FINAL FLIGHT is the story of William Gamber, John Melvin Mortenson, Ernest Glenn Munn, and Leo Mustonen. They were a United States Army Air Forces pilot and three aviation cadets lost in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks on November 18, 1942 during a navigation training mission.

A Mystery in the High Sierra

In October 2005, two mountaineers climbing above Mendel Glacier in the High Sierra found the mummified remains of a man in a WW II uniform, entombed in the ice. The "Frozen Airman" discovery created a media storm and a mystery that drew author Peter Stekel to investigate. What did happen to the four-man crew who perished on a routine navigation training flight in 1942, 150 miles off-course from its reported destination?

Stekel found bad weather, bad luck, and bad timing. Empty graves, botched records, and misguided recovery efforts. Then, in 2007, the unimaginable happened again. Stekel himself discovered a second body in the glacier. Another young man would finally be coming home.


Read about Peter Stekel's newest book project,

Beneath Haunted Waters

THIS article from the New York Times about a Coast Guard airplane lost in a Greenland glacier in 1942 is very interesting. I wish I had $1 million for my project!

Through meticulous research, interviews, and mountaineering trips to the site, Stekel uncovered the story of these four young men. Final Flight explores their ill-fated trip and the misinformation surrounding it for more than 60 years.

The book is a gripping account that's part mystery, part history, and part personal journey to uncover the truth of what happened on November 18, 1942.

In the process Stekel narrates the young aviators' last days and takes us on their final flight.



Final Flight Blog


Book Review and Author Interviews

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Images [Glacier] [Wreckage] [Other]

Peter Stekel

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Order Final Flight HERE

Final Flight is distributed by Publishers Group West [PGW]. See their write-up on Final Flight HERE with a sample chapter.

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This website is 2012 by Peter Stekel, All Rights Reserved.