July 16, 2020

I read with great interest the article about the dedication planned at Elephant Mountain near Greenville for the B-52 that crashed in January 1963 (BDN, Dec. 20-21).

I was a flight medic stationed at Dow Air Force Base at that time and was on the helicopter that found the crash site. We left Bangor right after dark and headed to the Elephant Mountain area. We had a KC-97 flying command above us. When we got to the back side of the Mountain, our pilot notified the KC-97 we were going to climb to 2,500 feet so we could be clear of the mountaintop. We barely cleared the mountain when we got caught in the same clear air turbulence that caused the B-52 to crash. It threw us all over the sky and we fell more than 1,000 feet before the pilots regained control of the helicopter.

After they regained control, we discovered we were right above the crash site. It was pitch black night and we did not know what condition our helicopter was in so all we could do was report what we found and try to make it back to Bangor in one piece. We only had minor damage and were able to return to the site the next day. Eugene E. Cramer MSGT, USAF retired Lee

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