GENEVA -- Mountain rescuers have recovered the propeller of a U.S. Air Force plane that crashed in November 1946 on a glacier in the Bernese Alps.

The crash of the Douglas C-53 Skytrooper on the Gauli Glacier marked the first time a rescue mission used an aircraft to land on a glacier and led to the creation of Switzerland's air rescue services.

The propeller was removed Thursday from the glacier and taken to nearby Gauli hut at 2,205 meters (7,234 feet).

Swiss newspaper Der Bund reported three young climbers found a piece of the propeller about three kilometers from the crash site in late July.

The plane went down in poor visibility on its way from Austria to Italy with four crew members and eight passengers, causing some injuries but no fatalities.

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  • Mountain rescuers recover the propeller of US warplane C-53 Skytrooper "Dakota" that crashed in 1946, on the Gauli glacier in the Bernese Alps, Switzerland, Thursday Aug. 9, 2012. Three young climbers discovered a propeller piece of the legendary airplane at the end of July 2012. The Dakota crash on the Gauli Glacier on Nov. 19, 1946 was a turning point in alpine rescue and an international media event. (AP Photo/Keystone, Gaetan Bally)

  • Kathrin Glauser, Archaeologist of the Canton of Berne, photographs the find spot of the propeller of US warplane C-53 Skytrooper "Dakota" that crashed in 1946, seen in foreground, on the Gauli glacier in the Bernese Alps, Switzerland, Thursday Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Keystone, Gaetan Bally)

  • Mountain rescuers recover the propeller of US warplane C-53 Skytrooper "Dakota" that crashed in 1946, on the Gauli glacier in the Bernese Alps, Switzerland, Thursday Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Keystone, Gaetan Bally)

  • Swiss Manuel Ruefener, left, and Swiss Peter Fluehmann, right, two of the three finders, pose next to the propeller of US warplane C-53 Skytrooper "Dakota" that crashed in 1946, on the Gauli glacier in the Bernese Alps, Switzerland, Thursday Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Keystone, Gaetan Bally)