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BREAKING MILITARY: 1:45pm 8-21-08 Missing B-52 Wreckage Believed Found Off Coast of Guam
Thursday, Aug 21, 2008 11:37am
GUAM From The Times (By: Tom Pace, Execuitve Editor, Talk of the Town) 1:45pm 8-21-08 The Air Force may now know the location of the B-52H from Barksdale Air Force Base, that crashed off the coast of Guam the evening of July 20th, according to The Times.

The Air Force Times, a sister publication of The Times, says investigators believe they know where the remnants of B-52 60-0053 lie about 30 miles northwest of the island, a U.S. territory.

The airplane crashed the evening of July 20 Shreveport time while preparing to fly in review over a celebration marking Guam's rescue from occupying Japanese forces in 1944.

Air Force Times, citing unidentified sources within Air Combat Command, said the Air Force and the Navy hope to bring the plane’s wreckage back to the surface after mapping out a debris field. Officials will then determine which bits of wreckage can be brought back to the surface to aid in two separate investigations into the crash.

Airplane parts are used to offer information on how and why an airplane crashed, as well as information about the final flight. The status of engines and the position of wing flaps also can be determined.

Such parts, as well as recordings of transmissions to and from the airplane to ground controllers, can provide crucial evidence in the absence of data from onboard recorders, since most military airplanes do not have the "black boxes" used by commercial aircraft.

The bomber was deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, from Barksdale's 2nd Bomb Wing and included crew members from both the 96th and 20th Bomb Squadrons here, as well as one flier from Andersen's 36th Wing.

The crew, called RAIDER 21, consisted of Maj. Christopher M. Cooper, aircraft commander; Maj. Brent D. Williams, instructor/navigator; Capt. Michael K. Dodson, co-pilot; 1st Lt. Joshua D. Shepherd, navigator; and 1st Lt. Robert D. Gerren, electronic warfare officer.

Also on board the airplane as an observer was Col. George Martin, a flight surgeon and deputy commander of the 36th Medical Group at Andersen Air Force Base.

According to The Times article, queries to Air Combat Command and the 36th Wing about further recovery of crew remains have not been answered, but to date the Air Force has said that one crew member has been positively identified and other remains are in the process of being identified.

Memorials and funerals have been held for Cooper and Williams. Memorials also have been held at Barksdale and Andersen for all crew members, and a service was held earlier this month in Michigan for Gerren. A memorial will be held Saturday in San Antonio for Dodson.

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