Missing: Nuclear Bomb

Missing: Nuclear Bomb

February 5, 1958 - It was on this day that a B-47 bomber dropped a 7600-pound Mk15 nuclear bomb off the coast of Savannah, Georgia.

The bomber was on a training mission when it collided with a F-86 fighter plane. The pilot of F-86 was able to eject safely before his plane crashed. The crew aboard the B-47 managed to keep the damaged plane flying.

There was a chance that the nuke they were carrying would explode during a crash landing, so permission was given to jettison the bomb in the waters off Tybee Island. It disappeared into the water and has never been recovered.

The B-47 managed to land safely with no loss of life.

There is some controversy as to whether or not the bomb was fully operational with its nuclear capsule intact at the time of the accident. The official record says that is wasn't, but Assistant Secretary of Defense W.J. Howard testified before Congress in 1966 that the bomb was a "complete weapon, a bomb with a nuclear capsule.

"Recovery operations began immediately after the accident, but the final resting place for the missing nuke remains a mystery. Researchers believe they have narrowed it down to an area the size of a football field, but the bomb is probably wedged 15-feet beneath the silt at the bottom of Wassaw Sound.

If the bomb was/is fully functional and somehow exploded, the resulting fireball and thermal radiation could scorch everything within a 10-mile radius.

 

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