Boeing RB-29A 44-61999 of the 16th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 91st Reconnaissance Group, 311th Air Division, Strategic Air Command, USAF, Crashed at Higher Shelf Stones on Bleaklow near Glossop 3rd November 1948
|Landon P. Tanner||Captain||Pilot||Killed|
|Harry A. Stroud||Captain||Co-pilot||Killed|
|Ralph W. Fields||Technical Sergeant||Engineer||Killed|
|Charles R. Wilbanks||Sergeant||Navigator||Killed|
|Gene A. Gartner||Staff Sergeant||Radio Operator||Killed|
|David D. Moore||Staff Sergeant||Radar Operator||Killed|
|Saul R. Banks||Technical Sergeant||Camera Crew||Killed|
|Donald R. Abrogast||Sergeant||Camera Crew||Killed|
|Robert I. Doyle||Staff Sergeant||Camera Crew||Killed|
|William M. Burrows||Private 1st Class||Camera Crew||Killed|
|Clarence M. Franssen||Corporal||Passenger||Killed|
|George Ingram Jr||Corporal||Passenger||Killed|
|Howard E. Keel||Captain||Acting Photographic Advisor||Killed|
WARNING: This site has become very popular with visitors after extensive exposure on social media, Patch Haley, Team Leader of Glossop Mountain Rescue Team, has had to point out that “visitors should be aware that social media only tells half of the story” after a spate of callouts during the autumn of 2020 to people who have been getting lost trying to visit the site. If you intend to visit the site please ensure you are properly equipped for the conditions on the hill which can change very quickly, as well as being very wet under foot.
Make sure you have as a minimum, a proper plan of where you are going and how long it will take, footwear suitable for the wet moorland conditions, extra clothing, waterproofs, food & drink, a map (Ordnance Survey OL1) & compass and know how to use them as well as a torch with spare batteries for every member of your party.
On the 3rd November 1948 RB-29A 44-61999 was being used for a flight from Scampton near Lincoln to Burtonwood near Warrington, a flight of less than a hour. Low cloud hung over much of England that day and as such the flight was to be conducted on instruments. After having flown for the time the crew believed it should have taken them to cross the hill they descended. However the aircraft was not quite passed the hills and struck the ground a short way East of Higher Shelf Stones on Bleaklow and was destroyed by fire.
The aircraft was soon reported missing and the local authorities and nearby RAF Mountain Rescue Service team were alerted. At the time the MRT were on a training exercise in the Kinder Scout area, they made their way as quickly as possible to the southern side of Bleaklow to begin a search for the crash site. They arrived at the crash site at the around 16:30 finding that there had been no survivors and with light fading left the recovery of the crew until the following morning.
The aircraft had, for at least part of its existance, carried the name ‘Over Exposed‘, it got the name while being used by the 509th Composite Group to photograph atomic weapon tests as part of Operation Crossroads at Bikini Atoll during 1946. The aircraft may have still had this name at the time of the crash, however it was being flown by a completely different crew and was with a different unit.
Since the photographs shown above were taken in 1999 the site has changed considerably, it was noticeably different in 2003 but the difference now is even more marked.
Below are a few photos from the USAF accident report for the accident.