Memories of a Navigator

From: The B-47 Stratojet – Centurion of the Cold War

 By Col Alexander, USAF (Ret).


B-47 Memorial Re-Dedicated

In February and May 1961, two 40th Bomb Plot. Bomb Wing B-47’s crashed while on runs against the Ironwood bomb plot. The crashes occurred within two miles of each other in the forest, about 14 miles south of Hurley, Wisconsin. Six crew members lost their lives. On 24 February Captain J P Garrett, Lt TM Stalmach, Lt G H Hanify and Lt C. F. Weise were all killed when their aircraft went in. Later, on 2 May, Lt D D. Hariton and Capt D. B. Rasmussen lost their lives while Capts F. Mead and John Hill survived.  About twenty years ago an individual built a small memorial on the site of the second crash. About two years ago, members of the local NCO Association undertook a project to refurbish the memorial.  Retired Army Sgt Curt Meyers headed this project and in a short time the group raised over $20,000 for the memorial.

On 28 June 2014, the site was dedicated with a community wide celebration and the presence of Capt. Rasmussen’s entire family. The citizens of the town of Hurley demonstrated their patriotism and deep appreciation for the sacrifices of Cold War Warriors such as those who flew and maintained the B-47.  The site was officially designated as a Wisconsin State Memorial and is open to the public at all times.  For its precise location, contact the Hurley WI Chamber of Commerce.  Bomb Wing B-47’s crashed while on runs against the Ironwood

2 thoughts on “Memories”

  1. In 1961, my Father was called that morning to the crash site. I was 11 years old and went with him to the crash site. He was also on the team that attended to the first crash site as well. We were some of the first people who found the crash site. I recently came across never seen before photo slides of the site taken by my father. I sort of remember finding Capt. Rasmussen’s ID Card, which I not sure whether I still have it.

  2. It just so happens that I am the son of Capt. John T. Hill, Sr. who indeed survived the crash that day. We were stationed at Forbes AFB in Topeka, KS. I was about 10 years old at that time but can still remember the base commander and the Chaplain pulling up in front of the house flags fluttering from the front fenders of their car. Mom fainted at the sight and I was speechless, all of the families knew what this likely meant. Hours later after many visits from wives and neighbors, and lots of food, we received “the call” which was picked by her best friend and then handed to mom….it was good news for us as you know. I am, of course, honored to see this memorial posted and for the efforts of the community of Hurley, WI. God bless you all!

    John T. Hill, Jr.

Leave a Reply

Preserving the legacy of the Boeing B-47 StratoJet Bomber