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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 98671
Last updated: 27 November 2021
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Date:03-FEB-1951
Time:22:35
Type:Silhouette image of generic b50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing B-50D-110-BO Superfortress
Owner/operator:341st BSqn /97th BGp (M) USAF (341st BSqn /97th BGp (M) United States Air Force)
Registration: 49-0270
MSN: 16046
Fatalities:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 8
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1 mile west of Abington Pigotts, Cambridgeshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Take off
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Bassingbourn /AAF Sta.121
Destination airport:RAF Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire
Narrative:
The B-50D “City Of El Paso” of the 341st Bomb Squadron 97th Bomb Group (pilot George W. Barnes) struck two different groups of trees 100 yards apart after its thought the flaps were retracted too early on a night take-off from RAF Bassingbourn. The crew were thought to of been fatally wounded on the second hit and after crashing into a ploughed field the aircraft disintegrated and caught fire. All five crew members in the forward compartments were killed, while the three crew members in the rear survived with only minor injuries when the tail section broke off and was flung clear of the burning wreckage, finally ending up in a separate field.

According to a contemporary newspaper report ("Northern Star" (Lismore, NSW Monday 5 February 1951 Page 1 - see link #3):

"Seven Killed in Superfort Crash
LONDON, Sunday (AAP)

Seven members of the crew of an American B-50 Superfortress were killed when the plane crashed into flames near a village church at Abington Pigotts, Cambridgeshire, last night.

Three men in the rear part of the plane survived the crash. The tail end broke off and was flung clear of the rest of the fuselage. The plane burst into flames immediately it hit the ground.

The Superfort had just taken off from Air Force Base Bassingbourn, which is two and a half miles from Abington Pigotts. The plane fell in the middle of a ploughed field. Petrol exploded and caught fire. The three survivors walked out of the snapped off tail part and were, able to' walk unaided to a nearby farmhouse for a cup of tea. However, one later collapsed suffering suspected internal injuries".

Note that the above press report concurs that there were three survivors, but disagrees on the number of casualties, implying that the aircraft had a crew of ten (seven fatalities and three survivors)

Sources:

1. https://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/1950s/1951Feb.htm
2. http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1949.html
3. Northern Star (Lismore, NSW) Monday 5 February 1951 Page 1 - "Seven Killed in Superfort Crash": https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/96551708
4. https://www.baaa-acro.com/crash/crash-boeing-b-50d-110-bo-superfortress-raf-bassingbourn-5-killed
5. https://www.angelfire.com/dc/jinxx1/97thBW/97thBW.html
6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abington_Pigotts


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
06-Mar-2013 08:43 Tetrapack Updated [Aircraft type, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
06-Sep-2014 16:49 Robbo Updated [Time, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Narrative]
31-Dec-2018 17:24 TB Updated [Time, Operator]
16-Feb-2020 08:44 Robbo Updated [Operator, Location, Narrative]
05-Apr-2020 19:38 Reno Raines Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Operator]
09-Jan-2021 22:59 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
11-Jan-2021 22:08 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
30-Jan-2021 21:28 TB Updated [Operator, Operator]

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