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.

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?

Press [Television]

WBNS 10TV Columbus, OH 5/16/08 WMV or YouTube

WTRF-TV7, Wheeler WV 5/17/08 WMV, Flash or YouTube

KFSN, Fresno  3/7/08 AVI [11.7 MB] or Flash [9.4 MB] or YouTube

KGPE, Fresno  3/7/08 AVI [14.1 MB] or Flash [9.0 MB] or YouTube

KFSN, Fresno, CA  8/21/07 WMV, 2:52 [9.5 MB]

KOMO, Seattle, WA  AVI, 3:10 [6.7 MB]

KFSN, Fresno, CA AVI file, 0:51 [7.0 MB] - an attenuated rebroadcast of the KOMO broadcast, above.

KTVU, Seattle, WA AVI, 0:58 [6.9 MB] MPEG2, 0:58 [9.9 MB]

KCAL9, Los Angeles  8/20/07 AVI, 1:32 [3.2 MB]

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.

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

Final Flight 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.



Final Flight Blog


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Peter Stekel

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This website is 2011 by Peter Stekel, All Rights Reserved. This page revised: November 30, 2010