ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 200816
Last updated: 27 November 2021
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Type:Silhouette image of generic b47 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing B-47E Stratojet
Owner/operator:303rd BWg USAF (303rd Bomb Wingg United States Air Force)
Registration: 51-2440
MSN: 450493
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Spud Rock, 25 miles east of Tucson, Cochise County, Arizona, -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Davis-Monthan AFB (KDMA),Tucson , Arizona, USA
Destination airport:Davis-Monthan AFB (KDMA),Tucson , Arizona, USA
The aircraft had taken off from Davis-Monthan Air Force base at 13:00 hrs. on a 5 hr. routine refuelling 'transition' training mission, rendezvousing with a KC-97 tanker at 10,000ft. over Spud Rock to the East of Tucson.
During the refuelling coupling the tanker's boom operator observed that two of the B-47's engines were on fire, the two aircraft immediately separated before refuelling was carried out, the B-47 then exploded into two sections and fell in flames and crashed in the Redington Pass Area of the Rincon Mountains, 25miles east of Tucson. The KC-97 tanker stayed in station over the blazing crash site blinking it landing lights until 21:00 hrs, guiding the emergency services to the site
An automatic radio distress signal was received at Davis-Monthan Air Force base from the aircraft just prior to the aircraft exploding.
The four aircrew, Pilot, Lt. Col. Douglas H. Bratcher; Pilot, Maj. Heyward W. McEver; Pilot, Capt. Jesse G. Williams and Crew Chief, A1C William L Child were killed in the crash.

Tucson Daily Citizen, AZ - 4th December 1953
Arizona Daily Star, AZ - 5th December 1953
The Arizona Republic, AZ - 5th December 1953
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA - 4 December 1953
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA - 4th December 1953

Revision history:

02-Nov-2017 20:30 TB Added
16-Jul-2020 23:59 Peter Clarke Updated [Operator, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
22-Jul-2020 08:18 Yarbi Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Operator]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description