- The Mark 6, 30 kiloton bomb dropped in the backyard of the Greg family, injuring them and causing severe damage to their property.
- Fortunately for the family and the surrounding neighborhood of Mars Bluff, the actual nuclear core of the bomb didn’t go off.
- It is still unclear whether that core was removed and stored in a separate part of the aircraft, or if the nuclear part of the bomb failed to go off by chance.
- The family’s two young daughters and cousins were playing outside, and were a few hundred yards away when the bomb hit the ground.
- He suffered relatively minor injuries, although the family’s chickens were killed, with the Air Force paying the family $54,000 for damages.
- The plane was on a flight from Georgia to the UK, and was beset by delays and problems.
- The bomb was improperly secured, and a crew member accidentally dropped it when he went to investigate it.
The shocking story of how a US Air Force bomber accidentally dropped an atomic bomb on a South Carolina family home and left a giant crater has been revisited.
In 1958, the US Air Force accidentally dropped an atomic bomb on a family’s backyard when, after several accidents, a sailor on a B-47 bomber accidentally pulled the atomic’s emergency release handle while trying to fix the bomb, And was looking for something to catch. Feather.
Fortunately for the family of six below and the neighborhood around Mars Bluff, only the bomb’s TNT detonator went off. Speculation continues as to whether the nuclear core of the bomb was placed in a separate part of the aircraft, or whether the atomic bomb was fully active and failed to go off by chance.
This created a crater 50 feet wide and 30 feet deep, killing the family’s chickens and badly damaging their house and car.
They were all calm, but thankfully they weren’t more seriously injured, with the B-47’s crew fearing they would set off an actual explosion as a mushroom cloud of dust from TNT rose into the air.
It was around 4 p.m. on March 11, when Greg sisters Helen, 6, Francis, 9, with their cousin Ella Davis, 9, were exhausted from a playhouse in the woods behind the Greg family home, and a Decided to go to the yard about 200 yards next to the house.
Unbeknownst to him, this move would have saved his life. About 19 minutes later, the 7,600-pound, Mark 6, 30-kiloton atomic bomb fell 15,000 feet to land almost directly on the playhouse, detonating and leaving only scraps of tin from the corrugated metal that would have served as its roof. Were, American Heritage Reported in 2000.
In 1958, a B-47 bomber (pictured) accidentally dropped an atomic bomb in the backyard of a house in South Carolina
While only its TNT detonator went off, the bomb left a 50-foot crater, and damaged the Greg family home as well as other neighboring structures.
The nuclear material core of the bomb is believed to have been removed for transport, and placed elsewhere in the aircraft, but the Gregg family still missed the tremendous explosion due to their TNT detonator – the atom in the bomb’s fissile material. Used to create chain reaction.
The family’s father, Walter Gregg, recalls the dust and smoke emanating from the explosion, and large chunks of earth thrown into the air that would fall back down, damaging his home and other nearby buildings.
He was working in the Family Workshop building bench with his son Walter Jr., he told sun news in 2003. His wife Effie was inside their house.
‘You couldn’t see 10 feet in front of your face,’ said Greg, 82, at the time of the interview. ‘I could only understand that that plane had crashed.’
‘You can’t really describe it,’ Walter Jr recalled. ‘The noise was unbelievable, and the dust was insane. You can’t really describe it.’
The type of bomb dropped was the Mark 6, 30 kiloton bomb
A marker indicating where the nuclear weapon made an impact on the ground after a fall 15,000 feet
Due to the novelty of the event, the eruption site is now a landmark
The six-engined B-47 was flying overhead as part of Operation Snow Flurry – a nuclear readiness drill – and was on its way to the UK for a simulated bombing run.
However, from the very beginning, the mission was beset with problems.
Before takeoff, the ground crew struggled to secure the Mark 6 payload, and under a strict time limit, had to hoist it onto a sling before being able to secure it with its locking pin.
As an early jet bomber, however, the B-47 suffered from several design flaws and was extremely difficult to fly, American Heritage reports.
As a result, the crew is asked to turn off the bomb’s locking mechanism during takeoff if they need to take it off quickly.
Because of their unorthodox method of securing the payload with a hammer, the lock would not re-attach, leading crew member Bruce Kulka, 29, to manually re-secure the locking pin to go into the bomb bay. .
While the Greg family suffered relatively minor injuries, their assets were not so lucky, including their Chevrolet sedan (pictured), which was declared a total loss.
The Greg family home was severely damaged, and they would eventually win $54,000 from the government for their hardship.
But Kulka, a sailor on the plane, did not know where the mechanism was located.
‘A little man, he jumped to pull himself up where he thought the locking pin should be,’ American Heritage reporter Clark Rumerill wrote.
‘Unfortunately, he apparently chose the emergency bomb-release mechanism for his arm. The weapon dropped from its hut and rested momentarily on the closed bomb-bay doors, in which Captain Kulka called Dr. Strangelove overcame it the way Slim Pickens did.
Soon, the bomb began to break through the bay doors, and Kulka ruthlessly held her for anything that prevented her from falling from the plane. He had removed his parachute to squeeze his way into the bay.
The accident occurred when Captain Bruce Kulka (far right) accidentally pulled the emergency release lever for the bomb.
A nearly four-ton bomb dropped on the plane’s bay doors (pictured), damaging them and breaking off before falling to Earth
First he grabbed a bag, which was lost, and then another object, which he could not remember, and a nearly four-tonne bomb broke through the belly of the plane and fell to earth, and ejected himself safely.
The Greg family suffered some minor injuries from the explosion, with Ella suffering the most severe, requiring 31 stitches and surgery to repair some internal bleeding.
Within hours of the bombing, Air Force personnel from two nearby bases landed on Mars Bluff, and quickly determined that there was no radiation from the explosion.
Subsequently, the government changed its protocol for bomb storage, including modifying their arsenal to include detonators, which could not go by the effects of the National Heritage Report alone.
The Gregs of Mars Bluff and the surrounding area were lucky. The nuclear core of the bomb was reportedly removed and stored elsewhere on the plane, except for the attacks on Nagasaki (pictured) and Hiroshima that used nuclear weapons on people as the weapons were introduced.
But nuclear overflights will not be interrupted by accident, The Daily Beast reported, and they would actually increase with the implementation of Operation Chrome Dome in 1960, which called for nuclear-armed B-52 bombers to be in the air 24 hours a day.
The government initially offered Greggs $44,000 for damage to his home, and to destroy his garage, Chevrolet sedan, toolshed, clothing, and the 6 to 16 free range chickens the family owned, some of which vaporized in the explosion. Went, but they initially refused.
They would take him to court and two years later pay about $54,000. The explosion site is now a landmark, and despite the shock and hardship, Greg was excited about the event.
He told Sun News, ‘Not many people can say that an atomic bomb has been dropped on them. ‘Many people wouldn’t want to.’