Friday, February 29, 2008

Plane Crash in Smith's Sound

The weather in Newfoundland was seasonably poor, as on the morning of March 18 1953 American Convair B-36 (known as the peacemaker) departed from Lajes in The Azores destined for its home base in South Dakota. On board were 23 airmen anxious to be heading home after a training mission. Among the crew on board that night included Brig. Gen Richard Ellsworth. The flight plan was to maintain a low altitude as the crossed the Atlantic and climb to a higher altitude as it passed over Newfoundland. The Rain and fog of the evening made visibility unimaginably poor, and the plane arrived over Newfoundland about an hour and a half prior to the time they had expected. At 4:00 am the massive bomber collided with the 900 ft ridge known as “Nut cove” in Smith’s sound, Trinity bay. Nearby loggers heard the impact and made the 40 minute climb up the embankment. There were no survivors. Local men from Lower Lance Cove, Random Island assisted in the removal of the bodies. Today much of the debris remains undisturbed at the crash site. A monument has been erected to commemorate the lost. The propeller mounted in a block of stone reads

“They shall rise up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint”

U.S.A.F RB-36
28th Reconnaissance Wing
Rapid City, Dakota

That same night after locating the wreckage from the air a Boeing SB-29 Superfortress
And its ten crewmembers from Harmon Air Force base in Stephenville disappeared and was never heard from again.

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