Boeing KB-29P 44-83950

Carsphairn, Dumfries and Galloway

 
     
 
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Aircraft Type Photo

 

BELOW: Hose and Drogue equipped KB-29M refuels a KB-29MR modified with a nose probe. (U.S. Air Force photo)

 

 

Photo: United States Air Force.

 

As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image or file is in the public domain.

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Type and Background

 

USAF Boeing KB-29P / 44-83950

 


 

KB-29P History Summary

 

Boom-type refuelling aircraft.

 

Boeing developed the rigid flying boom system to improve on the hose and drogue in-flight refueling (IFR) system. The boom, mounted at the aft-most portion of the KB-29P, was fitted with two small wings that allowed the boom operator to maneuver the boom. The pilot of the receiver aircraft, guided by the boom operator and light signals on the tanker belly, flew behind and below the tanker for refueling. Once in position, the boom operator "flew" the boom into the refueling receptacle, and the KB-29P flight engineer began fuel transfer.

 

The flying boom system became the most common method for IFR and was used on KB-50s and KC-97s. It is still used on the USAF's modern tankers — the KC-135 and KC-10. (USAF Fact Sheet.)

 

The KB-29P tanker aircraft was adapted from the B-29 'Superfortress' heavy bomber. (See History Summary below.)

 

 

B-29 History Summary

 

Heavy bomber.

 

The Boeing B-29 was developed as a long-range heavy bomber. It was equipped with guns that could be fired by remote control. They were used primarily in the Pacific arena, although Air Force loans of the bomber also operated over the Atlantic.

 

The B-29 had a top speed of 365 mph and a cruising speed of 220 mph. Its range was 5,830 miles, and it carried a crew of 10. The B-29 first flew on 21 September 1942.

 

During the war in the Pacific, B-29s were used over Japan. In August 1945, the B-29 Enola Gay dropped the first atomic bomb used in warfare. This was followed three days later by the B-29 Bockscar dropping a second nuclear bomb.

 

Wartime versions of this aircraft were powered by four 2,200 hp Wright Double Cyclone R3350 18 cylinder radial engines. However, because of problems with this power plant, re-engined and post-war B-29s were equipped with the superior Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major engines.

 

Following the war, the B-29 became the main bomber aircraft used by the newly formed USAF Strategic Air Command (SAC). It was used extensively in the Korean conflict.

 


 

BELOW: The flight engineer's panes / station of a B-29 Superfortress.

 

(For other instrument panels, etc. see the Strategic Air and Space Museum's B-29 page.)

 

 

b-29 superfortress cockpit instrument panel

 

Photo: National Museum of the USAF

 


 

The Soviet Union built a series of very similar aircraft, known as the Tupolev Tu-4. The design of the Tu-4s had been copied largely from B-29s that had made forced landings in Soviet territory during WWII.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Accident Details

 

USAF Boeing KB-29P 44-83950 took off off from RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk at 09:17 for a Radar Navigation Flight which was to be followed by 4 hours of Air to Air refuelling practice with a Boeing B-50.

 

At 11:03 the aircraft contacted the controller at Prestwick, the pilot reported they were at a altitude of 4,400m (14,500ft). Seven minutes later the aircraft was seen by witnesses on the ground descending out of cloud at 450 - 600m (1,500 - 2,000ft) over Carsphairn on a NNW course.

 

The aircraft turned onto a SE course, stalled and entered a spin from which it did not recover. It impacted the ground in a deep gully at the edge of a field. The fuel tanks, containing an estimated 8,000 US Gallons (c.30,000 litres) exploded and completely destroyed the aircraft, scattering it over a considerable area.


 

 

 

 

Aircraft Crew Casualties

 

  • Cpl. John B. Simpson (24), Radio Operator, USAF.
  •  

  • Lieut. Joseph Aloysius O'Leary (33), A.O., Pilot in Command, USAF.
  •  

  • 1st Lieut. George Jacques Hayden (31), A.O., Navigator, USAF,
  •  

  • Cpl. Reginald Y. Russell (25), Boom Operator, USAF.
  •  

  • Cpl. John R. Finnegan (34), Scanner, USAF.
  •  

  • 1st Lieut. Jack Wilfred Kern (27), A.O., Acting Boom Operator (Instructor), USAF.
  •  

  • 1st Lieut. George Merril Foote (31), A.O., Second Pilot, USAF.
  •  

  • Captain Tennant Appleton Metz (30) A.O., Boom Operator, USAF.
  •  

  • Technical Sgt. Henry H. Hill (26), Boom Operator, USAF.
  •  

  • Staff Sgt. Wallace L. Scott (26), Boom Operator, USAF.
  •  

  • Staff Sgt. Noel Marion Poppoff (22),Flt Eng., USAF.

 

 

 

 

Crash Site Photos

 

BELOW: On the way to Carsphairn.

 

On the way to Carsphairn.

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Corserine and The Rhinns of Kells taken from the A713 north of Carsphairn.

 

Corserine and The Rhins of Kell taken from the A713 north of Carsphairn.

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Brockloch Tower. The memorial is built into the wall in the middle distance, running across the photo.

 

Brockloch Tower. The memorial is built into the wall in the middle distance.

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Pieces of the KB-29P have been collected in a neat pile under the memorial.

 

Pieces of the KP29 have been collected in a neat pile under the memorial.

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Closer view of the above Memorial plaque.

 

(For aircrew names, see Aircraft Crew Casualties list above.)

 

Closer view of above Memorial plaque.

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW (next 4 photos) : Some of the pieces.

 

(next 4 photos): some of the pieces.

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

 

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

 

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

 

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Everything put neatly back after I photographed them [Gary].

 

Everything put neatly back after I photographed them [Gary].

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Looking down the wall to where the KB-29 crashed.

 

Looking down the wall to where the KB-29 crashed.

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW (next 2 photos) : Where it crashed, about 91m (100yds) further down the wall. Remains of the old wall demolished in the crash can be seen next to the tree nearest the wall.

 

Where it crashed, about 91m (100yds) further down the wall.

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

 

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: On the other side of the wall are more stones from the demolished wall lying in a depression which may have been caused by the crash.

 

(Brockloch Tower in the distance.)

 

On the other side of the wall are more stones from the demolished wall lying in a depression

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 

 

MORE PHOTOS BELOW

 

 


 

 


 

 

BELOW: The steep gully on the left mentioned in accident reports.

 

The steep gully on the left mentioned in accident reports.

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Looking back up the gully from the bottom of the field.

 

Looking back up the gully from the bottom of the field.

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: A piece of wiring lying at the bottom of the gully below the demolished wall.

 

A piece of wiring lying at the bottom of the gully below the demolished wall.

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: A very corroded piece of aluminium almost turned to 'daz', also at the bottom of the gully.

 

A very corroded piece of aluminium almost turned to daz, also at the bottom of the gully.

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: More 'daz'.

 

'More daz'.

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: The area where I found the wiring and daz. The remains of the demolished wall are at the top of the bank on the right [Gary].

 

The area where I found the wiring and daz.

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: There was very little to be found at the actual crash site.

 

There was very little to be found at the actual crash site.

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: This photo shows the crater at the left of the wall and the rebuilt bit of wall sticking out.

 

This photo shows the crater at the left of the wall and the rebuilt bit of wall sticking out.

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW (next 2 photos) : Overlooking the crash site towards the Rhinns of Kells.

 

(next 2 photos) : Overlooking the crashsite towards the Rhinns of Kells.

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

 

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW (next 3 photos) : More views of the memorial.

 

(next 3 photos) : More views of the memorial.

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

 

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

 

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Brockloch Tower taken from the Memorial.

 

(next 3 photos) : More views of the memorial.

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW (next 2 photos) : The crash site taken from the A713.

 

(next 2 photos) : The crash site taken from the A713.

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

 

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: The A713 looking toward Brockloch Tower. The crash site is to the left of the tower and the Memorial is on a wall in front of the tower. (See previous photo.)

 

The A713 looking toward Brockloch Tower. The crash site is to the left of the tower.

 

Photo: © 2015 Gary Nelson

 


 

 

 

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Crash Date / Site

 

 

Aircraft page added: 13 June 2015

 

Page last updated: 13 June 2015

 


 

Accident Date: 7 July 1951

 

Accident Site: Carsphairn

(vicinity of Brockloch Tower)

 

Nearest main road: A713

 

Region: Dumfries and Galloway

 

Nearest town or village: Carsphairn (SE)

 

Nearest larger town: St John's Town of Dalry (SE)

 

OS Grid Ref. NX 539 959.

 

GPS Ref: N/A

 

Present Crash Site Status: Memorial plaque and small wreckage pieces at the crash site.

 

 

 

Aircraft Details

 

 

Registration or Serial: 44-83950

 

Operator: RAF / USAF.

 

Operating Station: RAF Lakenheath.

 

Operating Station Location: Lakenheath, Brandon, Suffolk, England.

 

Current Station Status: Operational Military Air Station.

 

Current Station Name: RAF Lakenheath.

(RAF Station leased to USAF.)

 


 

Related Links

 

 

Accident Specific Link

 

Niagara Falls Gazette (newspaper article (PDF)).

 

 

RAF / USAF and Related Links

Boeing KB-29P Fact Sheet.

Boeing KB-29 Air Refueling Archive.

RAF Lakenheath.

RAF Lakenheath (Facebook)

RAF Lakenheath at Wikipedia.

 

Other Link

 

Brockloch Tower (photo).

 

 

 

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