Barton in Allegany County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Major Robert E. Townley
Marker series. This marker is included in the B-52 Bomber Crash in Maryland marker series.
Location. 39° 34.123′ N, 79° 4.735′ W. Marker is in Barton, Maryland, in Allegany County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Pine Swamp Road and Westernport Road. Touch for map. The marker is about 1000 yards east of the intersection, on private property that cannot be accessed without the owner's permission. The Big Savage hiking trail comes to within about 300 feet of the marker, where the DNR is still planning to erect a publicly accessible marker. Marker is in this post office area: Barton MD 21521, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Crash of Buzz One Four (approx. 0.4 miles away); Robert Lee Payne (approx. 3.1 miles away); Swauger Mill (approx. 5 miles away); New Germany Lake (approx. 5 miles away); Working Together for the Community (approx. 5.7 miles away); Don Redman (approx. 6.2 miles away in West Virginia); Mayo and Savage (approx. 6.4 miles away in West Virginia); Daniel Cresap (approx. 7 miles away).
More about this marker.
Regarding Major Robert E. Townley. The B-52 Strato-Fortress was on a routine mission carrying two 24-megaton nuclear bombs. This was the height of the Cold War and 12 atomic-bomb laden aircraft such as this were airborne at all times. The B-52 crashed on Big Savage Mountain near Lonaconing, during a violent snow storm after the tail fin broke off during massive turbulence. Three of the crew died, two survived. The ordnance was recovered.
Also see . . . Cold War mission ended in tragedy for B-52 crew. This page, linked from the Salisbury PA Historical Web Site, appears to be the most comprehensive story, but there are several others available with a google search. (Submitted on August 4, 2013, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland.)
1. B-52 Crash Markers
There are 4 markers related to this incident. One is in the town of Grantsville MD as a tribute to the 5 men involved in the incident, and the citizens who helped search for the men after the crash. The other three markers are located where three of the five were found dead: T/Sgt Melvin F. Wooten in West Salisbury PA, Major
— Submitted August 4, 2013, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland.
Categories. • War, Cold •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 4, 2013, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 597 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 4, 2013, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland.