Plane crash

A memorial service for victims of Northwest Flight 2501, which crashed into Lake Michigan on June 23, 1950, is held in 2008 at Riverview Cemetery in St. Joseph. The service included the placement of a black granite marker engraved with the names of the 58 victims. There are cemetery memorials in St. Joseph and in South Haven for the victims.

SOUTH HAVEN — Set your DVRs for 8 p.m. next Wednesday, as Discovery Channel’s “Expedition Unknown” host Josh Gates explores one of Lake Michigan’s greatest mysteries – the disappearance of Northwest Airlines Flight 2501. The three-hour episode is called “The Vanished Airliner.”

Gates and his film crew came to South Haven late last summer to learn more about the airplane that vanished into the depths of the Big Lake on the night of June 23, 1950. The DC-4 prop plane was carrying 55 passengers and a three-person crew. As they approached Lake Michigan around midnight, a powerful line of squalls loomed ahead causing three other westbound flights to turn around. Near Benton Harbor, the pilot requested to lower the plane’s altitude, but was denied. That was the last transmission received.