« "Israel offers deal to rescue peace talks" The Telegraph | Main | Open Thread - 12 April 2014 »

11 April 2014

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Will

have been researching the B52's and "broken arrow" incidents. When I was about 11, i just missed getting incinerated when the "wet wing" B52 carrying two hydrogen bombs started leaking fuel and crashed before it could land at Seymour Johnson AFB at Goldsboro, NC.

One bomb parachuted in a tree, the other bomb is in part buried 270 foot or so down in a swamp. During the excavation a sarge told his louie, "i've found the trigger." the louie replied "good news," only to learn that the trigger had armed except for the last step.

A third of the fleet used to be up in the air each on its target path on the way to the Soviet Union, then they would turn back.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1961_Goldsboro_B-52_crash

steve

Just an old B-52 story from when I was a kid--

I had an uncle who was stationed at Barksdale AFB as a B-52 SAC mission navigator We went down there to visit in 1963 when I was 12.

Being 12, nothing was as cool as seeing the B-52s getting prepared to go on their "fail-safe" runs. But the absolutely incredible thing for me--thanks to my uncle--was being able to go aboard a B-52 and looking around the cockpit while it was revving up.

Man, I was in heaven and for a few weeks that story made me the king of 7th grade, lol.

Also saw a U2 on base with the cockpit all taped up.

Anyway, can you imagine a 12 yr. old nowadays taking a tour of the cockpit of a B-52, loaded with thermonuclear weapons, as it's getting ready for takeoff? No security clearance at all--I was just an officer's nephew.

Booby

Will,

I grew up in Pink Hill, NC, not far from Seymour Johnson. My Dad was a volunteer fireman & went to fight the brushfire caused by the B-52 crash. He came back for his now cold dinner & very calmly explained that one of their bombers had crashed & that the USAF couldn't find one of the nuclear bombs. He'd also heard that it had nearly armed and exploded. I think the USAF bought the land around where they thought the bomb had landed.
When I was in college, I was telling the story in an ROTC class & my military instructor stopped me, took me outside & asked me where I'd heard of the event. He then told me that the event was TS, I explained that everyone in Esatern, NC knew about it.

Charles I

The current popular work on nuclear weapons accidents, this time centered on a silo accident:

http://www.amazon.com/Command-Control-Damascus-Accident-Illusion/dp/1594202273

Famed investigative journalist Eric Schlosser digs deep to uncover secrets about the management of America’s nuclear arsenal. A ground-breaking account of accidents, near-misses, extraordinary heroism, and technological breakthroughs, Command and Control explores the dilemma that has existed since the dawn of the nuclear age: how do you deploy weapons of mass destruction without being destroyed by them? That question has never been resolved--and Schlosser reveals how the combination of human fallibility and technological complexity still poses a grave risk to mankind.

Written with the vibrancy of a first-rate thriller, Command and Control interweaves the minute-by-minute story of an accident at a nuclear missile silo in rural Arkansas with a historical narrative that spans more than fifty years. It depicts the urgent effort by American scientists, policymakers, and military officers to ensure that nuclear weapons can’t be stolen, sabotaged, used without permission, or detonated inadvertently. Schlosser also looks at the Cold War from a new perspective, offering history from the ground up, telling the stories of bomber pilots, missile commanders, maintenance crews, and other ordinary servicemen who risked their lives to avert a nuclear holocaust. At the heart of the book lies the struggle, amid the rolling hills and small farms of Damascus, Arkansas, to prevent the explosion of a ballistic missile carrying the most powerful nuclear warhead ever built by the United States.

Drawing on recently declassified documents and interviews with men who designed and routinely handled nuclear weapons, Command and Control takes readers into a terrifying but fascinating world that, until now, has been largely hidden from view. Through the details of a single accident, Schlosser illustrates how an unlikely event can become unavoidable, how small risks can have terrible consequences, and how the most brilliant minds in the nation can only provide us with an illusion of control. Audacious, gripping, and unforgettable, Command and Control is a tour de force of investigative journalism, an eye-opening look at the dangers of America’s nuclear age.

Charles I

oops see my reply to Booby below re Eric Schlosser's new book.

Charles I

hardly on the same level, but I live in a town so small that at the bank they let me go back behind the counter to use one of their wicket terminals to sort out some problem with my internet banking. The good old days still exist in some tiny forms.

oofda

This crazy scheme would be a violation of the New START Treaty. Heavy bombers such as the B-52 count under the Treaty, and have specific requirements for removal from accountability.
"Conversion, elimination, or other means for removal from
accountability of strategic offensive arms and facilities
shall be carried out in accordance with Part Three of the
Protocol to this Treaty". Part Three of the Protocol does NOT allow transfer to another state as a valid means from removal from accountability under the Treaty.

Thus, these lunatics are advocating violating a strategic arms reduction treaty with Russia in order to give Israel heavy bombers for a strike on Iran. Insanity

Ryan

"Thus, these lunatics are advocating violating a strategic arms reduction treaty with Russia in order to give Israel heavy bombers for a strike on Iran. Insanity"

Well, we are talking about Israel.

Anyway, agreed.

DD

"Is there a cure for this lunacy?"

Yes - bomb Israel.

confusedponderer

Update:
Today, JINSA is having a conference call with Gen. Deptula & Makovsky about MOPs & B-52s to Israel‏.

William R. Cumming

Curious: At the end of this century will there be more bombers than fighters in the world?

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

October 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Blog powered by Typepad