BROKEN ARROW

When a B-36 Peacemaker carrying an atomic weapon went missing in 1950, it led to one of the most exhaustive searches in aviation history. Following a visit to the crash site 53 years later, Dr John Clearwater reveals what happened to the aircraft and its crew on the day that America lost the bomb

img_46-1_7.jpg
A B-36 Peacemaker with wingtips and tail surfaces in red.
img_46-2_4.jpg
A Mk.4 atomic bomb, a refined version of the ‘Fat Man’ plutonium-fired type, used over Nagasaki in August 1945
img_47-1_5.jpg
The Latin motto of the 7th Bomb Wing translates as ‘Death from Above’.

Depending on which conspiracy theorist you ask, this story potentially involves Soviet submarines, a stolen bomber, and even a full mutiny of the American Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Atomic Energy Commission.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view. You can also access it if you’re subscribed to one of our Key Publishing magazines.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Why not join our community of aviation enthusiasts? Pick one of our introductory offers and access a wealth of world-class aviation content.