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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 150841
Last updated: 15 November 2021
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Date:06-NOV-1952
Time:c. 23:50
Type:Silhouette image of generic b50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing B-50D-90-BO Superfortress
Owner/operator:49th BSqn /2nd BWg USAF (49th BSqn /2nd Bomb Wingg United States Air Force)
Registration: 48-091
MSN: 15900
Fatalities:Fatalities: 11 / Occupants: 11
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:High Wood, 2 miles west of Great Dunmow, Essex, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire
Destination airport:RAF Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire
Narrative:
The Boeing B-50D-90-BO Superfortress of 49thBomb Squadron, 2nd Bomb Wing, USAF, was returning to RAF Upper Heyford after a routine training flight when it encountered a gale and crashed into a field near High Wood, 2 miles west of Great Dunmow, Essex, possibly flying into ground after the pilots lost orientation. The aircraft disintegrated on impact and all 11 crew members were killed. It was later reported that the airplane was carrying a load of ammunition that exploded for several hours, hampering the rescuers' mission.

Per a brief report in "The Times" newspaper dated 7 November 1952:

"B50 BOMBER CRASHES IN ESSEX
TEN MEN ON BOARD

An American B 50 Stratobomber, with a crew of 10, crashed near Stansted aerodrome, Essex, shortly before midnight last night, and caught fire. Two of the crew were believed to have baled out before the crash. The aircraft belonged to the 7th Air Division. A United States Air Force spokesman said that it was returning to Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire, from a training flight when the crash occurred. The aircraft was burnt out and most of the crew were killed.

Essex fire brigade recovered five bodies from the wreckage.

The B 50 Stratobomber has a wingspan of 141 ft, a range of 6000 miles, and a cruising speed of about 300 mph. An aircraft of this type made the first non-stop flight round the world in 1949."

Probable cause: It is believed that the loss of control was caused by gale. Also, the assumption that the pilot-in-command lost his orientation was not ruled out. Published sources (see link #2) named the pilot as Captain John Kemper Field, and the crash location as "8 miles North East of Wethersfield AFB, UK" [sic]. The pilot was repatriated to the USA for burial, and was interred in Pearsall, Texas

Sources:

1. http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1946.html
2. http://www.accident-report.com/world/europe/uk/uk52.html
3. https://www.baaa-acro.com/crash/crash-boeing-b-50d-90-bo-superfortress-great-dunmow-11-killed
4. http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?13938-B29-or-B50-Crash-at-Great-Dunmow-Essex-7th-Nov-1952
5. https://www.key.aero/forum/historic-aviation/119281-b-50-crash-information
6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Wood,_Dunmow


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
24-Nov-2012 01:13 ds1214 Added
07-Mar-2013 03:06 Tetrapack Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
24-Jul-2017 20:32 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
23-Feb-2021 21:40 Pink Updated [Operator, Location, Operator]
29-Mar-2021 18:15 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
29-Mar-2021 18:21 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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