the new Tahoma National Cemetery below the mountain, however after discussion amongst the family members and the local Marines who each year have kept their memory alive it was determined that to move the monument, first would take away the meaning behind placement of the monument where it was originally placed and secondly it would take an act of congress to move a memorial placed in a National Park.
Each year the Department of Washington, Marine Corps League in conjunction with the survivors of those Marines buried on the Mountain conduct an annual memorial ceremony. With the establishment of a Marine Corps League Detachment, the Mt. Rainier Detachment, in Enumclaw, Washington, the members received authorization to duplicate the Memorial.
The Memorial is located in the Veterans Park in Enumclaw, Washington on highway 410 leading up to Mt Rainier. Note: Highway 410 has been re-named the All American Highway, and is noted as the terminus of the Purple Heart Trail across America by the Order of the Purple Heart Association of the United States of America.
The Memorial Service for the 32 Marines that died on Mt.Rainier on Dec. 10, 1946 is held on the same day each year. It is the last Saturday in August. The last Saturday in August for 2003 is Aug. 30th. The Service starts at 12:00 noon and runs exactly one hour until 1:00 PM.
The Memorial Service is held in Enumclaw WA. in Enumclaw's Veterans Memorial Park which is located on cross state hiway 410. Enumclaw is a small town of approximately 11,000 people about 39 miles south of Seattle WA.
‘’1400, 24 August 1947...With silenced reverence, muffled drums and the flags at half mast, the officers and men of the Marine Corps pay `final' tribute to thirty two members of their Corps...''
Pvt. Duane R. Abbott - Pvt. Bobby J. Stafford
Pvt. Richard P. Trego - Pvt. Robert R. Anderson
Pvt. William D. St. Clair - Pvt. Charles W. Truby
Pvt. Joe E. Bainter - Pvt. Walter J. Stewart
Pvt. Harry R. Turner - MSgt. Charles F. Criswell
Pvt. John C. Stone - Pvt. Ernesto R. Valdovin
Maj. Robert V. Reilly - Pvt. Albert H. Stubblefield
Pvt. Gene L. Vremsak - LtCol. Alben C. Robertson
Pvt. Wiliam R. Sullivan - Pvt. Wiliam E. Wadden
Pvt. Lesslie R. Simmons Jr. - Pvt. Chester E. Taube
Pvt. Donald J. Walker - Pvt. Harry K. Skinner
Pvt. Harry L. Thompson Jr. - Pvt. Gilbert E. Watkins
Msgt. Wallace J. Slonina - Pvt. Duane S. Thornton
Pvt. Duane E. White - Pvt. Lawrence E. Smith
Pvt. Keith K. Tisch - Pvt. Louis A. Whitten
Pvt. Buddy E. Snelling - Pvt. Eldon D. Todd