NEW LONDON, Minn. - Whatever happened to Northwest Flight 2501 is one of the greatest aviation mysteries in the country.
58 people died when the flight, bound for Minneapolis, crashed into the icy waters of Lake Michigan.
The plane went down June 23, 1950, not one person survived and rescue teams never found the aircraft.
To this day the tragedy remains one of the biggest unsolved mysteries of our time and no one may know that more than a woman who now lives in New London.
"We were told that the airplane crashed," said Darlene Larson. "That he died and it was an accident, and that of course, he would never be back."
It would take years for Larson, who was five years old at the time, to fully grasp the death of her father. Leo Wohler, along with 57 others, made the front page of nearly every newspaper in America.
"I remember going downstairs after they told her and I climbed on her lap, that was tough," Larson said softly as she recalled the time she tried to comfort her mother.
Her mother Gladys lost the love of her life. She raised all seven kids on her own and never remarried. She died in 1998, never knowing exactly what happened.
Now, more than half a century later a dedicated team searches for the plane at the bottom of Lake Michigan.
"It will be nice to really find this airplane," said Raph Wilbanks, one of the nation's preeminent sonar operators.
Wilbanks, along with novelist Clive Cussler have teamed together to find lost vessels. In 1995 they found H L Hunley, a civil war submarine, off the Carolina coast. The two are determined to find NW Flight 2501.
Every year for the past nine, Wilbanks' crew has spent an entire month scanning the lake, on good days covering as many as two square miles.
Wilbanks estimates they've scanned more than 300 square miles so far.
"It's exciting for them and I think it would be exciting for us if they did find something," said Larson.
Crash researchers did find something several years ago, a grave site surviving family members never knew about.
"It was a mass grave and they had taken what bodies or body parts they found and cremated them and put them into a common grave," said Larson.
A ceremony for families in 2008 helped to bring some comfort, still more than 60 years later, more questions than answers remain.
"I'd like to see them successful in their search, and be able to piece together a nice piece of history for our country and closure for families," Larson said.
Of the 58 passengers, nine lived in Minnesota, including the three person crew.
Search crews say they'll continue to comb the lake until Memorial Day. If they don't find the wreckage, they'll be back next spring to dive again.
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