Accident Boeing B-52G-85-BW Stratofortress 57-6496,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 48378
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Date:Wednesday 20 December 1972
Type:Silhouette image of generic B52 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing B-52G-85-BW Stratofortress
Owner/operator:456th BW /72nd SW(P) USAF
Registration: 57-6496
MSN: 464201
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 6
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Yen Vien, Vinh Phu Province (North Vietnam) -   Vietnam
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:Andersen AFB, Guam (PGUA)
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
The LINEBACKER II operations which began on the night of 18/19 December 1972 were intended as a three-day operation using B-52D and B-52G heavy bombers against targets in North Vietnam.

Three of the B-52s were brought down on the first night of operations; none on the second (19/20 Dec). On the third night, 20/21 Dec, 99 B-52s operating from bases in Guam and Thailand struck targets in the Haiphong/Hanoi areas.

One of these targets was the Yen Vien railroad yard just north of Hanoi. As a "cell" of B-52Gs began their run-in to weapons release they were taken under SA-2 missile fire. At this point the aircraft could not maneuver without disrupting their bombing solutions, so QUILT cell remained on course. Immediately after weapons release, QUILT 3 (B-52G tail number 57-6496) started a hard left bank but was struck by at least one SA-2. Captain Paul and SSgt Madden were badly injured and the bomber fatally damaged. The aircraft commander, Captain Geloneck, directed the crew to abandon their aircraft. Four of the six crewmen were captured and released in Feb/Mar 1973; the other two did not survive.

Of the six crew, two ere killed, four were taken PoW:
Pilot/Commander:Capt Terry Mercer Geloneck USAF PoW.
Co-pilot:1st/Lt William Youl Arcuri USAF PoW.
Nav: 1st/Lt Michael Robert Martini USAF PoW.
Rad/Nav: Capt Warren R Spencer USAF killed, remains returned 9/77).
EWO: Capt Craig Alan Paul USAF killed, remains returned 9/77).
AG:S/Sgt Roy Madden USAF PoW.

LINEBACKER II was extended to a total of eleven days of B-52 operations over North Vietnam, becoming known generically as the "Christmas bombings".


Revision history:

07-Nov-2008 10:15 ASN archive Added
28-Apr-2009 12:44 jgriffin1988 Updated
06-Nov-2009 00:12 JINX Updated
10-Jan-2012 10:36 Uli Elch Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
08-Feb-2012 03:25 Nepa Updated [Operator]
18-Feb-2013 17:52 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
31-Jan-2019 20:37 wf Updated [Cn, Location]
20-Feb-2021 15:06 Anon. Updated [Operator, Operator]

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