Clifford Eugene Phillips "Buster" was born in Overton Co. Tennessee in 1921.  He was killed in a plane crash on September 18, 1944 on Mt. Slope Alaska. 




Pam Kramer, Buster's niece recalls that Buster's plane crashed into the highest mountain in Alaska. Search and rescue could not begin searching for the downed plane until the spring time. The plane was found, however, no bodies were found. Pam said that food was dropped around the crash for about six months. Searchers were not sure if it was animals or people taking the food. Thirteen years later, bodies were found but not identified. The people they had found had lost their minds and it was never confirmed that any of the bodies was Uncle Buster. Pam said that Buster was in the CC's (another part of the service) before the Army.

According to the U.S. Army Air Forces Aircraft Accident Report, Clifford Phillips (Buster) was killed when the C47 Transport plane crashed into Mt. Slope on September 18, 1944.


Buster's Aircraft Accident Report JPEG Format
Buster's Aircraft Accident Report PDF Format


Power Point Presentation of the 1944 expedition to locate the downed C-47


This report is courtesy of John H. Cloe, GS-12, DAF Chief of History, 3 WG, 11 AF/ANR and ALCOM

18 Sep 1944 (Mon): A C-47A (42-15378), assigned to Northwest Airlines, crashed 17 miles east-northeast of Mt. McKinley into the side of Mt. Deception, killing all 19 aboard.  Northwest Airlines pilot, Capt R. Proebsle  and First Officer L.H. Blewen served as crew members along with Army PFC James Gordon, steward.  The C-47 was approximately 35 miles off course en route from Anchorage to Fairbanks with sixteen passengers aboard, including one civilian, who were heading for leave in the  states after service in the Aleutians . Captain Proebsle and his crew took off at 1604 on a regularly scheduled flight with stops in Fairbanks , Edmonton and Minneapolis . They submitted their last report over Talkeetna.  The crew apparently was flying at 12,000 feet when they encountered a severe downdraft, which forced them to go on instruments into the clouds.  The C-47 hit belly first with the fuselage splitting open, then caromed down a precipitous slope coming to rest a third of a mile down from the point of impact.  Bodies were spread in a several hundred feet area in all directions.  The authorities decided not to recover them because of avalanches dangers and the rugged surrounding area. (Hist, Alaskan Wing, ATC, Sep-Oct 1944, pp. 27-29., w/attached report, USAAF Northern Region Contract DAW535-AC-35714, Preliminary Narrative Report-Accident 5738, 28 Sep 1944.)