I was still searching for moose. It had been a couple of days since my last adventure in the Baxter State forest and I was still intent on finding a moose before I left the state. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but I had been told that Moosehead Lake was a sure bet when it came to finding them. I set off early in the morning and on the way, decided to stop off at a B52 crash site that is now a memorial in the woods.
A little bit of history. It’s 1963 and the United States are in the midst of the Cold War with Russia. A B52 Bomber was dispatched on a training flight utilizing new terrain following radar meant to improve the success of low altitude bombing missions. This was the first time the radar was being used in a mission and it was as unsuccessful as you could get. About 90 min into the mission, a vertical stabilizer came loose while the pilot tried to climb above some turbulence. This caused the plane to crash killing 6 of the 8 crew members.
To this day, the wreck still sits as if the crash just happened. The landing gear and majority of the fuselage are still intact, and the rest if the parts of the plane are strewn about. American flags dot the ground in remembrance of those that died, and carvings on rocks welcome you and tell the story of that fateful day. My favorite part of the entire crash, is seeing how the trees have continued to grow around the pieces of shrapnel that cut them in two. As Ian Malcolm said, “Life finds a way.”
407 Walton St, Jackman, ME 04945
B52 Crash Site
Greenville ME 04441