Square Top Mt., UT Bomber Crash, Apr 1983
MISSING BOMBER FOUND; ALL DEAD.
Las Vegas, Nev. (AP) -- A B-52 bomber found after a two-day search through snow and rain had slammed into a southern Utah mountainside in bad weather, killing all seven crewmen aboard, officials said today.
The wreckage was discovered Wednesday as clouds broke briefly over a route being retraced by a search plane, one of more than 20 involved in the hunt for the unarmed strategic bomber since it disappeared Monday afternoon.
A board of officers was being convened to investigate the accident, the Air Force said in a statement read by Lt. Col. Richard Kline of the Strategic Air Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.
Investigators and recovery workers were to travel today by helicopter and four-wheel-drive vehicles to the crash site at Jackson Peak in the Bull Valley Mountains, about 20 miles northwest of St. George, Utah.
The crash occurred at an elevation of about 6,300 feet, at least 1,200 feet below the mountaintop, Washington County Deputy Bruce Raferty said. Local authorities were told of the discovery of the wreckage Wednesday afternoon, but initially were asked to keep the location secret, he said.
The huge, eight-engine bomber slammed into the mountain as it approached the Nellis Air Force Base bombing range, Air Force officials said.
The plane stationed at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., was taking part in Red Flag -- mock war games conducted several times a year over the Nevada desert. It carried no weapons of any kind when it crashed, the Air Force statement said.
Officials at Robins earlier identified the B-52 crew members as:
Capt. CAROLL D. GUNTHER, 45, pilot/safety observer, Salina, Kan.
Capt. DONALD W. HIEBERT, 28, pilot, Shirley, Mass.
Capt. JONATHAN M. BISHOP, 27, radar navigator, Fairhope, Ala.
1st Lt. THOMAS C. LENNEP, JR., 25, co-pilot, Brownsville, Texas.
1st Lt. MATTHEW W. CERVENAK, 24, navigator,
1st Lt. BERNARD S. RUSSELL, 26, Electronic warfare officer, Anniston, Ala.
Staff Sgt. MAJOR CARTER, 25, gunner, Savannah, Ga.
All were stationed at Robins.
Kokomo Tribune Indiana 1983-04-14
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