Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The day the Air Force nuked Georgia

Well, dropped a nuke on it.  It was on this day in 1958:
The Tybee Island B-47 crash was an incident on February 5, 1958, in which the United States Air Force lost a 7,600-pound (3,400 kg) Mark 15 nuclear bomb in the waters off Tybee Island near Savannah, Georgia, United States. During a practice exercise, the B-47 bomber carrying the bomb collided in midair with an F-86 fighter plane. To protect the aircrew from a possible detonation in the event of a crash, the bomb was jettisoned. Following several unsuccessful searches, the bomb was presumed lost somewhere in Wassaw Sound off the shores of Tybee Island.

The F-86 pilot survived, as did everyone on the B-47.  The Wiki article (no doubt somewhat tongue in cheek) says that the crew observed no explosion when the bomb hit the water.  I can believe that.

There was supposed to be an Earth-Shattering kaboom ...

And so not only did the Air Force nuke North and South Carolina, they nuked Georgia, too.  Coincidence?


newrebeluniv said...

They probably had it coming.

Dave H said...

The pilot was heard to mutter "eat hot neutrons, suckers!" as he pulled the release.

deadmandance said...

Let's not mention Operation Plowshare, which successfully nuked very many places in the western US, including a couple just up the valley from where I live! And for the love of all that is holy, don't go looking into how seriously they considered the Orion Project.

Will said...

I suspect the explosion they were looking for would have been the conventional detonating explosives that would normally initiate the "bigger" bang. This happened fairly often with lost nukes, which tended to toss some of the active contents around the impact zone.

Most of the time, the warhead didn't have the "core" installed when being transported, so it would not be able to go critical when triggered. However, some of our lost warheads were fully armed when they hit the ground/water.
Amazing how many that have been dropped, have never been found. Boggles the mind. I wonder what the finder's fee would be?