Old yearbook photo spurs effort to find missing WWII pilot

By Chris Carola | Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — During World War II, four American servicemen who graduated from the same upstate New York high school had their photo taken for the yearbook: a Coast Guardsman, a Navy pilot, a sailor and a soldier. The pilot never made it home and is still listed as missing in action.

Now, 75 years after the four classmates went off to war, an effort to find the pilot’s Pacific crash site is in the works, thanks to that long-ago black-and-white snapshot.

“I can’t say no to a mystery that can be solved,” Justin Taylan, a New York-based WWII researcher involved in the project, told The Associated Press. “This plane can be found.”

The photo of John Marcil, John McGrath, Howard McAlonie and Alfred Mahoney was taken on steps outside Catholic Central High School, then located adjacent to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, near Albany. The young men had graduated from the school two years earlier. All four happened to be home on leave in October 1943 and visited the school at the same time. The photo appeared in the class of 1944’s yearbook along with pictures of other Catholic Central graduates serving in the military.

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Marcil went on to serve in the Coast Guard in the European and Pacific theaters. Mahoney served in the Army’s 10th Mountain Division in Italy. McAlonie and McGrath both wound up in the Pacific, where the two were reunited on Iwo Jima after McGrath landed his fighter plane on the airfield where McAlonie and his fellow Navy Seabees were stationed after Marines captured the Japanese-held island four months earlier.

McGrath, by then assigned to a Marine …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


Magnitude 7.5 quake rattles south, central Mexico

Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — A powerful earthquake has shaken south and central Mexico, causing people to flee buildings and office towers in the country’s capital, and setting off quake alert systems.

Crowds of people gathered on central Reforma Avenue in Mexico City as the ground shook.

The U.S. Geological Survey put the quake’s preliminary magnitude at 7.5 and said its epicenter was 2 kilometers southeast of Pinotepa in Oaxaca state. It had a depth of 43 kilometers.

A magnitude 7.1 earthquake in central Mexico on Sept. 19 left 228 people dead in the capital and 369 across the region.

…read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


Fiery crash closes freeway in SoCal, at least 4 dead

Associated Press

RIALTO — Police say a tractor-trailer plowed through the center divider of a Southern California freeway and rammed head-on into traffic. At least four people were killed in the fiery crash.

California Highway Patrol Officer Brian Alvarez says a drilling or cement pumping truck was heading west on Interstate 10 in Rialto when it plowed into oncoming traffic. At least four other cars and trucks were involved in the resulting crash.

TV reports showed the big-rig sprawled on its side near a box truck. Two burned, crushed cars were under the smaller truck.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The freeway has been closed and traffic was backed up for miles.

Alvarez says the route will remain closed until late Friday night.

…read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


Powerball jackpot stands at projected $223 million ahead of Saturday’s drawing

Nobody picked the winning numbers in Wednesday’s Powerball drawing, so a projected $223 million jackpot remains up for grabs as lottery officials prepare for Saturday night’s drawing.

Ticket sales are “very healthy,” said Russ Lopez, a spokesman for the California Lottery, but they haven’t reached the frenzy of ticket buying that attracts those who don’t usually play.

Forty-four states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington, D.C., participate in Powerball.

Since California joined in 2013, the jackpots have gotten significantly bigger and grow faster, Lopez said: “People are now expecting the big jackpots.”

In the past six years, the biggest jackpots for Powerball and Mega Millions ranged from $590.5 million to $1.6 billion. The largest-ever jackpot was split among three winners in January 2016.

…read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


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