1950 British Columbia B-36 crash

1950 British Columbia B-36 Crash

Aircraft Incident
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1950 British Columbia B-36 crash

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On February 13, 1950, a Convair B-36B, serial number 44-92075 assigned to the 7th Bomb Wing at Carswell Air Force Base, crashed in northern British Columbia after jettisoning a Mark IV atomic bomb. This was the first such nuclear weapon loss in history. The Convair had been en route from Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks, Alaska to Carswell AFB in Fort Worth, Texas, on a mission that included a simulated nuclear attack on San Francisco, California. <!-- Anybody have the crash site coordinates? -->

Incident

Convair 44-92075 was on a mission that was part of the first full-scale practice nuclear strike against the Soviet Union. Each B-36 involved in this exercise was to conduct a simulated nuclear attack on an American city. The exercise was also intended to test whether the B-36 could attack the Soviet Union during the Arctic winter, when temperatures are so low that if a plane engine were shut down while a plane was being serviced on the ground, the engine could not be restarted.

Plane 44-92075 took off from Eielson AFB with a crew of 16 plus one observer. The plan for the 24-hour flight was to fly over the North Pacific, due west of the Alaska panhandle and British Columbia, then head inland over Washington state and Montana. The flight plan did not include any penetration of Canadian airspace. The plane carried a Mark IV atomic bomb, containing a substantial quantity of natural uranium and 500 pounds of conventional explosives. According to the USAF, the bomb...
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