The Broken Arrow Project: Visualizing the Dangers of Maintaining the U.S. Nuclear Arsenal

July 13, 1950 - Lebanon, Ohio

DOD: The B-50 was on a training mission from Biggs Air Force Base, Texas. The aircraft was flying at 7,000 feet on a clear day. Aircraft nosed down and flew into the ground killing four officers and twelve airmen. The high explosive portion of the weapon aboard detonated on impact. There was no nuclear capsule aboard the aircraft.

CDI: The explosion was heard over a radius of 25 miles and made a crater 25 feet deep and 200 feet square. The B-50 was an improved derivative of the B-29 with the same general appearance. It was operational from 1948-1953 and 370 were built.

The Cincinnati Enquirer wrote that thousands of locals turned out to see what had happened in the crash and provided conflicting reports from witnesses about the state of the plane as it nosed down. Some reported that the plane simply seemed to crash into the ground for no reason while others stated that the plane was already on fire and had failing engines before it hit the ground.

The Cincinnati Enquirer article can be accessed through, a subscription is required for the full article but an OCR version of the article is available for free.

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