Palomares H-Bomb Incident

Eighty days after it fell into the ocean following the January 1966 mid-air collision between a nuclear-armed B-52G bomber and a KC-135 refuelling tanker over Palomares, Spain, this B28RI nuclear bomb was recovered from 2,850 feet (869 meters) of water and lifted aboard the USS Petrel (note the missing tail fins and badly dented "false nose").


  1. Date- 17 January 1966.
  2. Cause of accident- A mid-air collision.
  3. Site- Mediterranean Sea near Palomares, Almería, Spain 37°14′57″N 1°47′49″W.
  4. Total fatalities- 7.
  5. First aircraft type- B-52G.
  6. Operator- Strategic Air Command, United States Air Force.
  7. Registration- 58-0256.
  8. Flight origin- Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, United States.
  9. Destination- Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.
  10. Victim nation- Spain.

F-15C Eagle from the 67th Fighter Squadron at Kadena AB is refueled by a KC-135R Stratotanker from the 909th Air Refueling Squadron

F-15C Eagles from the 67th Fighter Squadron at Kadena Air Base, Japan, are refueled by a KC-135R Stratotanker from the 909th Air Refuelling Squadron during joint bilateral training with other U.S. forces and the Japan Air Self Defense Force Feb. 25, 2010.

  1. Crew- 7.
  2. Fatalities- 3.
  3. Survivors- 4.
  4. Second aircraft type- KC-135 Stratotanker.
  5. Operator- United States Air Force.
  6. Registration- 61-0273.
  7. Flight origin- Morón Air Base.
  8. Destination- Morón Air Base.
  9. Crew- 4.
  10. Fatalities- 4.

The crashEdit

Usaf.Boeing B-52

A B-52H from Barksdale AFB flying over the desert.

It was a Cold War era B-52 Stratofortress bomber and Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker mid air collision that destroyed both aircraft and almost caused a nuclear accident.

It happened when a B-52G bomber of the USAF Strategic Air Command collided with a KC-135 tanker during mid-air refuelling operation at 31,000 feet (9,450 m) over the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Spain. The tanker's flue ignited in the crash, blowing it up, while the bomber broke in to 3 sections before hitting the sea.

The aftermathEdit

The 2 lost B28 atomic bombs had a maximum yield of 1.45 megatons. They were damaged, but din not go off.

In the USSR Edit

Claims persist to this day that a similar incident occurred in Arkhangelsk Oblast during the early 1970s. They have never been officially acknowledged, but dissident's reports and intelligence work suggest they did.

Also seeEdit

  1. Bombers
  2. Noteworthy Air bases
  3. Tanker aircraft
  4. Atomic accidents and disasters
  5. Operation Chrome Dome
  6. 1968 Thule Air Base B-52 crash
  7. 1961 Goldsboro B-52 crash


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