This is a list of virtually all known known B-47 losses covering from 1949 through Dec 1965. From the XB-47 all the way through the years the B-47s flew. Thanks to several who contributed to this list and are listed on the last page. A special thanks to Mike Bennett of the “Project Get Out And Walk” at http://www.ejection-history.org.uk/ for his work and helpful sharing.
In memory of a plane crash
An Air Force bomber crashed on Emigrant Peak in 1962. Remembering the men who died has become one man’s mission
Emigrant Peak B-47 Crash Memorial – Montana from Homefire Productions on Vimeo.
200 thoughts on “B-47 Losses”
I have been in contact with Earl McGill about the crash of B-47 52-0770
on Oct.29, 1954 based at Forbes AFB Topeka KS. I am trying to locate the crash site with the hope to erect some sort of memorial as close to the site as possible. I know the general area and have driven around the rural roads
close to the site with no luck. Newspaper accounts are not much help.
If anyone in this group has information on this event I would like to hear from you.
Cell # 913-406-1106 Mon. thru Fri. 9AM-3Pm CST
I was there and as far as I know the RB-47 took off to the South East and just got in the air when it stalled and crashed. I have to admit the mechanics that worked on these planes were bad at best
I am the daughter of 1st Lt. John Wilson Smith, who was lost along with two other men when their plane went down February 3, 1959 in Little Rock, AR. I have the original newspaper accounts and information regarding that. My father died before I was born; my parents were only married six months. My mother never spoke of him and I never knew his side of the family; she remarried. If anyone who knew him or knew of him would contact me, I would greatly appreciate it. If I am posting in the wrong place on this site, I apologize. email@example.com
Hello Willie; I was stationed at Dyess 59 to 62 and was in the 341st.
Yes there was a 47 that went down in or around Montana in summer of 62. I was working transiet alert at the time. This is about all I know of the incident. It was very hush, hush
I was stationed at Dyess 58-62.. There was a 341st crash off the end of the runway as the result of a JATO alert take off fire.. All ejected but the crew Chief. Chute probably would not have opened because of the proximity to ground. Nav was pretty banged up.
Hi Johnna…I used to hunt on the land where his plane went down. Landowner told me about it. Look at a map of Cabot Arkansas where Hwy 321 (not yet constructed at that time) intersects with 67/167. You will also see where 321 has a railroad bridge just to the east. It crashed right in between there where a bowling alley, formerly a wooded area, now sits. You will also see, if you zoom out…It was in-line for approach to LRAFB.
As a fourth grader, my dad was a B-47 navigator at LRAFB. I recall a classmate’s father died in a crash right around that time. The boy’s name was Greg Moke. After that we never saw or heard from him.
Were you in Miss Early’s class?
I was stationed at Dyess AFB, Tx back in the early 1960s. I was attached to the 341st and it later became the 96th Bomb Wing. While I was there we had B-47s and later B-52s. I was under the impression that we lost a B-47 somewhere in Montana in the 60s prior to going to the B-52. Can someone confirm this and any story thereto.
Yes July 23 rd 1962 just nouth of Yellowstone park on emigant pk.tail # 52-390 all four on bord killed.
My father was the pilot of the B-47 that crashed in July 1962. There is going to be a memorial this July at the crash site to honor the 4 men that died.
Let me tell you a true story of exactly what hapened that fatefull day. The tail # was?? -0333 . It started with me just coming off of alert and I was making out my paperwork . when a master sgt said Stephens I need a crew chief to just get the bird off the ground & stupid me said ok. Simple just get A B47e off the ground 2 hrs at the most haha. Learned quick don’t volunteer for nothing.. When I got to the bird and read the forms and saw that the day before had problems with engine #3.So I checked all the engines for oil usage. The # 3 engine took 6 quarts of oil but engine shop had run the engine for 3 hours containously and they said and at all settings was fine no problems. But in the back of my mind a little mouse was telling me to start this engine as I was qualified to run engines. So we set up to start this engine . Then the flight crew arrived and we had to stop . I remembered this crew because the Navagator was wearing a pearled handled colt 45 slung under his arm. On engine start the pilot ran # 3 engine and I checked 3s after the run and only used 1qt of oil , which was perfect. So I pushed the ladder up and closed and locked the hatch. Led the bird out and especially watched its takeoff. At this time it was using equally the same amout of water alchol that was normal. That night I heard that we had lost one of our aircraft and he took 1000 ft of a montana Mountain. But it say what bird it was or if everyone had ejected ok. The next morning as Iwas preparing to start to work a man in civilian clothes was asking everyone their who was crew chief qualified and 3 of us raised our hands. He said if we had a change of clothing close. He led us to a bus and then said we were going to a crash site to Identify aircraft parts. That was a big lie were their to help find the BODYS, OR PARTS THERE OF. When we got to the site we were told that we would there with a medical person and if we found anything we were to put a red flag at the site and call for assistance. Still not telling us what the tail number was. And I really had any idea that I was in the HOT SEATas being the last person to see these people alive. Well I told my med tec that There was a trail up the mountain that I thought it might where one of the ejection seats might have left a trail. We followed the marks until they stopped and called for a shovel to dig and the first that we found at about 3 to five feet down was a HELMET BUT NO BODY . then I saw something very shiny in the dirt and it was a but of a gun pearled handed. THEN THERE WAS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND WHO WAS INSIDE THIS HELMET. As I later found out that a man that was over 6 four and 200 lbs was completely inside this helmet. WE BOTH CALLED THAT WE HAD FOUND A BODY OR WHAT WAS LEFT OF IT. I TOLD THE MEN THAT WERE IN CHARGE THAT I WAS THE CREW CHIEF THAT HAD LAUNCHED THIS BIRD THE DAY BEFORE. THEN TOLD ME THAT I WASN’T SUPPOSED TO BE THERE PERIOD .But this was a little late, then called a military policeman who escorted me back to Mountain Home, and to forget what I had seen there period, and not to talk to anyone about what I had seen that day. There were at least 50 newsmen asking me what that I had found but this time I did what I was told to do keep my big mouth shut until the inquiry. This is not only true but I still have nightmares even after many years later.
Retired SAC TEC SERGENT RAMOND STEPHENS.
IF NEEDED .
Raymond, “Appendix I” of my book, Jet Age Man: SAC B-47 & B-52 Operations in the early Cold War lists all B-47 losses. The nearest listing I can find happened on May 3, 1963 as the result of a mid-air collision. The listed tail # is 52-0051.
Raymond, Were you stationed at Mt. Home? I also worked on that plane there. The last I heard of it, it had cracked wings. I worked on 555 most all of my enlistment until March 1961. We had the 1,000th on time takeoff with triple nickle.
Willie: My name is Kent Mosdale. I was in Launch and Recovery at the time if the incident. All I remember was a maj. Spaulding, an I/P Stanboard came back and told us that we had lost one of our planes. He said the plane was desending on initial entry for a low level bomb run and hit the mountain in front of him…That’s all I remember…
Kent – perhaps you are the same Mosdale that I was at Dyess when this accident occurred. I was in the 341st OMS when we first got to Dyess and transferred to the 96th OMS when the 341st was disbanded.
I was with Tony Bozewicz,Don Chaney, Rick Marshall and that bunch.
Like to hear from you if you’re the same guy.
Kent – I think I was at Dyess with you. Like to hear from you.
Kent – I think I was at Dyess with you. My name is Tony Pirrello and I hung around with Don Chaney,Rick Marshall,Tony Bozewich and that group.
Like to hear from you.
4th November 1958
Maj. Don E. Youngmark AC ejected
Captain John M. Gerding Co-Pilot ejected
Captain John M. Dowling navigator ejected
S/Sgt. Robert E. Schneider refused to bailout into the flames that were engulfing the aircraft and died in the subsequent crash.
22th November 1958
27th November 1958 [also seen as 26th]
96th BW, Dyess AFB, TX.
On the takeoff roll an ATO bottle exploded setting the rear end of the fuselage. The AC managed to get the aircraft to where the crew ejected safely. The aircraft was carrying a nuclear weapon but there was no explosion. This happened on a Fly out after an alert with a bomb on board I change it to our outfit 96th Bomb Sq.
Dont know if any of you guys know…my dad James Diamond lost his fight with cancer july 3 2014.We all knew our Dad was very proud of his service with all of you guys in the Air Force.We will all miss him very much Love you Pop,your boy Curtis
I knew your Dad by email correspondence over many years. I was unaware of his condition and got a shock at news of his passing. We were “electronic” friends if you can call it that. A good one too.
Your father was instrumental in helping us build a Memorial in Hurley WI for two B-47s that crashed in 1960. Without his help it would not of been possible for us to raise over $20,000 and build a great Memorial for the crew members who perished so long ago.
January 9th 1961, the pilots name way Byron Foster,not Bryson…He was a good friend of my dads who also flew the 47…I remember hearing stories of this terrible accident as a child…just thought you might want to correct it…thanks
I knew Bryron Foster when I was a navigator in the First Bomb Squadron at Mt. Home AFB, Idaho. He was a charming guy and a good pilot. I was sad to learn of the crash that killed him. By that time he had transferred to another base and I was flying with the USAF reserve at March AFB, California.
Very nice to hear. I will let his sister know about your comment.
See my reply to Clint.
Hi. I am one of Byron Foster’s children. Would love to hear anything you can tell me about my dad. I don’t have any memories of him.
Bob Faucett: My father, Loren Buckey, was commander of the 1st Bomb Squadron at the time Byron Foster was killed. I remember my dad talking about Byron numerous times as I was growing up. His wife, Yvonne, kept in touch with my parents for decades. My dad passed away in 2008 in Sacramento, CA. Michele Buckey Vinson
Yes, the name is Byron Foster–not Bryson. I noted this several weeks ago when I first saw the list.
He was a blood relative of mine and a big hero of my youth. I remember the shock of hearing about the accident and I’ve thought of him many times over the years.
Day before yesterday, I called his older sister and told her about what I’d found. We talked a long while about his career and I learned lots I didn’t know. (A timeline of his career is on her todo list.) When I read her the crash description, she said it wasn’t what the family was told.
Anyway, both of us want to see the name corrected here and she has eagerly accepted the task. I’m quite sure she’s more than capable of getting the fix done.
I will let her know about your comment; I’m sure she will appreciate it.
Interesting to read that you were a blood relative of my dad. I never knew him, 4 years old when he died and simply can’t remember him. Unfortunately, my mother never kept up with his side of the family. Now that I am older, I would love to know about his side of the family and meet or at least talk to them.
I am one of Byron Foster’s children. I would love to get in contact with his sister. I was too young when he died and my mother, unfortunately never kept up with his side of the family. I am trying to figure out how to reach out and connect with them.
Was your dad Mike Crawford? I am one of Byron Foster’s daughters. I have a picture of my dad, Mike Crawford and Dave Dempster.
I am one of Byron Foster’s children. I remember hearing stories about my dad, Mike Crawford, and Dave Dempster.
Sorry we won’t see you in Oregon. We are in Arizona on vacation. Just read Jet Age Man about the B 47. Might be a good a good B 47 background book for you. Kindle edition is inexpensive.
Thanks for all your work on this listing. My father was the pilot on the accident listed February 5, 1956 out of Walker AFB. The reason for the crash was debated; both my father and the a/c commander differed with the USAF. However, neither explanation matches the one reported here. Happy to report all crewmembers survived the crash. Plane crash landed in the snow, a highly unusual occurrence in New Mexico! Thanks.
If this was the crash in the snow my dad had taken off earlier and he said the whole horizon lit up when the airplane exploded. He looked down and watched the fuselage skidding across the snow. He also said he almost puked in his mask. The squadron was leaving on TDY and they thought the crew was dead until they landed. Then learned the crew survived.
According to pop the AC retracted the flaps prematurely and the aircraft struck a telephone pole, spearing the fuselage tank and spilling the contents. That was the explosion my dad saw. On impact the canopy blew off and snow and dirt were plowed into the cockpit, which kept the fire off the crew and saved their lives. When the aircraft stopped the crew jumped out. My mom mentioned the navigator forgot to disconnect and was dangling by his mask, which would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.
Pop didn’t have anything good to say about the AC, who had almost run over him on an earlier mission on a bomb range when he became lost and turned back to find the target. I believe the AC was invited to not fly for the Air Force anymore. Pop flew IP and was chief of Stand Board for 509th at Pease later.
Mr. Ellison, just saw your post when reading Claire Benson’s re: my father’s crash. I believe this is the same one based on your father’s description of what he saw. Many thanks for sharing his story. The premature flap retraction was, I believe, the official finding of SAC as cause of the crash. My father and the A/C felt differently. My dad said he looked left out of the cockpit and the engines suddenly exploded, temporarily blinding him. The A/C took over flying. The plane hit the pole after the explosion. My father felt very badly for the A/C. He flew during WWII. It was the end of his career. I am thankful he could bring a damaged B-47 safely to the ground, sparing my father’s life and everyone else’s on board. Like so many other brave men who flew B-47s and served during the early Cold War, I always thought he deserved a medal.
Staff Sergent Clair Benson my buddies called me ( Benny). I was in the 715th bomb squadron 509th bomb wing. We were going TDY to Upper Hayford Air base in England. It had snowed about one foot That day and was vary cold. It was on February 5, 1956. Your Father’s plane had just taken off and we were next, We were on the runway ready to go When we seen the AC explode. The tower called us back in. After I got my plane put to bed, I went to my room. a bunch of us airmen were sitting around felling sorry for the buddy’s we had lost, when the crew chief of the downed AC came in to the room. He told us that the plane hit a power line, the line was 115,000 volts,One of the poles tour the side of the plane out and the snow coming in saved his life.He said that every one got out. He said that a farmer picked them up and brought back to the Base in his jeep. Next morning they had the ground crew drain all the water alcohol out of the planes that were left. Seems the weather was to cold and the water alcohol blew up 2 engines on the plane. My plane took off on the 6th of February with a J-47 engine in the bomb bay, we landed in Sidi Slimane Morocco 111/2 hours latter all but 4 planes were there weighting for engine change’s. Seems the water alcohol was to much thrust and moved the compressor ahead and broke off all the rotor and stater blades on compressor firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Benson, I am very grateful for you sharing this story. You provided detail and a perspective we previously didn’t have. Don’t think my father knew it. He passed away May 1, 2015. Dad used to laugh about the crew being picked up in the Jeep! He was grateful, too, though. The water alcohol factor is new info, most interesting, and don’t think was ever considered as a formal explanation for the crash. Again, many thanks. Best to you.
I found a wing from 53-2119 which crashed on 1-16-62 on a training run from Plattsburgh this summer. It is fairly good shape, measured the section to be 33ft long,
I am also looking to find a Sgt Roden who was at the AFB then if anyone has contact info please give him my contact info.
I had a teacher in Austin TX in 1965 who was a widow whose husband was killed in an airplane crash, I just knew her as Mrs. Roden, they had just one child, a daughter born about 59 or 60.
This aircraft must be the one that hit Wright Peak in the Algonquin range in the Adirondacks, very close to the top of the peak. I sent information here several years ago, but none of it is on this site. On the peak a year or two later, they had put a memorial plaque on the rock at the impact site. There was a main gear strut and a compressed engine core at the site. The wing had been pushed off the side, but could be seen for miles. It shone like a mirror. The debris field was huge, giving credence to information that the B-47 was at cruise or something close to it when impact occurred. I was thirteen the first time I saw the wreckage. The noise was heard as far as sixty miles away. Went there two or three times more in the sixties. very sobering for us young folks.
Meant for ADK Ranger about 1-16-62 loss
link of interest
I am struck with the crash list. That’s a lot of airplanes of the same mark to crash. I’m sure other types have similar records, but it stuns when you read the list..
What is your crash list? One I saw was at that time at Lake Charles crashed on take off. For some reason it turned upside down crashing at the end of the runway it belonged to the 44th.
This might be the crash I saw. We were number 2 lining up for take off behind them and saw fire ball explosion as it went off the end at more than 100 mph. The aircraft commander’s name was Danny; don’t remember last name.I was a co-pilot and heard my aircraft commander say; Oh God there goes Danny! all 3 crew members died.It was daylight and we were ordered to return and shut down along with number 3. All flights were cancelled the rest of the day.The year was 1956 or 57.I was in the 44th BW 67th BS. Chelsie Branson was my AC.
B-47E 51-7042 crash NV. I have located, visited and am investigating the crash site. lots of wreckage remains on site. If anyone has information concerning this accident please contact me. email@example.com
18 August 1955; B-47B 50-029. Richard M. Lunning, Instructor pilot; Charles K. Taylor, Pilot; Oswald E. Barnes. Compressor stall number 2 engine, after a touch-n-go. Was able to make close pattern and land. Fire destroyed the engine and totaled the aircraft.
Location; McConnell air Force Base (Wichita, KS)
I saw the 035 go down as I was working on the flight controls of another B 47. It seemed to be in a normal landing pattern when it suddenly rolled into the banked wing. and crashed a few hundred yards from the Cessna Aircraft Factory. I was a B-47 hydraulic mechanic assigned to the 3520th field maintenance sqdn
My name is Joe. My Pop was a pilot with the 100th between 58 and 63, IIRC. I was just a kid of 8 in 63. I remember living on 31 Birch Drive on base. There was a large explosion and the sky lit up on the night my Pop was returning from one of many Reflexes he went on. My Mom went nuts and immediately called base ops. Turned out my friend’s father’s plane landed short and went into the golf course that night. I saw the burned out hulk the next day. He survived but was so badly burned his wife took the kids and split. He attempted to chase her but died when he crashed the car. I think his name was Bob Lundeen or Lundine. I’m hazy on that now. I remember one or two more such incidents where father’s left families behind. Those are my memories of the B-47. My Pop retired in 63. I have his orders and awards from that time. His navigator was Bill Coffee and his CP was a guy I only knew as a Frenchman named Walsh, everyone called Frenchie.
joe my name bill evans i was stationed at pease afb in the 100th bomb wing 350th bs. i also remenber the golf course crash it was from the 509th bomb wing returning to roswell nm. from what i understand they were on alert at pease but didn’t refill the forward ax tank which made an unbalanced cg it went nose high stalled he did drop one of his tip tanks but that didn’t help god bless all of them men i was at portsmouth afb from 1956 to 1962 there were other at p[ease that had problems b-47 that aircraft was a great a/c but also a widow maker
Hi Bill. Did you know my dad David Stoessel? Piloted B-47 at Portsmouth around the same time 56-62
My husband, Lt. William S. Starley was the pilot of the B-47 that crashed at Pease Air Force Base on April 15, 1958. Bill was with the 509th Bomb wing. He was only 25 years old. We were living at Roswell, New Mexico. Robert Burns and Bud McKinney and another person that I didn’t know was hitching a ride with the plane. They were all killed. If anyone has any information about the accident I would like to know about it. Helen Starley at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I lived on Birch drive, too. Will check the address. I believe the 100th and 509th were both at Walker and moved to Pease at the same time. Didn’t the 100th fly the B-36? My mom said when the B-36’s would fly over our house in Roswell all the China would rattle and the nails would back out of the walls.
Base housing was not complete when we got to Pease so the families stayed in barracks. I can remember the long hall barely since I was 5 in 1958.
The Gilles family was across the street on Birch. The Gutenfelders down the street.
509th moved to Pease in 1958.100th Bomb Wing was all ready there.The 6th Bomb wing at Walker New Mexico had B36 and was getting the B52 when I left there in 1958
Throwback Tulsa: B-47 jet broke apart, raining debris on east Tulsa in ’58
Found this article on Tulsa World’s site today. Thought some might find it interesting. Don’t forget to check out the 15 images in their gallery.
On May 2, 1958, the Air Force announced it had found a serious structural defect with the sleek, swept-wing aircraft. At least 14 B-47s had crashed in the first four months of 1958, resulting in 34 casualties.
I was 3yrs old………just today…did inquiry of the crash…have had dreams…..suppressed memories………remember driving w/my mom……looking @ the wreckage….sad…as one was lost…..God bless our heroes.. john williams….spring texas…
I was a witness to the B-47 crash at Dobbins AFB on 17 Feb 1969. This A/C was being modified by the Lockheed Aircraft Company at Marietta. My job at the time was as a weather observer supervisor at the base weather station. It was my job to report to the control tower to supervise the weather observing whenever we received word of an aircraft emergency. This B-47 was manned by 4 people, An AF officer in command and another AF officer as co-pilot. and a third as navigator. A Lockheed technical representative was the 4th occupant. The Pilot reported his #6 engine out and was on final when I got to the control tower. The Aircraft touched down about 1/3 the distance down the runway with the first contact on the forward main landing gear Immediately, the plane began to “bounce” on that gear with rear main gear still in the air. This phenomenon is known as “porpoising”. I believe the proper response is to deploy the drag chute. However, the pilot elected to add power to the remaining 5 engines and attempt a go around. As the nose lifted the aircraft stalled and rolled into it’s right wing, which made contact with the ground. As the aircraft continued, the right wing began to separate from the aircraft, and bounced over the occupied GCA shed to the right of the runway. As the aircraft began to roll to the right, the navigator ejected and was still in his seat as it bounced across the left side of the runway. He never left his seat, and I am sure was killed on impact with the ground. The aircraft continued to roll to the right and slid part way into a small lake to the right of the runway. At that point the aircraft exploded in a ball of fire, indicating that no one survived. I instructed the duty observer to take his observation, but felt quite nauseated at what I had just witnessed.
Hi, I am preparing a presentation to a group of DNR retirees in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan on May 31, regarding the rescue of the members of the B-47 that crashed in northern Saskatchewan on February 12, 1955. Some of these retirees were involved with the rescue efforts. I would appreciate hearing from any of the flight crew that survived (or their surviving family members) of Lt. Col. Kenneth McGrew, Cpt. Lester Epton, Cpt. Thomas Pittman and Major Robert Dowdy.
Creighton, Saskatchewan S0P 0A0
Anybody know of a crash killing a flight crewman Named YADEN OR YADON?
I was a survivor of B-47 #50-081 crash in Marianna Florida in the 1950’s.
B-47 aircraft tail number # 50-081, flight crew…. Command Pilot … Maj. Frederick “Fred” E. Ewing, Co-Pilot … Capt. Oscar W. Yon, Pilot….Capt. James H. Foreman and Observer….Capt. Richard E. Francis were killed from a mid-air explosion and crash. Two young children, Peggy D. Williams and Rufus F. Williams also died at the crash site.
I watched this aircraft on fire come apart with many pieces (wings, engines, wheels, etc.) falling to earth between my house and my neighbors house. I felt like I was trapped in hell from the fumes of fuel, flames like a napalm bomb and explosions all around me. Unfortunately I watched my brother and sister burn to death and retrieved their burning bodies from the flames.
A member of the Historical Society recently informed me they were considering the placement of a Historical Marker at the site of crash in honor of the crew and the civilians that died.
I have been told that fragments and other pieces of the aircraft are still found in residents yards.
I was a witness to, and assisted at, the crash site at Upper Heyford in May of ’64. I was on reflex from Lockbourne (air police) and was assigned to the first plane in the Christmas treed area. My buddy, on the next plane, and I were talking when we noticed the plane coming in fairly fast but we lost sight of it on the other side of the hump on the runway. when we next sighted it it was attempting to lift off again when it cartwheeled off and slid between two other aircraft that were on ready status. I won’t go into other details only to say it was a very close encounter and a horrific sight.
as a resident on a caravan site along the perimeter fence to Upper Heyford and saw that aircraft come into land from the heyford end and thought to my self with all that runway you are leaving it a bit late .I was a 16 year old lad at the time and it bought me to tears.Upper heyford is a decommissioned base now and what a sad site it looks
The 1963 midair collisipn has a sad error. Leonard Theis did not survive. He was a classmate of my father Roger Tetzner.
Len and I shared a house together for 6 months at Lake Charles. I was in England when the crash happened. He was married to a Lady from near Lake Charles. Len was the best of the best. He had many friends. hope his wife is well and imagine she has remarried. Can’t recall her name now. Gary Clark B-47 Pilot from 1955 to 1964 Lake Charles and Lockbourne. I have saved SAC messages of descriptions of over 100 B-47 crashes.
Len wife died a few years ago. Did you know Roger Tetzner?
Was that the same Crash Capt. Mark Veck was in
Do you have any information about a B-47 bomber that happened in Shennalt AFB in 57/58? The plane jumped the chocks, caught on fire and crashed at the end of the runway. Several of the crew we’re killed.
Thanks for your response.
I know of a couple of loses at Lincoln AFB … there should be an official list of B-47 loses ?
A list of all B-47 losses that appears as “Appendix I” in my book JET AGE MAN was provided by Jim Diamond and originated from official sources.
I was a co pilot an aircraft commander on the b47 at homestead and schilling. I lost a lot of friends in this plane. However commercial aviation owes a lot as this was the forerunner of the swept wing aircraft of today. There weir be reunion of the b47 stratojet in Omaha in October.
Really enjoyed our book. It is thew first time I ever found any disclosure on the B-47.
There was a crash during a snowstorm and stand down at Lincoln in 1961 I was in the 98th and the crash was from the other wing. Still very tragic and upsetting along with the ‘normal’ SAV paranoia
As to the 10 April 1962 loss by 384th BW, you have a question about whether or not the CP (Wilson) ejected. Yes, he did and he survived, I was told the AC, Goodman, ejected but struck part of the aircraft during ejection and was killed. Not sure if the nav, McComb, was able to eject or not. We heard they were attempting a loop but that info might not be accurate. It was tragic and we were not given many details. I was a nav in the unit & on Reflex at the time of the accident.
Where did this crash take place? When my father was stationed at Stewart AFB in the early 60’s, he, my brother and I were the first on-scene to a crash that I believe was a B-47. Both cockpit seats were empty, but there was a leg in a boot and flight suit pant leg hanging from a crook in a tree…won’t ever forget that. We lived in a trailer right outside the back gate (you could see the SAGE bldg and crash dump)…any info on such a crash??? Thanks!
I was given a 1,500 hour B-47 pin by the Boeing. I am very proud of what we all did … ” Wiskey Delta ” I believe to this day that the B-47, aircrews, ground crews, support personnel and our flight operations was a major reason, we won the COLD WAR…
I am appalled at the accidents suffered by the B-47 during its short lifetime. My father was a navigator in the B-47 thru the 50’s and into the 60’s. I know the accidents were high because the crews would talk and the wives would cry and whisper and the children would be quiet. My family suffered through the losses and I lost friends whose fathers were killed and they moved away. Through all of that I had no idea it was as bad as I just read. Wow, somebody should have been shot.
I’m the daughter of a pilot of the B-47 that crashed in route to Plattsburg on June 12, 1958. Your correct in your statement. They should have pulled that aircraft long before the loss of so many. It took me 46 yrs to locate the crash site, document all that was still there and occurred. It’s quite a story and accomplishment as wreckage remained after all those year. We lived in Savannah, GA at the time of his crash and he was stated at Hunters AFB. His name was Capt Arthur Craven and he was only 35 yrs old with a wife and three kids. We (I’m a twin) were only 9 yrs old and my sister was 5 yrs old. It was a loss we never recovered from the to this day.
Al Berube. I was also at McConnell. I was also in Field Maintenance, but in Aero Repair. While I was at McConnell,1954-57, there were two aircraft lost. I was out picking up pieces of the one the nose dived into the ground. The crew was lost and aircraft parts was scattered over five miles.
Did you work the crash site of 52-0770 southwest of the Olathe Naval Air Station? I am researching the crash site location with the purpose of putting up a memorial to the air crew. I have the USAF crash report but am still having a hard time with the location. This crash was on Oct 30,1954. Any information would be helpful.
My name is Ken Hollis, son of Raymond and Olga Hollis. Dad was B-47 pilot, March AFB 1954-1959; McConnell 1959-1963; Forbes 1963-1966. Did you know him? Or can you help me find out more info on my Dad?
Was that the crash that took place on March 28, 1956? My uncle, LT John C Leysath was one of the 3 crewmembers that died in that plane’s explosion. On that flight, it was reported that there was a fire at midsection at about 2000 ft. The plane had its wings sheared off and there was 1-3 explosions .
My grandfather, Lt. Charles Ralph Hogan, made a crash landing at Wichita afb in February of 1954. He and the copilot were killed but the navigator survived. Sounds like you may have been there during that time. I have many articles and pics of the aftermath describing wreckage that was scattered 200’ from the wreckage.
Greg I have a picture of that engine that was taken by Wilbur Jones of Ground Refueling.
We have never honored those who died fighting the ” COLD WAR ”
We should … they died – some shot down…defending our County.
1,500 Hours in the B-47
372 the Bomb Squadron – 307th BW Lincoln AFB NE
1st BS – Mountain Home AFB ID
Neil, did you by chance know my father. His name was Walter Brown. A lot of the guys called him “Brownie”. He was a B-47 squadron commander stationed at Lincoln, Later a DCO. I am his son John, we were stationed at Lincoln 6 years.
I arrived at Lincoln AFB early 1959 as a 2nd Lt. Copilot. I flew the B-47E after training at Forbes in the RB-47. At Lincoln I was in the 345th BS, 98th BW. Also at Lincoln was the 307th BW. I too have the Boeing 1000 hour pin. It has been many years, and names have slipped from my memory. We lost many aircraft. One name I remember was Lt. Col. Ledbetter. He was a navigator and was killed while evaluating a flight crew. The accident report indicated engine failure and the engine came loose and crashed into the ailerons, causing the plane to roll and then parts of the wing came off and they crashed in Dakotas. One I observed was off the end of the runway. The crew has miscalculated the CG (center of gravity) and after breaking ground stalled and crashed. Remember the “slip stick” we used to calculate the CG? We (my family) served at Lincoln for 6 years. During my check out as Aircraft Commander my instructor (Lt. Col. Wilson (?) was making a night, back seat landing. He hit the forward wheels first and we started the Bounce. After two contacts with the runway I looked around and could see the night stars in every quadrant. I thought, “This is not good!” I popped the drag shut and we stopped with a BANG. The maintenance report we left noted, “Hard Landing” which meant a complete check of the airframe.
The biggest issue we had was “chunk failure” of the turbine. Due to the tandem wheel base, you do not feel the “yaw” due to engine failure until you break ground. Then the slight roll (either side) on a swept wing aircraft drops the wing and CAN contact the ground. Several losses noted this.
Court Braden, B-47, C-130, and B-52. Lt. Col., Retired
John, I knew you and your family. We lived up the street.
Hi John. We lived up the street from you, knew you and your family well. Drop me a line – Steve Wright email@example.com
John – I knew you in Lincoln. Drop me a line: Steve Wright
Was he a Lt Col DCO in the 98th BW. He was a mentor to me, good guy
John – knew you in Lincoln – drop me a line: Steve Wright firstname.lastname@example.org
Our whole crew survived a B-47e crash at Plattsburgh AFB on 2 Feb. 1964. Aircraft was damaged on takeoff when the top raft panel came off and antenna wire wrapped around empanage. AC No. 53-1868 belonged to the 308 BW. We were attempting an overweight landing in heavy turbulence and crosswind. We escaped with minor injuries but the aircraft was a total loss.Crew was Maj. George Byrum, Capt.Larry Ontiveros, and Capt. Bernie Stiles.
I was tdy there in 1960 in the weather sq, a B47 crashed on landing, landing short of the runway losing the rear wheels section
I was co-pilot on the 02:12 ..Aug 12 crash AT Plattsburg…… We were returning from way up north over Canada ……. The mission was a high speed dash down from around the Arctic Circle across the country testing Canadian Air defensis …. Specifically the CF-100 intercepter…. We saw no intercepters the whole night,
Near the end of the mission we were schedualed for a night air-refueling …… we took on a full load setting us up for a heavy landing just across the boarder at Plattsburg ….. We approached the runway with the approch chute deployed ….. The B-47 ahead of us aboarted the landing and went around for some unknown reason…… As we came down the glide slope, the AC, as was his very bad habit, dropped the nose to get down low then level off and drive at low altitude up to the runway …… Every time he did this the hairs on the back of my neck stood up……. This time we just continued down at a steep angle, We were indicating 142 kts. ….. I started to gently “reel” in the yoke but it was too late…. the landing lights lite-up a construction site that we crashed into …. raming the aft main gear up int the aft main fuel tank,e resulting explosion illuminated a wide area around the impact site …… we bounced up with fire streaming from the back of my seat with the rudder sticking up out of the flames ….. The AC then pushed the throttles all the way up to start a go around….. I said “we are on fire, we can’t make a go-around” ( as reported in the cartoon of accidents and incidents on the back cover of Flying Safety magizine.)…Even if we could have climed high enough to eject over Lake Champagne,. LT. Ted Hull-ride, the navigater would not have survived the downward ejection….. by this time we smashed and riccoshayed up onto the field…. I cut engines 1,2,5,6 leaving 3 and 4 running for hydrolics …… all the time thinking about that full forward main right under our feet. We blew the canopy and scrambled down the left wing…… That was now an easy step to the ground….. The AC never flew the B-47 or any Air Force airplane again.. at least that I know-off ……. I eventually flew airliners and joined the Air National Guard …… then flew my own …. Great Lakes, Waco YMF-5, American Champion Explorior, and finally a sweet little Aircoupe named “Buttercup” Totaling somewhere around 30,000 hrs. as I approach my 80th birthday………
I was in the 1st Bomb Squadron at Mt Home …what year did it happen?
The Nov. 30, 1956 crash in Canada of B-47E 52-3360 was of a Barksdale bird from the 301st BW, not one from Lake Charles. The sole survivor of the crash, then- Major Robert Slane, was a friend of mine. He later served as a full bird as the last base commander of Barksdale, before that function was rolled into the duties of the CC of the host bomb wing.
I had opportunity to come across the crash site back in 2009 and an article was written up in a magazine in Canada called “Canada’s History”. I would be glad to email you a copy if you advise email address. Fred Johnson email@example.com
Note please that the “B-47 losses” listed on the website doesn’t show names of the three aircrew lost 30 Nov 1956 when 52-3360 crashed. Killed were Lt. Richard Martin – co-pilot, Lt. Donald Petty – navigator and Lt. Max Workman – spare navigator along for training. Information can be found in book written by Robert M. Slane called “Jorney To Freedom And Beyond”. Colonel (then Major) Slane was the only survivor of the crash. Fred Johnson
Sorry, error in typing – book by Col. Slane is called “Journey To Freedom And Beyond” and deals with the 30 Nov 1956 crash of B-47 # 52-3360 and other military experiences of Slane. Fred Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org
the 301st moved ti locbornrde air force base it became a ecm aircaft
I was a propulsion engineer working at Tinker AFB from 1960 through 1963 and assigned to support the J-47 among other jet engines. In January I was assigned to a team investigating the accident at March AFB on January 5, 1962. My assignment was to determine if an engine had failed on take off. One eye witness report stated smoke trailing from an outboard engine during take off roll. The aircraft was #2 of a SAC three aircraft minimum interval take off (MITO). The crew chief arrived late for the briefing and was ordered to stand down by the aircraft commander. This was a SAC training mission and everything was by the book. All aircraft were full of fuel including the out riggers for the mission. The first aircraft took off without delay. The second aircraft, the accident aircraft, rolled into position and began the take off roll. It reached the end of the runway where the pilot “pulled” the aircraft off the runway, cleared trees at the end of the runway and immediately settled back into the ground breaking up as it hit an irrigation ditch and continuing into the dirt bank of a bridge abutment. All three crew members perished. The accident team determined that the pilot had pulled the circuit breaker on the water injection pumps versus the nacelle heat circuit breaker. Pulling the breaker on the nacelle heat was often done by the crew following a nacelle heat check by the crew before take off. Ground personnel would give a “thumbs up” if the nacelle was warm followed by the pilot turning the heat off. Some pilots pulled the nacelle heat circuit breaker to make sure it did not come on. In this case the wrong circuit breaker was pulled. This loss of engine water injection during take off significantly reduced thrust resulting in loss of take off speed. The aircraft failed to accelerate during the various take off runway check points but due to a SAC “demerits” for failing to make a take off on time the crew continued to take off roll.
I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was just a boy, but my father was a pilot in the 22BW and friends with the pilot, Major Garrett. The black plume of smoke hung over the end of the runway all morning.
(Lt.?) Jim Belt was the co-pilot and Capt. C.L. “Stan” Segalla was navigator.
Thank you for taking the time to write out this information, Richard. It means a lot to our family. I am astounded at the number of crashes that occurred with the B47. In the litigating society we live in nowadays, This would never fly…. No pun intended!
What year was this? I was at March AFB as Crew Chief 1957, 59 & 59. We lost a few in the 22BW. I was assigned to the 2nd BS.
Thank you for your information. My father was the navigator, Capt. C.L. Segalla, on that unfortunate crash. My mother was informed that it was due to pilot error, but being only 12 years old at that time, I had very little understanding. However, I do remember my dad becoming frustrated with Maj. Garrett continually being late for take offs, resulting in my dad’s transfer request being allocated to “the bottom of the pile.” It will be 57 years this coming January and I still see the black flume from my school playground in Riverside.
Many crashes were due to pilot error, because they could not find a definite answer as to what really went wrong, so blame the pilot.
I was a Crew Chief and or Asst. Crew Chief on B47’s 1957-1959. I witnessed several crashes at March Air Force Base 22nd Bomb Wing, 2nd Bomb Squadron. Tail #53-2053 crashed and all killed. One exploded on the ground while loading oxygen. another crashed on landing final 7 miles from the base. 5 were lost doing the Hair clipper maneuver out over Catalina Islands. Another crashed while landing with a 20K lb Nuke on board and as the real gear touched the ground one rim broke and that caused the gear to collapse and one big explosion blew the plane apart and all were killed. Another took off and all 3 left engines quit and it rolled over and crashed killing all. Man this was a sickening site when we had to collect the body parts. More on this later Walt Wilson.
My husband, Charles Wilson, was at Chenault AFB in 1958 when a B47 with a nuclear bomb on board (Broken Arrow) jumped the chaulks, caught fire, and crashed at the end of the runway. Does any one have any details of that Crash? Would appreciate any information you might have. Thanks, Doris Wilson
My name is Jack Sinclair, I was at Chennault and saw the accident. I
have a copy of the accident report. I could send you a copy if you’ed
like.Just post on this site as to where you want me to send it and I will.
Mr. Sinclair. Thank you for your reply and I’m sorry that I haven’t gotten back to you. I just now saw your note. I would really appreciate it if you you would email a copy of that report and anything you remember about the crash.
email@example.com. Thank you so much.
I was on Chennault AFB the day of the B47 incident. I was assigned to the 806 Medical Group. There is an article in the July 23, 1960 issue of the Saturday Evening Post covering this accident in detail with pictures. This particular issue can be purchased online at backissues.com.
I was the recorder on the accident investigation board. There were so many organizations compromised in this incident that in the end it was only myself and the board president left to write the report. In other words, there were a lot of screwups within the 44th BW which contributed to the accident. I was at the crash site and helped put out the burning clothes of the surviving navigator. He was badly burned and left completely deaf after recovery.
50296 was in a bomb run on LA JUNTA BOMB Plot failed to make a combat turn Turbine seperated from engine AC parts landed in JOHN MARTIN which was dry at that time ac was at high alt. After nav landed he found two parkers this area was very isolated and loaded with rattlesnakes. now the bottom of a lake
My father, 1st Lt. Larry R. Eastlund was the navigator on that flight. Kept his ejection seat in my grandfather’s shed in Tucson for years. Went on to fly Hustlers out of Little Rock and Spectres out of Ubon before retiring from NORAD.
A b 47 crewmember was killed in a landing accident at RAF GreenhamCommon in 1962 or 63 while I was stationed there , does anyone recall this incident.? His name was Richard West.
My name is Jack Sinclair, I was a crew chief at Chenault AFB and was very close by changing a refrigeration unit on my aircraft when the aircraft jumped the chocks. When the crew put external power on the aircraft the 30 jato bottles went off and caused the aircraft to jump the chocks. The navigator was in the aircraft and got badly burned but survived. The aircraft commander was on the entrance ladder going up to perform his preflight inspection. He was thrown off the ladder and was run over by the aft gear.The co-pilot was still doing the outside preflight and was not injured. The aircraft had a nuke on it because it was on alert.
My father Capt. John (Jack) Dinsmoor was the co-pilot and surviving crew member. Mr Sinclair, your account is lines up with what my dad has told me about the incident. He said he was hit by the GPU trailer which was being dragged by the A/C. Apparently the A/C barreled across the airfield unpiloted and eventually crashed into some telephone poles and burned. Jack will celebrate his 83rd birthday this August in Estes Park Colorado.
I would be very interested in a copy of the incident report
I randomly found this website today. I didn’t know all of the AC types my dad worked on through the years, but was captivated by the stories and history.
But as I read, I recognized this story from my youth. My dad has told it a number of times.
In fact, I didn’t remember what base he was on when this happened, so I called him to confirm that this was the same incident it. I just got off the phone with him. He rehearsed it as he did many years ago, just as you and the others told it.
He’s 86 now. His name is Deane Frederick. He thinks he was possibly an E4 at the time. He was responsible for loading nukes while at Chennault AFB. He said he was not involved with that particular AC but recalls seeing the incident unfold.
I am into genealogy and am trying to locate and contact his military buddies or their families to share their photos from my dad’s Air Force service during 1953-1966. Many he had written names on the backs of the photos.
He was stationed at K-2 Taegu Korea, Forbes Topeka, Misawa Japan, Chennault Lake Charles, Bunker Hill/Grissom Peru/Kokomo and briefly in Washington DC and Denver.
I would also like a copy of the report if you care to send it. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to you and those here for your service and sacrifice.
Deane W. Frederick II
Ronald Thomas I was with the 819 bomber group 341st feild maintenance squadron Dyess AFB ,Abilene ,Texas. I was an aircraft eletrician then motor pool then in ground power. In 11/14/1958 One of our B47 Stratojets crashed on assisted take off it had a nuclear bomb aboard it was contaned and no contamination 1 crew member was killed 3 others survived. 1 of the assiste bottles caught fire and exploded. I was working on the flight line when it went down.
AS I was reading over what I wrote. I copyed it from an artical from a paper and seen an error, if I remember right they had water alcohol tanks that gave the assest to takeoff not from bottles.
My father, CAPT George W Berliner, was in the B47 crash (#52-0402), 376th BW) at Lockbourne AFB, November 1958 along with MAJ Thomas Henry & 1LT Carl Atherton III. I was 6-1/2 at the time. All of the memorabilia (medals, patches, bomber jacket, etc) that I had of his was stolen from my car in 1970 in Oakland, CA. Any memories or information would be appreciated. We lived in Groveport, OH (on Noemi Ct) at the time. I still have pictures of him and an article from the Columbus newspaper but that’s all. Is there any way of finding out what medals, patches, etc. he would have had? Does anyone know if there was any type of memorial at Lockbourne for these men? He was buried at Arlington.
In reviewing the “all loss” list, I noticed you are looking for information on the B47E crash Feb 5, 1958 over the water near Channel Islands (San Miguel island) Santa Barbara, CA. The aircraft number was 52-0388 code name “Shamrock 32″. My father, Major John H. Griffin, was killed in that accident along with Capt. Elvis R. Crump, Jr.,(both”Hairclipper” Aircraft Commanders) and Albert E. Lloyd, Jr. (“Hairclipper” Instructor pilot).The accident occurred while they were performing a LABS maneuver. The bodies of the three men and aircraft were never recovered.
Mary-My dad was 1st Lt Richard Breuner. March AFB. He is now 85 years old and very frail. Based on information I have pieced together, I understand that he volunteered to be the navigator on that LABS flight but was turned down in favor of a higher ranked officer who had requested the assignment. If dad had gotten the assignment, I would not exist . . . . I wish to locate and thank the family of that brave airman and his crew.
Andrew, was your father an Aviation Cadet in Class 60-E? (Middle initail A).
Mary, This is Jeff from the March Field Air Museum. Have you ordered a copy of the accident report from the USAF Safety Center. Thought I’d ask before I give it a try.
I remember this crash as I assisted it getting the plane ready for takeoff.
It also appears that my dad was a member of a KC-97 crew that searched for this aircraft and crew on February 11, 1958. He reports that searches continued for about two weeks after the accident. So sorry for your loss. Dad says he knew your father, Major Griffin, as well as the other crew members.
Does anyone remember an RB-47E that exploded in mid air south of Tucson? Not the one that crashed into the mountain south of Tucson, but a mid-air explosion south of town?
Never mind – I figured out what I found. I thought there might have been a B-47 that exploded in midair due to the large number of parts scattered around south of Tucson. What I have found is a couple of ATO/RATO cradles that were jettisoned there.
Details of the collision between two B-47s on 5 January 1955 can be found in the Lake Charles American Press (Lake Charles, Louisiana). “Four Crewmen Still Missing after 2 Stratojets Collide”. Lake Charles American Press 6 January 1955, p 1.
According to that source, the crewmen of the B-47 that was lost were:
1. Major Jean S Pierson 36 aircraft commander hometown address Route 3 Danville Lake Charles address 2213 Legion street i Wife Cenoreado
2. Capt David O Crump 33 copilot hometown address 227 Ludlow street Albemarle N C Lake Chariest address 122 East End boulevard Maplewood Wife Marcella Crump six children David, Phillip, Raymond, Hilda, Eilleen, Dennis [all under age 8]
3. First Lt Rodney P Eggleston 27 observer hometown address Box 91 Levelland Texas Lake Charles address 743 Helen street Wife Nancy
The other plane made it back, but one of its crew bailed out immediately following the collision and was still missing the next day: He was
– First Lt Matthew Gemery 38 observer hometown address 1471 Ridgewood avenue Lakewood Ohio Lake Charles address 1205 Virginia street Wife Mary
– The other crew members of Fellow crew members of Gemery’s B-47 who returned to the Lake Charles base in the damaged 68th squadron plane were identified as Major Sterling T Car roll 33 aircraft commander hometown Port Arthur Texas Lake Charles address 2109 10th street and Capt Morris E Shiver 29 copilot hometown Albany Lake Charles address 2322 Van Buren.
Thank you , TB for posting this , My name is Raymond Crump son of Capt. David O. Crump , as of today April 10 2018 , all 6 children still survive , and His wife Marcella Crump having Passed away last year April 28 2017 , at 91 years young , We all remember our Father with great Honor and Respect ,
My father, Capt. Robert Lee Boucher, was killed May 1, 1957 when the plain exploded during an attempted refueling. I was two and a half. He was stationed at Little Rock AFB. The rest of the crew survived. I’ve been fortunate to be close his side of the family. I’ve misplaced an accident report that was given to me several years ago.
Was 11 here in Pittsburg tx when that happened. Remember it well. If u want more info my email. Cwjohns96@gmail.com
Regarding the crash on 11 Feb 1959 of acft #53-6215 at Goose Bay AFB, Labrador. I was 10 years old at the time. My father, Dennis Austin Cessna, was the Base Fire Chief. The crash happened late at night. We lived in housing near the end of the runway and the explosion woke us all up. My father kept his bunker gear by his bed like the old fire horse he was. He dressed and ran out the door towards the burning aircraft, climbing over fences. He found the Navigator lying injured near the wreck and drug him clear of danger. I’ve forgotten his name, but that crew member returned to visit our family many times and even attended my fathers funeral 14 years later.
Yet another great story about how goodness overcomes all wrongs, how goodness changes people and the world we live in. Thank you for reminding those of us still living that we have a high calling, a never ceasing duty to do right and remember those who do us right in prayer, and to honor those whose loss of blood has made us free.
Just curious as to which Cessna family do you belong to?
My Great Uncle was Lt . Colonel Samuel Lamar Castleberry. He was AC on 51-2286 out of Pinecastle AFB, FL. His plane was involved in a mid air collision with 52-0535 out of MacDill AFB, FL. This accident happened on Monday December 19, 1955 just outside of Tampa, FL.
I was stationed at Lincoln AF base 818th head quarters sq and 2 47s crashed between 1961 and 1965
Regarding the explosion on March 28,1956 at McConnell AFB where all 3 crewmen were killed. My uncle was LT John C Leysath of North SC. He was 23 when he died. Does anyone have any information on the B47 explosion and did anyone know my uncle. He went by the name Jackie. He was A Clemson graduate of the class of 1954. Any information would mean so much. Thank you.
The 3/28/56 loss summary appears on p.265 of my book Jet Age Man. Lt. Leysath was not mentioned; however, most reports did not contain all of the names of those on board.
Thank you for responding Earl. I actually purchased a copy of your book in the hardback edition and received it today in the mail. The crash information appears on page 245 of my edition. The crew members listed in the book are none of the 3 crew members that died according to the newspaper articles. The 3 members that died at McConnell AFB on 03/28/1956 are listed as:
Pilot and Instructor: Capt William C Craggs of Wichita
Students: LT Col William H Dames of Oconomowoc Wis
and 1St LT John C Leysath of North SC (my uncle)
If you have any additional information please let me know. I am looking forward to reading your book.
After many years, still wondering what really happened to a B-47 that crashed into Tampa Bay on takeoff late afternoon on December 16, 1958 from McDill AFB. My brother, Joe D. Berardi, listed as (I think) Co-Pilot on that mission, along with three other crewmen including Bob Bieler’s father perished in the accident. If anyone has any information to provide, it would be appreciated. After reviewing again, the different accounts of other crashes, too numerous to even count, I am still interested almost 60 years later! I’ve seen now that I probably can submit a request from the USAF Safety Center to obtain a report of the crash. If anyone has other suggestions, I would appreciate that too.
Chuck,, The 12/16/58 crash is covered in some detail on p266 of my book JET AGE MAN.
Looking for info Oct. 1959, RB47 Crash over lLake of the Ozarks, 320th SRS, 90th SRW, A/C S/N 708 or 702?
Ray, I coveedr the 10/21/51 crash in detail in my book Jet Age Man (p72). The IP, Warren Swartz, was a very close friend of mine who survived by ejecting at the last moment. Feel free to contact me by email.
Earl, did your book cover the Oct. 1959 crash of RB47 520708 320th SRS?
H[ Earl, thanks for your feedback.
Earl can you provide your Email address, I have some info on A/C 702, 320th SRS. I would like to speak with you.
My error: the date should read 10/21/59. My email address is email@example.com, phone 520-299-9262. The loss is covered in detail on pages 72 & 73 (paperback edition) of JET AGE MAN.
I noticed water /alcohol problems in cold weather. on a previous comment.
At Forbes AFB we only used water/alcohol during hot heather.
330 gal. in each wing.
331 gal each wing (LOL)
I was stationed at Goose Bay, Labrador from Aug 58 to Aug 59. A B47 crashed on take off in late 58 or early 59. I have crew check list flip cards from the crash site. About 10 years ago I sent photos of them to a web site. They were not able to identify the aircraft. No record of crash. The engines came to the jet engine shop. We placed them in cans for shipment to the manufacturer, I believe was GE. ANY record now?
My record in JET AGE MAN is unusually sketchy: 2/11/59 – B-47E, 53-6215, 310BW, Schilling AFB, KS: The aircraft crashed on takeoff at
Goose Bay, killing two crewmen.
Hello Col .McGill, I just finished your Book, Great job. However I am surprised that your opinion of the B-47 was so negetive. I was at Hunter A.F.B. 49th B.S. and as I remember we did not have many accidents at my time there.(57-60) I did however had some close calls when a bomber parked be hind us shot holes thru my neighboring A/C after I just finished helping the Crew Chief install the drag chute. Another time when flying 4th pos. during a hurricane evac. the co-pilot called out unstick speed and we remained on runway. The Nav.looked at me like a cat with his tail in an elect. socket. We shook and got airborne and the A/C eluded to the co-pilots canine linage telling him to re-figure the fuel distribution & C/G.
my B-47 was 53-1953 and had a radome aft of the bomb doors, dispensed chaff and sometimes had a e.c.m. Pod installed. Keep well and God bless you and all those that flew the B-47 and kept our kids from speaking Russian.
49th B.S.Hunter A.F.B.
living in Savannah GA
I’m the daughter of Arthur E. Herman he was Maj. At the time and was 2nd. Bomb Wing , Hunter AFB . He passed on in 2003 in FLA. Made It. Col. He flew the City of Savannah as aircraft commander. We lived at Hunter 4 10yrs. N the 1950’s. Just wondering if u knew him ? Tks.
Thank You, Today I found a Salina, Ks Newspaper Article printed edition on 02-14-59 with photos and names of the crew. The Right Wing Engines shut down and the plane barrel rolled over, crashing onto the outer taxi way. I spoke to the Driver Of The Follow Me Truck that escorted the aircraft to the Runway. He witnessed it all.
Does anyone have any info on a B-47 crash at Little Rock AFB early 60’s. Apparently a vent on the aft fuel cell stuck open and when the JATO bottles were fired, caused the fuel cell to ignite. Plane climbed to approx. 500 to 1000 ft and an ensuing explosion blew the aft section off. Unfortunately, 3 crew members and a passenger were killed, also 2 children on the ground where the main fuselage impacted. I can find no mention of this crash anywhere.
Robert, I am not sure if this is the same crash but a B47E #52-1414 crashed on March 31,1960 in Little Rock Arkansas. Google the phrase: b47 crash near little rock ark during the early 1960s. The article describes what happened along with pictures of the crash site. Crew members along with civilians on the ground were killed. I hope this helps.
Yeah, but that is not the crash that I was referencing. The one that I recall was just taking off, was carrying a Lt Col as a passenger, he was taking a final flight in a B-47 before retirement. All three crewmembers plus the Lt Col and 2 children playing in a barn were killed. I remember this because I arrived at the accident approx. 10 minutes after the crash and remember the grandfather of the children trying to get into the barn which was engulfed in flames. A horrific sight that I never want to experience again. During the investigation, they found pieces of the aircraft lying in the runway from the fire caused by the JATO bottles. But oddly, I can find absolutely no info on this crash. Kind of weird Thanks much anyway.
Ref B-47 crash Little Rock AFB, would have been in the Oct ’64 to Jan ’66
I found another crash in Little Rock AFB AR that may be the one you are looking for. The date is 03/27/1964. The plane: B-47E, 52-0321. The aircraft exploded and crashed into a barn killing the 4 man crew and 2 children playing near the barn. The crewmen killed: LT Col R.W. Hurdis who was the A/C. an unidentified Copilot; 1st LT M.B. Keller, the navigator; and Lt Col L.M. Lukes the fourth man. The children killed were Gary Davenport and Richard Butler. I hope this is what you are looking for.
The article about the crash into the barn and the children appears in the following publication on NewspaperArchive.com. I’ve downloaded the page if you want me to send it to you. Just need your email. It’s in pdf format.
Blytheville Courier News
Saturday, March 28, 1964, Blytheville, Arkansas
Hamp, Matt, Yep, that’s the one. I remember it because I saw the aircraft just after takeoff and witnessed the ensuing explosion. Very horrible sight. Thanks so much.
Matt, my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org Would appreciate the downloaded page.
Again, thanks much everyone
Hi Robert, email sent to you just now at 2:15pm. Thanks…
Hey Robert, I am glad that I was able to help you find what you were looking for. I see that Matt has sent you the email with the newspaper article. Thanks Matt. Take care Robert
Entry for 17th December 1959
USAF: B-47E Stratojet 51- 7082, 384th BW, Little Rock AFB, AK. AC was Roy Norman Minor vice Miner
A list of all B-47 losses that appears as “Appendix I” in my book JET AGE MAN was provided by Jim Diamond and originated from official sources.
Also, the original wording from the SAC accident summaries has been preserved. It should be noted that errors contained in the original are also preserved.
I am looking for information about a crash site south of Bastrop La.
The date of the crash is Sept. 12 1957
B47 Explodes In Air; Three Killed BASTROP, La., UP—A B47 Stratojet bomber exploded in the air and crashed here today. State police said three crewmen were killed. The fourth, Col. J. C. Briley, believed to be the pilot, parachuted to safety and was taken to a Bastrop hospital for treatment of bruises. Officials at Barksdale Air Force Base at Shreveport, La., said the B-47, a $1,900,000 airplane, was based at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Observers said the plane was flying very low and exploded before crashing about three miles south of Bastrop, some 20 miles south of the Arkansas state line The plane was scattered into pieces in a heavily wooded area. Several fires were started.
B-47 Strafojet Crash Kills 3 BASTROP, La. A B47 stratojet bomber crashed and exploded on a cross country test flight Thursday, killing three airmen. One officer parachuted at low altitude and escaped with a broken arm. He is Col. Joe C. Briley, Shalimar, Fla., commander of the 3245th Test Group (bombardment and transportation based at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Eglin quoted Briley as saying he had taken the aircraft to 36,000 feet to avoid bad weather. The colonel was quoted as saying there was a partial failure of the control boost system and the ship went into a steep dive. The dead were identified as: Capt. Doy Baxter, 33, co-pilot, Minco, Okla. Capt. Ralph O. Harvey, 33, Greenhurst, N. Y. Capt. Robert O. Bergman, 33, Minneapolis, Minn.
I was 17 years old at the time and was first on the scene of the crash of the B-47 south of my home town, Bastrop, Louisiana. 3 men died in the crash. Only the pilot survived. The Monroe News-
Star newspaper in Monroe, Louisiana ran a couple of stories about the crash the same day. I have a copy of the newspaper article. It gives the names of the men. Google it.
Thanks for the Information. am a contractor and have working near the site. I have been amazed at lack of information available.
The following, taken from an official classified accident document, appears on page 248 of JET AGE MAN:\
: 9/12/57 – JB-47E, 53-2282, 3245 Tech Sqd./ Grp, AF Operational Test Center: The aircraft departed Eglin AFB during daylight to test an automatic tracking astrocompass and to ferry personnel to Edwards AFB. Nearing Jackson, MS, the aircraft climbed to 36,000 feet to top the squall line that had formed across their route. Just prior to reaching
the cloud buildups the A/C noted a flickering of the aileron power control lights. The copilot checked the hydraulic panel and found the pressure to be 100 PSI and quantity 1 gallon. After entering the clouds a two needle width turn was initiated to the right to remain 1,000 feet on top. The aileron lights continued to flicker so the A/C turned off the autopilot and aileron power controls, and asked the copilot to follow him through on the controls. After 45 degrees of turn, the nose pitched up and flipped the aircraft into uncontrollable flight. In an attempt to recover, the A/C turned the aileron power controls back on. The roll then momentarily stopped with the nose in a low attitude. When elevator
was applied to pull the nose up, the aircraft went into either high speed buffet or a stall, followed by uncontrollable flight. The pilots were unable to regain control and the crew was told to abandon the aircraft. The copilot announced that he was leaving and jettisoned the canopy. The A/C ejected successfully at the last moment. The aircraft crashed near Bastrop, LA. Investigation revealed that the aircraft broke up just prior to impact due to load stresses far in excess of design limitation. The board was unable to determine why the observer and copilot did not eject. The sole survivor was Col. Joe C. Bailey, the A/C. Killed were Capt. Doy Baxter, copilot; Capt. Ralph A Harvey, another pilot; and Capt. Robert A. Bergeman, the observer.
My name is A/1C Charles E.( Gene) Noblett, K=Series Sys. Mech. 97th A&E Maint. Sq. Biggs AFB TX.-’56-57. Regarding the B-47E that went down in the English Channel, I believe in ’56. Would someone let me know who the Bombardier was and did he get out. I was stationed @ Upper Hayford. The plane was from my squadron
I was a S/Sgt with the 376th out of Barksdale from 1953 to 1957. I well remember we lost a B47 on take off in July 1955 as we were moving the Wing TDY to Upper Heyford in England See no mention of that crash that claimed 4 lives. I was part of two planes that returned two weeks after arriving Upper Heyford for Bomb Comp at March AFB. Does anyone remember this,
The first crash of a Barksdale B-47 was May 31, 1955, when tail No. 51-7073 crashed and burned on takeoff, claiming its four-man crew. Killed were aircraft commander Maj. William H. Perkins; pilot Lt. Col. Frank J.P. Rasor;observer Maj. Robert Jackson Waste; and crew chief Airman 1st Class Richard C. Olivo.
The second local loss of the type was a weeks later, July 14, 1955. The bomber, tail No. 52-0421, exploded in flight over Lucas, south of Shreveport, a few minutes after its midnight takeoff. Killed in that explosion were aircraft commander Capt. John David Brashear Jr.; pilot Capt. Loaton Reiss Castle Jr.; observer Capt. Clifton DeJung; and crew chief Airman 1st Class James Marshall Waller of Homer.
I also was stationed at Barksdale AFB from 1953 to 1957 assigned to the 514 Bomb SQD, 376 Bomb Wg. I was Crew Chief on B-47 52-2424.
I remember that night vividly. The wing began takeoff, MITO, at midnight. I flew the mission in the 4th man position. The acft that crashed toke off several acft after us and we learned their fate only after we landed at Upper Heyford some 8 hrs later. Reportedly, the Pilot immediately behind the crash acft , watching the whole event became so unnerved that the co-pilot took over control of the airplane and landed at a base in new England. The cause of the crash, as I remember, was fuel fumes in the cockpit caused by faulty fuel nozzles. The pilot identified the problem and closed the throttled on the engine. He then mistakenly pulled the fire button on a good engine. With two engines out the acft could not maintain flight and crashed into Lake Bristonaugh (sp). During that 90 day deployment we suffered 2 more major accidents. Another B-47 tried to abort a take-off due to smoke in the cockpit crashed after running off the runway. The forward main gear collapsed. The canopy was blown. Cause of the smoke was due to pilot error. Instead of storing the ejection seat safety pins in its bag he threw them beside the seat and they shorted out an electrical circuit causing the smoke. Not to long after that accident. another B-47 landed with the aft gear retracked. It was deemed pilot error.
November 26, 1958
Chennault AFB, LA.
A United States Air Force Boeing B-47 Stratojet on Alert Status at Chennault AFB, Louisiana, accidentally ignites RATO assisted take-off bottles, is pushed off runway into tow vehicle, catches fire, completely destroying single nuclear weapon on board. Contamination limited to area within aircraft wreckage.
A B-47 armed with a clear weapon exploded. However there was no explosion from the bomb but no explosion or any radiation.
A B-47 caught fire on the ground at Chennault AFB, Louisiana. The single nuclear weapon aboard was destroyed. Contamination was limited to the immediate vicinity of the weapon residue within the B-47’s wreckage.
Captain Joseph T. Lyles, AC killed
Lt. Robert M. Simpson was burned and listed in serious condition killed.
My dad, Lt. Elmer Jones, told the story of belly landing a B-47. My mom seems to think that it was at McConnell AFB sometime between April and July of 1957. He told of the landing gear being stuck. As co-pilot he had to climb down and try different efforts (dictated through the control tower) to try to free it. Eventually, the crew decided to belly land instead of attempt ejection. An alternate time frame would have been Lake Charles from July ’57-Oct ’58. I found some old slides of the scene but I can’t find anything in the records (including https://b-47.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Boeing-B-47-Losses-and-Ejections.pdf ) I’ve recently come across my father’s old records and I would enjoy knowing more about this episode in his life. Thanks.
I was stationed at Lincoln AFB between 1961 and 1963. Does anyone have any info on the B47 crash at that base during takeoff. Only 1 survivor. I watched the take off and ensuing crash . Still dream of it.
We saw the crash from base housing. Can’t remember much of the details except it was a Sunday evening. I believe both pilots ejected, but one fell back into the crash.
I r emember a t/o crash in 6 1 or 62 in a snowstorm on a standown Thursday. As it was out Friday Night we were having a party and the report came in from the other wing, I was in the 98th. The eyewitness rep;ort made me think they had a main buss electrical failure and the copilot overrode the failure but the piolot did not have time or skill to recover. As a B-47 pilot I was very alert on all flights and did not really trust he aircraft. probably needless tosay that we were all devestated . Steve Berg
A squadron in our wing 305th crashed in the Tampa area. They thought the canopy had detached at height and went down like a bomb. I saw the planes remains in a hanger laid out in a configuration. That was somewhere between 52 and 54. It was not covered in the book of crashes. Caused a no flight period to inspect the canopy latches.
Hi Col. McGill,
After I red your Book”JET AGE MAN. I read 3 more on the Boeing B-47 Stratojet. I now see that your assessment was spot on. As many problems that plagued the B-47 can be traced back to original intended use of the aircraft, material failures for the new design , SAC’s ever changing requirements, changes in Russia’s capabilities to guard and
defend it’s borders, rushed & poor training for pilots & crews, by the need to have an airplane to combat the Communist block nations
Henry Ford did not make the Lincoln first, and it’s probably not a good
analogy. The B-47 and it’s crews played a huge role in keeping the USA safe until the kinks were worked out & the B-52, KC 135. and other high
quality aircraft were developed. I am proud to have made a small contribution to the overall effort and am eternally grateful to those that made the ultimate sacrifice.
If ever in Savannah GA look us up & my wife & I will be proud to take you to dinner (912) 354-2020
Not sure if I already answered this. Nevertheless, thank your for the dinner invitation. Unfortunately, at 90 my mobility is severely limited. Maybe in the next one?
Hello Cynthia Gwinn.
I was in the 49th Bomb squadron there were also the 20th & 96th squadrons in the 2nd Bomb wing. I do not recall your dad being in one of the crews that flew in our outfit. Some names I remember are: Major Charles Moore AC, Maj. Runge..AC, Capt Julian Wysokie AC. All fine men and great pilots.
I was a dependent living in Bermuda ‘54’55’56. While there a B47 visited and was a big deal among the C47’s and C54’s stationed there. It did some fly by’s and Then crashed into the waters near Bermuda. Crash boats were out for days recovering pieces. Looking for more information on that crash if anyone has it. Thank you.
This from my book, Jet Age Man: 4/15/55 – A B-47E, 53-2277, 3200 Test Group, Eglin AFB, FL: The aircraft crashed on takeoff at Kindley AFB, Bermuda. One body was recovered from Castle Harbor, the other two crewmembers were listed as missing.
I still don’t see anything about the B-47 that crashed in Florida in 53 or 54. I was in the 305th Bomb Wing at MacDill at the time. The plane was from either 314th or 316th Sqdn. I was in the 315th. The canopy came off and the plane nosed in. I saw the remnants in a hanger in our Wing.
They grounded the planes until all the canopy latches were inspected.
Ron Bongard – email@example.com.
For some reason, this crash does not appear in the the “loss summary.”
I am a volunteer with the Iron County Historical Museum in Wisconsin. I am researching 2 B-47 Stratojet crashes that happened here. Both were from the 40th Bombardment Wing out of Topeka KS. Both crashes happened in the Town of Pence in an area we called the Hogsback. The 2 crash sites are 2 miles apart. The 1st crash was February 23, 1961. all 4 were killed: Capt. James P. Jarrett, aircraft commander, Bandana, NC; 1st Lt. Charles F. Weise, pilot, San Francisco, CA; 1st Lt. Theodore H. Stalmach, navigator, Miami, FL and 1st Lt. Gary H. Hanify, 2nd navigator, Toledo, IA. The 2nd crash occurred May 2. 2 were killed: Capt. Dale B. Rasmussen, instructor pilot, Exeter, NE and 1st Lt Demosthenis D. Hariton, co-pilot, Astoria, NY. 2 survived: Capt. Frank S. Mead (or Meade), commander and pilot, Orange, CA and Capt. Johnny T. Hill, navigator, Columbus OH. We are approaching the 60th anniversary of the crashes in 2021. This era impacted my childhood. The “Ironman Route” used by the 40th for their missions flew over our farm. I have many memories of low flying B-47s just skimming the tree tops on their approach to the Hogsback. They sometimes flew 50 missions a day over us. Hoping someone can provide new information I have not been able to find in the newspapers. Would like to know what happened to the 2 survivors, Mead & Hill. Thanks.
My name is Daniel Campion my father was killed in Portsmouth New Hampshire after takeoff I’m trying to find the children of the birch family that was killed with my father December 8, 1964 my dad was major Daniel James Campion Junior
Didn’t know the Burch family but the navigator, Capt. Bennie Forrester, who was on that plane was a friend of our family. My dad, Capt. Robert H. Savage, was a B-47 AC at Pease AFB. .We lived on White Birch Dr. on Pease AFB in the early ’60’s and left in ’65. I have been trying to find pictures from that time. I’m Donald H. Savage.
My name is Cindy, my father was 1LT Rodney D Bloomgren who lost he life on January 16th 1962 at Wright’s Peak, NY. We were in Plattsburg at that time and I was 3 years old. I’ve read and have been told the crash was caused by weather conditions. There is a memorial at the site which I was able to visit with his sister Jeanne 50 years later. I was born in Salina Kansas, then we were in Little Rock with Plattsburg being the last AFB I lived at. I’m looking for anyone who may have known my father, would love to hear some stories.
1st of May, 1957. The accident listed there does not list who was killed. It was my father, Robert Lee Boucher.
The 1963 B-47 crash had a single survivor, the co-pilot, Captain Bruce Chapman.
My dad, MSgt (then SSgt) Les Flint, rescued him.
Jeff, thanks for your input. I was a Crew Chief on an RB47 at Forbes AFB, 1957-1960, !960 – 1961 Forbes AFB 40th BW..
Did you go bye the nex name shorty adams?