On this day, 61 years ago, an American B-47 bomber carrying a “Mark 15” hydrogen bomb collided with another F-86 fighter jet over Tybee Island near the eastern shores of the United States. The accident occurred at an altitude of 11,600 meters.
The impact ripped the left wing off the F-86 fighter and heavily damaged the fuel tanks of the B-47 while the bomb launcher remained intact. The pilot Richardson, was afraid the bomb would explode from his damaged plane when he landed, so he decided to drop the hydrogen bomb on the United States before landing the plane.
The B-47 bomber actually dropped the nuclear bomb into the waters off Tybee Island, Which helped prevent a possible catastrophic crash of the plane.
The Navy searched for the “Mark 15” bomb for more than two months, but never found it. The incident was revealed in 1994. In a 2001 report on the search and recovery of the bomb, the US Air Force said that the bomb was free of the nuclear capsule needed to cause the explosion.
A Russian electronic newspaper said the experts did not believe this, predicting the bomb had been destroyed, causing radioactive contamination, but its effects did not appear because the water washed away.