Goldsboro, NC Goldsboro B52 Bomber Crash, Jan 1961

Recovering the Goldsboro B52 Bomb, Jan 1961, photo from


Goldsboro, N.C. (AP) -- An Air Force board of inquiry will look into the crash of a B52G jet bomber that killed three men near here early yesterday.

The big plane, carrying two unarmed nuclear weapons, plunged to the ground 15 miles north of Goldsboro. The $8 million aircraft was stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base here.
Gen. Walter C. Sweeney, Jr., commander of the 8th Air Force, flew to Goldsboro from his headquarters at Westover Field, Mass., after the crash.

Col. Charles Abbuhl, deputy commander of operations for the 4241st Strategic Wing, was appointed to head up the board. No other details of the inquiry were announced immediately. The B52G belonged to the 4241st Wing of the Strategic Air Command.

The two nuclear devices aboard did not detonate, one being ejected and landing by parachute, and the other found in the in wreckage. Air Force officials stressed that at no time was there any danger of radiation.

Found dead in the wreckage were:
Maj. EUGENE RICHARD, 42, of Toccoa, Ga.
T. Sgt. FRANCIS R. BARNISH, 35, of Greenfield, Mass.
The body of Maj. EUGENE SHELTON, 41, of San Antonio, Tex., was found in a tree.

Among the five survivors was Maj. WALTER F. TULLOCH, 45, of San Diego, Calif., who was commander of the B52G. He stayed in a swampy woodland area from the time of the crash shortly after midnight until day break Tuesday,when he made his way to safety.

Maj. TULLOCH said the plane, on a routine alert mission, radioed Seymour Johnson that it would try to make an emergency landing. He said the plane, at 10,000 feet, was having emergency fuel difficulties. In a matter of minutes, the plane caught fire and plunged into a plowed field, tossing burning wreckage over a wide area.

The five survivors escaped with minor injuries. Besides Maj. TULLOCH, the survivors who parachuted to safety were:
Capt. RICHARD W. RARDIN, 33, of San Antonio, Texas.
Capt. PAUL E. BROWN, 37, of Beardstown, Ill.
Lt. WILLIAM R. WILSON, 27, of Somerville, N.J.
Lt. A. C. MATTOCKS, of Maysville, N.C.

Progress-Index Petersburg Virginia 1961-01-25