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Crash site of a USAAF RB-29A Superfortress in 1948

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Crash site of a USAAF RB-29A Superfortress in 1948

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Date Posted:November 15th, 2007
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Description: The Post-War period crash site of aircraft 44-61999 "Over Exposed": an American Boeing Superfortress RB-29A heavy bomber, which was modified to be a F13A, and which thus had been in use prior to the crash in a reconnaissance role. The crash occurred at Higher Shelf Stones on 3rd November 1948. The aircraft is of historic interest because of its role in the Cold War: it was formerly part of the 509th Composite Group involved in filming the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll, codenamed Operation Crossroads. Afterwards at the time of the Berlin Air Lift the aircraft was used by the 16th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 311th Air Division, to reconnoitre and map the Russian occupied area of Germany from bases in Britain. The crew's tour of duty was coming to a close and they were on a transport flight from RAF Scampton to the USAF base at Burtonwood when they crashed, probably due to becoming lost in overcast conditions. A Royal Air Force Mountain rescue team from Harpur Hill found the crashed aircraft, all the crew had been killed in the crash and subsequent fire. Large pieces of aircraft wreckage were reportedly still on site at the start of the 21st century, including part of a gun turrent, wing section, cyclone engine and fragments of undercarriage.

Please note that a licence to excavate or recover any remains from a military crash site must be first obtained from the Ministry of Defence before any such investigation can take place.
By 1997 a commemorative stone had been erected at the crash site. The site lies not only within the Peak District National Park but also the Park Peak Site of Special Scientific interest.


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