Incident Boeing B-52D-25-BW Stratofortress 55-0676,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 48315
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Date:Saturday 19 July 1969
Type:Silhouette image of generic B52 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing B-52D-25-BW Stratofortress
Owner/operator:4258th FMSqn /70th BWg USAF
Registration: 55-0676
MSN: 464023
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Other fatalities:4
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:U-Tapao RTNAF -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:U-Tapao RTNAF, Thailand
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
B-52 55-0676 (70th BW) lost July 19, 1969 in a take-off accident in heavy rain storms from U-Tapao RTNAF, Thailand. The plane was taking off and had passed the point of no return and tried aborting because of not being able to see runway speed markers and crashed just short of the hammer head road near the north end of runway 36 . Both forward landing gears collapsed and the a/c seemed to break at the front wheel well. Smoke then flames started pouring out. The aircraft caught fire on impact but the crew of six manged to escape safely.

Meanwhile, the rescue helicopter (HH-43B Huskie 59-1562) was coming in to fight the fire on its second load of fire retardant and was not attempting to assist in saving the crew only to fight the fire. Normally in a B-52D-model, the tail gunner blows the turret and exits out the back of the aircraft. However, either because of the surrounding fuel fire or damage caused by the impact, he did not/could not blow the turret and instead went forward and exited out the rear wheel well and was picked up by a organizational maintance truck (OMS).

The statement in the sentence above about how the gunner exited the aircraft through the wheel well, is contradictory to the next statement about how he escaped the aircraft. I am a retired Instructor pilot in the B-52 D model. I suspect what really happened was the gunner used the canopy jettison feature (not blowing the turret) which was added to the B-52 after the Danang crash. The gunner then slid down the rope, and had rope burns on his hands as reported.

He did blow the turret and then he stood up and threw out a rope and slid down the rope, suffering from rope burns to his hands. I was the crew chief of the third plane in the first cell and were down close to the end of the runway watching my aircraft takeoff. I was in the truck that picked up the gunner. We notified Job Control that we had the gunner and told them of our location. As the fire increased we were told to evacuate the area. We changed locations two or three times each time notifying Job Control of our location. closest to the incident because I was in my pickup watching the aircraft takeoff. I was sitting in Tragically, the HH-43B Huskie crew saw the turret in place and assumed the tail gunner was still in the aircraft. On approaching the crash site to locate the gunner (the Huskies would use their rotor down wash to clear a path through the flames), 7 of the bombs on the B-52D detonated due to being engulfed in flames and took the Huskie crew with them, killing two and seriously injuring one. There were also 2 Thai guards in a makeshift bunker on the ground who were guarding an entryway to the tarmac that were killed. Like I said I was the closest to the incident I got out of there like a bat out of hell and when I came back to see the results the bunker was completely gone. No makeshift bunker could stand with 7 500lbs bombs going off that close to their position. The helicopter was directly over the B-52D when it exploded in a mass detonation and was thrown about a half mile south of the B-52. It landed upside down in soaked grass just off the center of the runway. It was reported that undetonated 500 lbs were found down at the beach 10,000 feet away. Also, a very Big shoutout to the KC-135 tanker crews on the North Tanker Ramps, who expedited the removal evacuation of Aircraft and Equipment from the north ramps down the Taxiway…Stacking the Vehicles on the South Areas thereby Saving many Lives and Aircraft and Equipment… Hatsoff to the Grounds and Maintenance Crews for a Job Welldone…

NOTE: This aircraft is often confused with a completely different B-52 56-0676, which shot down a North Vietnamese AF MiG-21 on December 23 1972, continued in service until 1983, and is now preserved and on display at Fairchild AFB, Spokane, Washington

Den Ardinger - eyewitness
Charles Harris - Eyewitness -

Revision history:

07-Nov-2008 10:15 ASN archive Added
30-Oct-2009 09:35 JINX Updated
19-Jun-2012 13:31 Anon. Updated [Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]
08-Feb-2013 00:37 Vulture Updated [Narrative]
17-Feb-2013 19:55 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
17-Feb-2013 19:55 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
17-Feb-2013 22:06 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
17-Feb-2013 22:10 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
10-Sep-2013 15:21 Huskie001 Updated [Narrative]
18-Mar-2014 14:56 Anon. Updated [Narrative]
18-Mar-2014 19:25 Anon. Updated [Narrative]
27-Sep-2014 14:43 shicks49 Updated [Location, Departure airport, Narrative]
03-Apr-2015 08:53 rob47ert Updated [Narrative]
03-Jun-2015 20:12 DenArdinger Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
26-Dec-2015 17:11 Charles Harris Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]
13-Jun-2016 18:22 Commander Updated [Embed code]
22-Jun-2017 07:07 Scott Updated [Narrative]
23-Nov-2017 20:49 commander Updated [Operator, Other fatalities]
17-Feb-2018 07:21 Roy Gatewood Updated [Operator, Total fatalities, Country]
13-Jul-2018 13:50 jsh001 Updated [Narrative]
17-Jul-2018 13:52 Goose Updated [Total fatalities, Other fatalities]
01-Feb-2019 17:58 Caver 60 Updated [Narrative]
24-Feb-2020 17:42 Xindel XL Updated [Operator, Operator]
27-Feb-2021 15:47 Anon. Updated [Operator, Operator]

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