NEW YORK – On a glacier in Greenland (search), a crew has just recovered the remains of 12 U.S. Naval aviators.
They hadn’t died recently. Their plane crashed during the Cold War (search) in 1962, killing all aboard. And now, after 42 years, the men of the LA-9 (search) are finally getting the homecoming they deserve.
The Navy is returning the men who died aboard the P-2V Neptune reconnaissance plane to their families, who worked for years to get the remains recovered and sent home.
Cmdr. Norbert Kozak was executive officer of the squadron and led his men on the Cold War-era mission to look for Soviet subs. But after takeoff, the crew gave one position report and was never heard from again.
A few years after the crash, the Navy did recover what they thought were all the remains, but some were either buried beneath the ice or spread across a field of debris.
It wasn’t until 1995 that a group of geologists surveying the area spotted the LA-9’s wreckage. Since then, the Navy has considered sending a crew to finish the job, but said the mission was too risky and weather too unpredictable — until now.
“We’re all just enormously grateful,” said Patty Masciantoni, Kozak's daughter. “I think there’s a collective sigh of relief now that this is over.”
Click on the video box at the top of this story to watch a report by FOX News' Heather Nauert.