On October 16, 1972, then-House Majority Leader Thomas Hale Boggs, along with Alaska Rep. Nick Begich and one of Begich’s aides, were flying from Anchorage to Juneau when their twin engine Cessna 310 vanished into thin air. No trace of the plane, or its pilot and passengers, has ever been found.
Boggs was born in 1914 in Long Beach, Mississippi, and received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a law degree from Tulane University. He quickly became a public figure, working to break the political machine of then-Sen. Huey Pierce Long Jr., a Left-wing radical who criticized President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal as not being extreme enough.
At age 27, Boggs became the youngest member of Congress when he defeated incumbent Rep. Paul Maloney in the 1940 Democratic primary, which paved the way to victory, as he ran unopposed in the general election. During the next election, however, Boggs lost to Maloney and joined the U.S. Navy, serving in the final years of World War II.