from the book jacket.....
"Fifty years ago, a Strategic Air Command bomber, a B-52, disintegrated in mid-air near Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. The crew had been fighting a series of problems and were on approach to landing when the right wing folded up and broke off. Two H-Bombs, with a combined destructive power more than 500 times that of the Hiroshima bomb, were thrown from the aircraft in an unusual manner and started the arming process. Three crewmembers were killed in the crash, five escaped. No one on the ground was killed or injured, but part of one of the bombs is still there, buried in a farm field.
This is the story of the events behind that mission at the build-up of SAC during the Cold War, and the aftermath that could have been, in the words of some experts, the largest man-made disaster in history, a huge nuclear explosion on American soil. Eyewitnesses to the crash at Faro, North Carolina, have unique stories to tell, as well as the sole surviving member of the crew who miraculously survived without an ejection seat—a feat that fellow pilots say was not possible. Also included is the story of Jack ReVelle, the man who deactivated both 3.8 megaton monsters... One hanging from a tree by its parachute, the other buried in the ground.
The Goldsboro Broken Arrow is being written at the right time: previously classified materials are now declassified. The people involved are now willing to tell their stories, at a time when we are faced with new problems like Chernobyl and Fukushima.
In 1983 Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara said of the Goldsboro bomb, 'It ran through six or seven steps in order to detonate, and it went through all but one, we discovered later.'
This is also the story of the men of SAC, how they went to work every day, in jobs that were long, difficult and sometimes never appreciated, but were on the 'sharp end' in America's defense at a time where nuclear annihilation was a foremost thought. "
Advance praise for THE GOLDSBORO BROKEN ARROW.
“Joel Dobson has illuminated the story of the 1961 Goldsboro Broken Arrow, one of the most serious nuclear accidents in history. With meticulous detail, his book describes the inner working of the B-52, the terrible plane crash and the costs and consequences of this deadly accident. Dobson, a SAC veteran, compiles this rich history with an insider’s knowledge, offering a fine read to Air Force buffs, nuclear experts and casual readers alike. This is the book to turn to if you want the details on what happened that fateful night in 1961.” - Barbara Moran, author, The Day We Lost the H-Bomb: Cold War, Hot Nukes and the Worst Nuclear Weapons Disaster in History
“A meticulously researched book ...A 'must read' for anyone interested in the Cold War....It is not often one finds such a book as this, a story of facts woven together that enlightens the reader in both the technical and human side of the event. Joel has brought to light the dangers and hardships of the aircrews that were the tip of the spear during those uncertain times. He has preserved for history an event that few outside of Goldsboro, NC are aware.” - James Oskins, author ( with Michael Maggelet ), Broken Arrow, The Declassified History of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Accidents
"How close was it to exploding? My opinion is damn close. You might now have a very large Bay of North Carolina if that thing had gone off." - Dr. Jack ReVelle, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal officer who deactivated both thermonuclear bombs in 1961.
Related Media Links: