Today in History – August 19, 1963 – Not A Good Day for the Stratojet

19 August 1963 – Two Boeing B-47 Stratojets of the 40th Bombardment Wing from Schilling AFB, Salina, KS, collide in mid-air over Irwin, Iowa during a nine-hour navigation, air-refueling, and radar bomb scoring mission. The bombers had departed Schilling at 1125 hrs. and 1126 hrs., then collided in overcast skies shortly after, coming down on two farms ~2 miles apart. Two of the crew were DOA at Harlan Hospital, Irwin, Iowa, three were treated for injuries, and one was located alive.

Also on August 19, 1963 – A USAF Boeing QB-47E Stratojet, of the 3205th Drone Director Group, veered off course on touchdown at Eglin Air Force Base, FL, crashing onto Eglin Parkway which ran parallel to runway 32/14. Two cars were crushed by the Stratojet, killing two occupants, Robert W. Glass and Dr. Robert Bundy, and injuring a third, Dorothy Phillips.

Mr. Glass and Dr. Bundy both worked for the Minnesota Honeywell Corporation at the time, a firm that had just completed flight tests on an inertia guidance sub-system for the X-20 Dyna-Soar project at the base utilizing a McDonnell NF-101B Voodoo. Mrs. Phillips was the wife of Master Sergeant James Phillips, a crew chief at the base. Mrs. Phillips was treated for moderate injuries and released later that day.

Both vehicles were destroyed by fire. Fire crews had to lay over a mile of hose to reach the crash from the nearest hydrant. The QB-47 was used for Bomarc Missile Program tests, which normally operated from Auxiliary Field Three (Duke Field), approximately 15 miles from the main base, but was diverted to Eglin Main after thunderstorms built up over Duke.

Source: Wikipedia Portal Aviaition Anniversaries

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