“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Orlando in Orange County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

1972 B-52 Crash

1972 B-52 Crash Marker Front image. Click for full size.
By Jamie Cox, May 5, 2015
1. 1972 B-52 Crash Marker Front
Inscription. Click to hear the inscription.  

At 11:20 a.m. on March 31, 1972, a 306th Bombardment Wing B-52D Stratofortress bomber stationed at nearby McCoy Air Force Base (now Orlando International Airport) crashed on this site. The plane, which was not carrying any weapons, had left McCoy minutes earlier and was headed north for a mock bombing exercise over Statesboro, Ga. when the aircraft sustained multiple engine failures and an engine fire. The crew was attempting to return to McCoy for an emergency landing when the aircraft crashed 3,220 feet short of the runway. The crash carved a 150-foot crater in the ground and about 40,000 gallons of fuel ignited and burned much of a two-block area in the residential area adjacent to this site. The crash killed seven Air Force crewmen, including pilot Capt. Wendell W.
(Continued on other side)
(Continued from other side)
Campbell, 30, co-pilot Capt. Barry E. Applebee, 26, radar-bombardier Maj. James J. Hammons, 37, navigator 1st Lt. Robert Heatherly, 26, electronic warfare officer Maj. William E. Kesler, 41, gunner M. Sgt. Allen H. Murray, 53, and instructor-navigator Lt. Col. George M. Gamache,
1972 B-52 Crash Marker Reverse image. Click for full size.
By Jamie Cox, May 5, 2015
2. 1972 B-52 Crash Marker Reverse
42. Eight civilians on the ground were injured, including 10-year-old Anthony Ellington, who was playing in a nearby field. Ellington died three days later in a military hospital in San Antonio, Texas, 80 percent of his body covered with burns. The accident remains the worst plane crash in Central Florida history.

This plaque is dedicated in grateful and loving tribute to the brave crew and civilian whose lives were lost that day.
Teresa Jacobs, Orange County Mayor
Jennifer Thompson, Commissioner District 4
Orange County Board of County Commissioners

Erected 2012 by Orange County Board of County Commissioners.
Location. 28° 27.449′ N, 81° 19.848′ W. Marker is in Orlando, Florida, in Orange County. Marker is at the intersection of South Conway Road and Merryweather Drive, on the right when traveling south on South Conway Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Orlando FL 32812, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. St. Mary's Missionary Baptist Church/Datson Dairy (approx. 2 miles away); Conway First Baptist Church/Fort Gatlin (approx. 2.6 miles away); Citrus Industry and Red Hill Groves/Conway School
1972 B-52 Crash Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jamie Cox, May 5, 2015
3. 1972 B-52 Crash Marker
(approx. 2.8 miles away); Conway United Methodist Church/Brick Road (approx. 3.1 miles away); The English Colony/The Polo Club (approx. 3.3 miles away); Fort Gatlin 1838 (approx. 3.4 miles away); Site of Fort Gatlin (approx. 3.4 miles away); Site and Home of Francis Eppes (approx. 4.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Orlando.
Also see . . .  Orlando Sentinel article on plane crash. "Death Awaited Struggling B-52 Crew Central Florida's Worst Plane Crash Occurred 15 Years Ago." (Submitted on July 22, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.) 
Additional keywords. USAF
Categories. Air & SpaceDisasters
Credits. This page was last revised on March 1, 2018. This page originally submitted on May 5, 2015, by Jamie Cox of Melbourne, Florida. This page has been viewed 682 times since then and 71 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 5, 2015, by Jamie Cox of Melbourne, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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