Accident Boeing RB-50G Superfortress 47-145A, Wednesday 29 July 1953
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Date:Wednesday 29 July 1953
Time:06:17 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic b50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing RB-50G Superfortress
Owner/operator:343d SRSqn /55th SRWg USAF
Registration: 47-145A
MSN: 15829
Fatalities:Fatalities: 16 / Occupants: 17
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:7miles south of Askold Island, near Vladivostok -   Russia
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Yokota AB, Japan
Destination airport:Yokota AB, Japan
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
This aircraft was orginally built as B-50B-50-BO, but later converted to a RB-50G with additional radar and B-50D type nose.

At 06:15 local time, the RB-50G "Little Red Ass", temporarily attached to the 91st SRS, was intercepted by two MiG-15bis of 88 GvIAP in 42°38'3"N, 132°20'9"E at 20,000 feet over the Sea of Japan after it had violated the Soviet air space near Cape Gamov. What happened next is disputed, according to Soviet reports the fighter pilots instructed the aircraft to land but the gunners opened fire and hit the MiG flown by 1st Lt. Aleksandr D. Rybakov, who subsequently attacked the RB-50 together with his wingman 1st Lt. Yuri M. Yablonskiy and shot it down with cannon fire. US reports claim that the interceptors opened fire first, disabling the #1 engine and the gunners then only returned fire in self-defense, but could not prevent another attack that set #4 engine on fire. The RB-50 went in a sharp dive, but parts of the damaged right wing and tail assembly tore off and the aircraft disintegrated and crashed into the sea about two minutes after being fired upon.

At least seven crew members succeeded in bailing out, but only the co-pilot was rescued after 22 hours by the US destroyer USS Picking (DD 685) from a liferaft that had been dropped for him by a SB-29 about 12 hours after the crash. The destroyer also recovered the body of the pilot who had died of injuries and exposure and the body of a flight engineer was later located on the coast of Japan, while the remaining 13 were reported missing in action. It was suspected that at least some of them were taken prisoner by Soviet PT boats observed to be operating in the area, but it is not known if this was actually the case.

The following crew members were aboard:
Pilot Capt. Stanley Keith O'Kelley (AO-776002), killed
Co-pilot Capt. John Ernst Roche (AO-2029268), survived
Capt. John Cyrus Ward (AO-865270), missing
Maj. Francisco Joseph Tejeda (AO-726704), missing
1st Lt. Frank Ernest Beyer (AO-2093286), missing
Navigator 1st Lt. Edmund Joseph Czyz (AO-2072656), missing
Navigator 1st Lt. James Gordon Keith (AO-2092926), mortally wounded during the attack
Navigator 1st Lt. Lloyd Clayton Wiggins (AO-695999), missing
1st Lt. Warren John Sanderson (AO-2066184), missing
1st Lt. Robert Elbon Stalnaker (AO-761337), missing
Flight engineer M/Sgt. Francis Luther Brown (AF-19053497), killed
S/Sgt. Donald Wayne Gabree (AF-19333787), missing
S/Sgt. Donald George Hill (AF-19353976), missing
A1C Roland Edgar Goulet (AF-12323933), missing
A2C Earl Wilbur Radelin, Jr. (AF-14370732), missing
A2C Charles Joseph Russall (AF-13351658), missing
Tail gunner A2C James Edwin Woods (AF-24413122), missing


Revision history:

08-Mar-2013 09:14 Tetrapack Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
06-Oct-2013 20:23 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Country]
23-Feb-2021 21:27 Pink Updated [Operator, Location, Operator]

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