Aberdeen, MS Bomber Explosion, Dec 1963


Aberdeen, Miss. (AP) -- Two explosions blasted a B52 bomber out of the sky Monday, killing the nine men aboard.
It happened shortly after the big bomber had taken off from the Strategic Air Command's Air Force base.
Flaming wreckage of the 42-ton craft rained down over a large farm south of this north Mississippi town.
Some of the wreckage exploded after hitting the ice-glazed ground. One piece dug a crater 75 feet deep.
Although SAC bombers normally carry nuclear weapons, the Air Force said the B52 was unarmed.
It was manned by a crew of six, plus three trainees.
Sheriff Paul Brasfield said two bits of wreckage tore holes in a farmhouse roof, but no one was at home at the time.
The nine men were identified as:
MAJ. KARL M. FUNK, Abilene, Kan., aircraft commander.
CAPT. ELBERT J. ANDOE, Tulsa, Okla., copilot.
1st LT. ANTHONY J. LENZI, Memphis, Tenn., navigator.
CAPT. FRED R. CURTIS, Fayetteville, Ark., radar navigator.
1st LT. LIAM RAFFERTY, Newark, N.J., electronics warfare officer.
M. SGT. LACY POTTER, Pikeville, Ky., tail gunner.
Extra crew:
CAPT. HARRY E. BELL, Sioux City, Iowa, instructor-navigator.
1st LT. HARRY L. GREBE, Altoona, Pa., extra navigator.
2nd LT. LEONARD LEROSE, Chicago, extra copilot.

The Post Standard Syracuse New York 1963-12-24