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The 1956 B-47 disappearance occurred on 10 March 1956 over the Mediterranean Sea.

1956 B-47 disappearance
B47E in flight.jpg
A B-47E Stratojet similar to the incident aircraft.
Date10 March 1956
SummaryMissing, status unknown
SiteMediterranean sea
Aircraft typeBoeing B-47E Stratojet
OperatorUnited States Air Force
Flight originMacDill Air Force Base, Florida, United States
DestinationBen Guerir Air Base, Morocco


A Boeing B-47 Stratojet took off from MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, in the United States for a non-stop flight to Ben Guerir Air Base, Morocco,[1] and completed the first of two planned aerial refueling without incident.[2]

After descending through solid cloud cover to begin the second refueling, at 14,000 feet (4,300 m), B-47E serial number 52-534,[1] failed to make contact with its tanker.[3]

The unarmed aircraft was transporting two different capsules of nuclear weapons material in carrying cases; a nuclear detonation was not possible.[4]


Despite an extensive search, no debris or bodies were ever found, and the crash site has never been located.[5]

The crew was declared dead (MIA presumed KIA):

  • Captain Robert H. Hodgin, 31, the aircraft commander
  • Captain Gordon M. Insley, 32, observer
  • 2nd Lt. Ronald L. Kurtz, 22, pilot


  1. ^ a b Aircraft Serial Number Search
  2. ^ Aviation Safety Network
  3. ^ " – Broken Arrow B-47". Archived from the original on 4 May 2009. Retrieved 11 March 2009.
  4. ^ "DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE – NARRATIVE the best SUMMARIES OF ACCIDENTS INVOLVING U.S. NUCLEAR WEAPONS 1950–1980" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 January 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  5. ^ – Broken Arrow Nuclear Weapon Accidents