A mysterious disappearance.

On November 1st 1946, a B-17 “Flying Fortress” en route between Naples and London ploughs into the summit of the Aiguille des Glaciers, part of the Mont Blanc massif and disappears into the Glacier. The aircraft and its crew are lost..

The research and the discoveries.

Beginning in the 1970’s, as the Estelette glacier retreated, parts of the aircraft, its structure, instruments, clothing and personal effects began to emerge.

Commemoration of the crew.

The Italian-French Committee for the Commemoration of the B-17 of the Aiguille des Glaciers brings together enthusiasts who for years have dedicated time to searching for remains of the B-17, and the relatives of the crew with the intention of commemorating the story of the B-17 and its crew.

Meeting at Bourg St. Maurice

Sunday, 02 January 2011 23:01

Anne Gianni e Damien

A meeting took place at Bourg St. Maurice between members of the Committee and the Mayor of the town, to begin the discussions about how the commemoration should be organized on the French side. In the photo: Anne Lofton Cobb, President of the Committee, Gianni Boschis, Research Coordinator in Italy and Damien Perry, Mayor of Bourg St. Maurice.


Contact with relatives of William Hilton

Saturday, 18 December 2010 23:50

This is the message from Sergeant William Hilton’s cousin S/SGT William Hilton:

Thank you both for contacting me . . . I am indeed a cousin of William Hilton . . . his mother was a sister to my great-grandpa . . . FYI . .
. in case y'all don't already know . . . there are findagrave pages
set up for each member of this crew . . . Hilton's page is . . .
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=49204442 . . . I also have a page set up for Hilton at ancestry.com . . . with links to
known family members . . . I will have to invite you to view the page . . . let me know if you are interested . . . I have not yet located
any living descendants of William Hilton . . . he had a son who died in 1960 at age 17 . . . if there were other children, I have not found
them . . . I would love to have access to any additional info y'all may have . . . I was not aware of this story until I started
researching William last month . . . thanks for contacting me . . .

Vickie Everhart

Dallas, Texas


Contact with the nephew of Colonel Upham

Wednesday, 15 December 2010 10:40

We made direct contact with Colonel Hudson H. Upham’s family. We got in touch with his nephew through the “armyairforce.com” forum. We discovered that unfortunately, Upham’s wife had died recently, in April 2010, Here is the nephew’s message:

Hello, I am the grandson of Col. Hudson Upham. I have some more information about Hudson and about the funeral held 1 November 1946 at the headquarters of the 99th Bataillon de Infanterie Alpine, Bourg St. Maurice, France, if it would be of interest to you.


Colonel Upham’s grave.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010 11:02

Lapide del pilota HauphamThis gravestone in Arlington National Cemetery, provides an answer to one of our questions. As can be see, it cites all members of the crew, confirming the theory that none of the remains could be positively identified.


Initial findings in the US archives

Monday, 13 December 2010 11:10

Research conducted in the Pentagon archives has unearther information about three of the Sergeants aboard the aircraft. They were the youngest, and mainly single or married recently. For this reason, it seems unlikely they had children.
However, it appears that William Hilton has a cousin who has loaded a biography of Sgt Hilton on the Web. We are trying to make contact with him.

FileDescriptionFile size
Download this file (report_sottoufficiali.pdf)Report sottoufficiali 68 Kb

Colonel Upham’s “dog-tag” found

Wednesday, 08 December 2010 23:41

Piastrina Colonnello Hudson Hutton

As the result of a TV broadcast in the Aosta Valley on November 30th last year, we were cvontacted by a member of the Milan branch of the Italian Alpine Club, who during an excursion in the ‘70’s had found an ID tag bearing the name of Colonel Upham.

Up until then, he had no idea what it was nor how it had got there.


Bourg Saint Maurice. Burial service

Tuesday, 07 December 2010 23:47

InumazioneYesterday, at Bourg St. Maurice, a touching burial service took place, with the inhumation of a tiny coffin containing a fragment of bone discovered last summer by Frédéric Blond. Anne Cobb, President of the B-17 Committee and daughter of the plane’s co-pilot attended the ceremony. Here are her impressions:

Dear friends,
Yesterday I was in Bourg Saint Maurice for the burial of the bone fragment reported by Frederick last summer.
The Mayor held a small but moving ceremony.
We first went to the Gendarmerie to have the bone sealed in the small coffin which the mayor had brought.
Then we went to the cemetery to place it in the ossuary.
There were a dozen people including representatives of veterans who wanted to be present to honor those who have restored freedom.
I really felt that after 64 years, I was finally attending the funeral of my father even though, of course, there is no evidence that the bone was his. But is the crew not joined together for ever? It is due to all your efforts that I have had his great happiness and I would like to express my gratitude.
We can count on the support of the City of Bourg for the ceremony next summer. The Mayor is a man of heart. I must see him again during the Christmas holidays.
The press was also present: the Dauphine Libere and Savoy. I will try to recover the items. We are all now awaiting the Italian-French meeting this summer.
With much love


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Bourg Saint Maurice


Comune di Courmayeur


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