Korean War veteran laid to rest in Ala. 62 years after his death - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Korean War veteran laid to rest in Ala. 62 years after his death

Marion E. Hooton.(Source: Family) Marion E. Hooton.(Source: Family)
Hooten was buried will full military honors. Source: WBRC video Hooten was buried will full military honors. Source: WBRC video
A servicemember presents Becky Elder with an American flag. Source: WBRC video A servicemember presents Becky Elder with an American flag. Source: WBRC video
Isaac Anderson, Sr. was also killed in the crash. His granddaughter attended Hooten's funeral. Source: Family Isaac Anderson, Sr. was also killed in the crash. His granddaughter attended Hooten's funeral. Source: Family
SYLACAUGA, AL (WBRC) -

A Korean War veteran was finally laid to rest in Sylacauga decades after his death.

Four days after his 23rd birthday, Airman First Class Marion Hooton died on a glacier near Anchorage, Alaska.

It took nearly 62 years, but on Friday afternoon, the Korean War Veteran was brought home to Sylacauga, Alabama.

Nearly 100 people turned out for the graveside service that included full military honors. 

Becky Elders sat as the oldest living relative of Hooton. Her uncle had seen her once when she was 6 months old. Three months later, he was killed.

“We always knew him as Uncle Sonny," she said. “And that's not his given name and the reason was because he had a real sunny disposition.”

During the Korean War, Hooton was stationed at a base in Tacoma, Washington but he routinely flew to a base in Anchorage.

On November 22, 1952 Hooton and 51 other crew and service members were on board a C-124 Globemaster plane when it hit the peak of a mountain and landed on Colony Glacier.

“And these glaciers move so the next spring when they went to recover the bodies they couldn't find the wreckage because of the snow that winter and the glacier moved,” explained fellow Airman Troy Green.

It wasn't until 60 years later that a National Guard crew fling a training mission spotted the remains. A short time later, Elders was contacted.

“Oh gosh, I was in shock,” she recalls. “It was like this is too long of a time span how in the world did this happen?"

Out of the 52 people on board, only 17 have been identified. 

Tonya Anderson's grandfather, Isaac Anderson, Sr., was on that plane with Hooton. But his remains haven't been identified yet. Still, she drove from Florida to attend Hooton's services.

“It gives us hope, gives us hope when they do the next set of identifications he'll be coming home,” Anderson explained after the service.

Since 2001 she's been pushing to bring all the victims home. She feels joy for Becky Elder's family today.

“I'm sure they're having a reunion up in Heaven just like we're having a reunion down here and I'm sure they're joining us in spirit,” Elders said.

Copyright 2014 WBRC. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • J-P: Finally, we're expecting a dry weekend

    J-P: Finally, we're expecting a dry weekend

    Monday, April 23 2018 4:52 PM EDT2018-04-23 20:52:11 GMT

    We'll continue to see a few showers in the forecast this week. The sky will be mostly cloudy through the rest of the afternoon with an occasional break in the overcast. Highs in the upper 60s.

    More >>

    We'll continue to see a few showers in the forecast this week. The sky will be mostly cloudy through the rest of the afternoon with an occasional break in the overcast. Highs in the upper 60s.

    More >>
  • Take Back Alabama: Unused medication disposal program

    Take Back Alabama: Unused medication disposal program

    Monday, April 23 2018 4:46 PM EDT2018-04-23 20:46:41 GMT
    Source: smartandsafeal.orgSource: smartandsafeal.org
    Source: smartandsafeal.orgSource: smartandsafeal.org

    Nearly 800 people died in Alabama in 2016 from drug overdoses, and there's something simple you can do to help lower that number. Take Back Alabama is a safe medication disposal program where you can take your unused over-the-counter and prescription medications. 

    More >>

    Nearly 800 people died in Alabama in 2016 from drug overdoses, and there's something simple you can do to help lower that number. Take Back Alabama is a safe medication disposal program where you can take your unused over-the-counter and prescription medications. 

    More >>
  • Facebook Marketplace warning

    Facebook Marketplace warning

    Monday, April 23 2018 4:14 PM EDT2018-04-23 20:14:30 GMT
    Source: WBRC videoSource: WBRC video
    Source: WBRC videoSource: WBRC video

    Good furniture at a great price: that's what customers say they expected from a shop on Facebook Marketplace called Southern Elegant Charm, but what several say they got was a ripoff.

    More >>

    Good furniture at a great price: that's what customers say they expected from a shop on Facebook Marketplace called Southern Elegant Charm, but what several say they got was a ripoff.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly