|Death: ||Oct. 16, 1965|
was a U.S. Air Force lieutenant in the 1950s who was unjustly accused of giving a Lockheed T-33A trainer jet to the USSR during the Cold War.
Lieutenant Steeves was ordered to fly the jet from Hamilton Air Force Base near San Francisco, California to Craig Air Force Base near Selma, Alabama in May 9, 1957. Steeves and the jet disappeared, and he was declared dead after a search turned up nothing. However, Steeves appeared out of the Sierra Nevada the following July, saying he parachuted after something blew up in the jet and he hadn't eaten for two weeks when found a ranger's cabin in Kings Canyon National Park where he found fish hooks, beans and a canned ham.
When the Air Force could not find any wreckage, Steeves was accused of giving the jet to Russia or shipping it piecemeal to Mexico. Even though no charges were brought against the lieutenant, he requested discharge from the Air Force, which was granted.
After returning to civilian life, Steeves found work flying experimental models of new aircraft and designing his own craft. In 1965, Steeves was killed in a demonstration flight of a new aircraft.
In 1977, some Boy Scouts from Los Angeles on a hiking trip in Dusy Basin in Kings Canyon National Park came across a cockpit cover. The serial number on it matched the missing T-33A jet that Steeves had piloted.
Eric Blehm, author of The Last Season, is currently [summer 2008] at work on a book about Lt. Steeves
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Searches are still being conducted in the Eastern Sierra Mountain Range for the remaining portions of the aircraft.
Harold Steeves (1904 - 1967)
Elsie Louise Monnier Steeves (1904 - 1992)
Created by: Sharon
Record added: Jul 16, 2009
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