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Mt. Tobin, NV Marine Corps Plane Crashes, Jan 1968


Battle Mountain, Nev. (UPI) -- A four-engine Marine Corps plane with 15 to 19 persons aboard was lost in a storm over the Nevada wilderness Wednesday night.
Air Force officials said the C54 craft apparently crashed after the pilot reported he was "dropping fast" with heavy icing on the wings.
Two search planes were turned back by darkness, but a ground party continued to search in the area where the plane lost radio contact, about 32 miles west of this northern Nevada community.
The Air Force at Hamilton Air Force Base, Calif., which was co-ordinating the search, said the plane was en route from Quantico (Va.) Marine Base to Seattle, Wash. It had made a refueling stop at Buckley Field, near Denver, Colo.
Radio contact with the C54 was lost at 1:50 p.m. PST (4:50 p.m. EST).
The Federal Aviation Agency said the pilot last radioed from 12,000 feet that the plane was "dropping fast." This was between Elko and Reno.

Nevada State Journal Reno 1968-01-12




Battle Mountain (UPI) -- The bodies of 12 members of a Marine combat instruction team, along with 7 crew members of their transport plane, were found Thursday in the Nevada wilderness.
A ground party which reached the scene of the plane crash said, "They didn't have a chance." The bodies were to be removed Friday from the side of 9.779-foot Mt. Tobin.
The C54 smashed into the desolate mountain area of Northern Nevada Wednesday. It apparently crashed near the top of the mountain and slid down 2,000 feet, according to the rescue unit which reached the area from a narrow mountain road.
A 13th passenger, Lance Cpl. ROBERT A. BEARD, en route home on leave, left the plane during a stop in Denver and flew home to Edmunds, Wash.
The plane, on a flight from Denver, Colo., to Seattle, Wash., was last heard from Wednesday afternoon when the pilot radioed it was "dropping fast" with heavy icing in its wings.
Marine officials said the passenters[sic] included a warfare presentation team on a 10-day tour of Western military bases to instruct U.S. servicemen on techniques of amphibious landings.
Early Thursday, 35 military and civilian aircraft, coordinated by Hamilton Air Force Base authorities, began criss-crossing the rugged terrain near Mt. Tobin, located 40 miles southwest of the town of Battle Mountain and 120 miles northeast of Reno.
At the report the wreckage had been sighted, two ground rescue teams were dispatched, one from Battle Mountain and one from Lovelock.
"We're going to have a rough time," said Pershing County Sheriff DAN HIGGINS. "We can't get all the way in on roads and we'll probably have a hard time getting the bodies out."
The rescue teams, traveling on foot and in four-wheel-drive trucks, packed medical supplies, food and radios for the trip up the mountain where nighttime temperatures recently have dropped below zero.
Military spokesmen said the plane took off Monday from Quantico, Va., and landed the same date at Buckley Air National Guard Station in Colorado.
The team gave a presentation at nearby Lowry A.F.B. Tuesday and left the base shortly before noon Wednesday bound for Seattle.
Last radio contact with the transport was five hours later when the icing condition developed at an altitude of 12,000 feet.

Nevada State Journal Reno 1968-01-13


Col. James R. Priddy

I am a curator with the National Museum of the Marine Corps. I would like to speak to you regarding your father, can you please contact me at your earliest convenience. My apologies for reaching out to you via this website but this is the only place I could contact you.

Gretchen Winterer

The Parting

Iam Bruce Priddy . My Dad was killed on that plane crash too. His name was Col James Reed Priddy.. He was good friends was Col Dobson. I was wornding if there were any more copies of the parting out there??. Iam sorry for your loss in 68. I was 10 and we lived in the city of Tustin in Orange County Calif. Didn t you guys live in the same city??Well Hope to hear from you soon.... Bruce Priddy

Niece of Pilot Charles Dobson

My Wife is the Niece of Charles Dobsons wife Dorthy who just recentl past away. They were very close and our son was named after Charles. We have the book "The Parting" which she wrote after the crash. It would mean a lot to have something that may have belonged to Colonel Charles Dobson.

1968 crash marine c-54 50850

I was crew chief on 50850 before being discharged on December 7 1967. I knew most of the crew and was especially fond of Dan Gunsales.

Lost brother in plane crash

My brother Sgt. Alan George Fedorick was killed in the crash also. If it is still possible, I would appreciate the site photos and audio recording of the crash. If the information is available I would also like to know what his last moments were like. He spent 14 months in Viet Nam and died nine months later when the plane went down. He was 23 and I was 18. We did not see him very much after he returned from Nam and he was not ready to talk about it. I am sure all of us who lost someone in this crash and other disasters wonder how our lives would have been if our family member was still with us. It is something that has been with me since. Finding this site has been a big help. Thank you all for posting your thoughts.

Mt. Tobin Plane Crash

My brother Alan also died in the crash. He was 23. I just discovered this site and am interested in any information on the crash circumstances, pictures, and any other information available.

Mt. Tobin Plane Crash 1968

I still have the tape , if you would like I can send it to you. Sincerely, Capt. Ron

Mt. Tobin

I was interested in the photos you took of the crash site on Mt. Tobin. I lost my Brother in that crash. Is there a view place where one could view the crash site from the highway?


Hi Ron
My dad was on that plane. I was worndering if you still had the tape?

Hello Connie Re: Mt. Tobin Marine Plane crash

Connie, My brother, Master Sargent Daniel Francis Gunsalus was killed in that crash. I would be very grateful for any information you might have. And would like to have pictures of the crash site and a medalion. I would love to try and visit the site or nearby if not possible. Please contact me

article | by Dr. Radut