B-36 PEACEMAKER 

                  


The B-36 served our nation for about a decade.  During this time its crews were exposed to a variety of hazards and experienced several fatal, and near-fatal mishaps.  This section is dedicated to those service men who risked, and sometimes gave, their lives while helping to maintain the peace during those very dangerous years of the Cold War.

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THE FIRST INCIDENT  Test flight of XB-36A that saved the B-36 program.  March 26, 1947.
On March 26, 1947 a test flight of the prototype XB-36 experienced a complete failure of its right main landing gear.  Rather than ending in a disastrous crash, the plane landed safely and the incident resulted in the preservation of the already troubled B-36 program.

"The Crash That Saved the B-36"
From the
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, March 13, 1997.
By Frank Perkins
 
THE FIRST CRASH  The first loss of life caused by the crash of a training flight.  September 15, 1949.
Two props reverse during takeoff causing a crash into Lake Worth.  B-36B 44-92079 with the 7th Bomb Wing meets a tragic end.
"Two Bodies Recovered From Wrecked B-36"
From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, September 16, 1949.
By Ira Cain
 
BROKEN ARROW  The first loss of a nuclear weapon.   Feb. 13, 1950.
"Broken Arrow" is the code name for any incident that results in the loss or accidental detonation of a nuclear device.  This incident is noteworthy because of the loss of life experienced and the mysterious circumstances of the event that had not been explained until nearly fifty years after the crash of a B-36B in 1950.   There are several sections of this report.  It starts with news accounts from towns in the vicinity of the crash and ends with an interview of one of the copilots.
 
MID AIR!  Fort Worth Star-Telegram, April 27, 1951.
A collision with an F-51 during fighter interception exercises claims the life of the commander who piloted the B-36 that crashed in British Columbia only one year earlier.  Another crewman, gunnery instructor Dick Thrasher who was also on the earlier flight, survives to fly again.
LOSS OF A TEST FLIGHT AT SAN DIEGO.   August 5, 1952.
A routine test flight goes terribly wrong resulting in the loss of Convair crewmembers.  By Donald Maxion.
TORNADO!  September 1, 1952.
The day the 7th. and 11th. Bomb Wings lost their fleets.

LACOCK, UK CRASH  Feb. 7, 1953.

RANDOM ISLAND, NEWFOUNDLAND  March 18, 1953.
How Ellsworth Air Force Base got its name.

 

 

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B-36: Saving the Last Peacemaker Third Edition
Revised and expanded
Third Edition Now Available

 

10-14-2006

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