Incident Boeing B-52D-60-BO Stratofortress 55-0089,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 48316
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Date:Friday 3 April 1970
Time:16:30 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic B52 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing B-52D-60-BO Stratofortress
Owner/operator:28th BWg USAF
Registration: 55-0089
MSN: 17205
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 9
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Rapid City-Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:
Destination airport:Rapid City-Ellsworth AFB, SD
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
B-52D s/n 55‑0089 of 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota. Crashed and destroyed April 3, 1970 due to a landing accident. Caught fire and skidded into a brick storage building containing six 25,000 gallon tanks (150,000 total) of jet fuel. The firemen did a fantastic job in saving the crew member (the navigator) who was trapped inside the nose section that had broken off for almost an hour before being freed. The fire truck rammed the gun turret, breaking it off and freeing the tail gunner.

Several of the firemen received medals for their heroism in a ceremony in the base theater. I think Gen. Bruce Holloway, (C-IN-C SAC) presented the decorations.

Gen Holloway did, indeed, present 23 Airman's Medals to firemen and medical corpsmen involved in the rescue efforts, as well as 4 SAC Civilian Awards for Valor, and 3 Air Force Meritorious Service Medals.

All nine persons on board survived, with various injuries
Capt Wesley G. Swann, A/C, smoke inhalation
Capt Gary C. Christensen, Copilot, fractured breast bone
Maj Ralph P. Smiley, Radar Navigator, fractured ankle and ribs, injured vertebrae
Capt Curtis L Christy Navigator, leg fracture
1Lt James L. Welch, Electronic Warfare Officer, no injuries
Staff Sergeant Charles E Adkins, Gunner, Chip fracture and burns. Was freed from aircraft by fire truck ramming the tail section to break it loose.
Maj Harry D Meehan, Instructor Navigator, dislocated shoulder, leg fracture. He spent 56 minutes in the burning wreckage before being freed.
Lt Col Paul R Houser, 28th Bomb Wing Chief of Operations, fractured tibia
A1C Randall Hart, avionics maintenance, no injuries

AIR FORCE and SPACE DIGEST, December, 1970. pg. 67.

Revision history:

07-Nov-2008 10:15 ASN archive Added
12-Feb-2013 17:01 Dr. John Smith Updated [Date, Time, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
18-Feb-2013 15:25 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
16-Jan-2014 07:10 GK4848 Updated [Source, Narrative]
29-Dec-2014 21:27 Anon. Updated [Embed code]
04-May-2017 07:47 Anon. Updated [Source, Narrative]
31-Jan-2019 19:22 wf Updated [Aircraft type, Location, Destination airport]
21-Dec-2019 09:35 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]
27-Feb-2021 15:46 Anon. Updated [Operator, Location, Operator]

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