Maine’s Elephant Mountain B-52 Crash Site a Somber Memorial to Those Who Lost Their Lives
There's a hike in northwestern Maine that has intrigued me for a long time. It has nothing to do with its level of difficulty or part of a bigger network.
It's a hike that doubles as a somber history lesson. It's the B-52 Flying Fortress crash site on Elephant Mountain in Piscataquis County.
1963 B-52 Elephant Mountain Crash
In January of 1963, a B-52 left Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts on a training flight. While flying low-level in Maine, the crew experienced strong turbulence and the plane broke apart.
Six crewman would go down with the plane. Another would die on ejection. Two crew members would survive the freezing night before being rescued the following day.
The Elephant Mountain Crash Site
The debris field is primarily in a few acres on the southern slope of Elephant Mountain. Much of the plane is still on the premises. The stabilizer sits over a mile away.
The hike has become a very popular one. About 15 miles from downtown Greenville, the hike is easy to find and get to, depending on the time of year and condition of roads.
While the pieces of plane were once removed, they have been returned as a memorial to those who lost their lives. Visitors are strongly asked to leave everything where it is. It's important to remain respectful to a living monument.
Below are some of the very powerful images from the site. Thanks to Erin from Norway, we can see the debris field and understand how powerful the memorial truly is.
Erin also suggested to bring an American flag if you do decide to visit the site. Folks tend to leave those flags in remembrance to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Thank you to Erin for allowing us to tell this part of history with her powerful images. And thank you to all who serve and have made the ultimate sacrifice.