B-36 Crash Photos
August 5, 1952

Navy Pilot G.A. Seaboro noticed that Dave Franks' B-36 was on fire and in trouble and proceeded to follow him all the way to the water in his TBM-3U Avenger. Below is his official statement and the sequence of photographs that he managed to captured with his personal camera.


7 August 1952

From: G.A. SEABORO, ENS, 538260, USN
Pilot of TBM-3U (UH-24)

Subj: B-36, Crash of

The following statement is a sequence of events as I saw them, and to the best of my knowledge true.

I was at 5,000 feet over San Diego Radio when I saw the subject B-36 on my starboard wing at a range of about five miles. His altitude was estimated to be three or four thousand feet. He was a couple of miles west of ocean beach on a southerly heading parallel to that of the coastline of Pt. Loma. It was then that I noticed fire break out on what appeared to be the port wing. I did not notice anything fall off the aircraft at that range. While proceeding to the scene of the accident, I observed the aircraft to spiral to the right for about 110 degrees. The B-36 hit the water on a northwesterly heading at a very sharp dive angle. (Estimated to be about 50 or 60 degrees).

I had a personal camera aboard, and exposed 4 pictures on the scene. The results of the pictures are unknown at this time, but are being processed in Los Angeles.


B-36 Crash Photo 1
It's difficult to see in this photo, but If you look closely (center-right, just above the clouds)
you can see the B-36 trailing black smoke.

B-36 Crash Photo 2
Photo of mushroom cloud taken moments after impact and subsequent
explosion of the B-36 on the ocean surface.

B-36 Crash Photo 3
Flames on the water and billowing black smoke can be seen in the center of the photo.

B-36 Crash Photo 4
Another angle on the flames and rising white and black smoke.

B-36 Crash Photo 5
Final shot taken directly over the impact site.