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Narrative:The 29 Feb 1968 crash off Matagorda Island, Texas was a 7th Bomb Wing B-52F s/n 57-0173 from Carswell AFB, Texas. I was in the 7th Bomb Wing, and knew all the crew members on that flight very well. SAC had an "iron bomb" and radar bomb scoring site on Matagorda Island. Associated with the site was a high level and a low level route out over the Gulf of Mexico that terminated with a bomb run on Matagorda. The aircraft that crashed was on a low level mission, and had turned a hundred or so miles out over the water to make a low level run at Matagorda. According to the wing safety officer, with whom I spoke after the crash (we were all B-52 crewmembers), they probably lost their main electrical bus. In a B-52, that is a catastrophic failure that makes it impossible to control the stabilator trim. He speculated that they crashed almost immediately after losing stab trim. Much of the aircraft remains were dredged up by shrimp boats, and much washed up on Matagorda, St. Joseph, and Padre Islands.
|Date:||Thursday 29 February 1968|
Boeing B-52F-70-BW Stratofortress
|Owner/operator:||7th BWg USAF|
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 8|
|Aircraft damage:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||Gulf of Mexico, off Matagorda Island, Texas -
United States of America
|Phase:|| En route|
|Departure airport:||Carswell AFB, Fort Worth, TX|
|Destination airport:||Carswell AFB, TX|
|Confidence Rating:|| Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources|
This aircraft was in the airspace that I controlled.I placed him in the Matagorda RBS Oil Burner Route for runs on the RBS site.The RBS lost radar and radio contact.. I started search and rescue with no contact.
Pilot:Major Frank M Salavarria USAF killed.
RN: Capt Charles W Roberts USAF killed.
Gunner: MSgt Kermit C Casey USAF killed.
CP: Lt William T Causey USAF killed.
NAV: Lt Michael L Carroll USAF killed.
EWO: Capt John T Pantilla USAF killed.
IN: Capt Thomas D Childs USAF killed.
IP: Major Phillip F Strine USAF killed.
I was on duty as an air traffic controller in the tower at Carswell AFB the morning this flight took off. Very sad.
||ATC Controller FAA
||Updated [Source, Narrative]|
||Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]|
||Dr. John Smith
||Updated [Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]|
||Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Narrative]|
||Updated [Embed code]|
||Updated [Aircraft type, Destination airport]|
||Updated [Operator, Location, Destination airport, Source, Operator]|