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Nuke Bomber Crashed 50 Years Ago in Western Md.

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A modern U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber takes flight. (Credit: Julian Herbert/Getty Images)

A modern U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber takes flight. (Credit: Julian Herbert/Getty Images)

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GRANTSVILLE, Md. — Residents of far western Maryland are recalling a deadly crash 50 years ago near Grantsville of an Air Force B-52 carrying two nuclear bombs.

Three of the bomber’s five crew members died in the storm-driven accident on Jan. 13, 1964. Local volunteers helped government workers recover the bodies — and the unarmed bombs — from the snow-covered scene.

The volunteers included Gary Finzel, now 69. He says he’ll never forget his overnight trek through hip-deep snow to help bring out the frozen body of Maj. Robert Payne.

Payne’s daughter, Teresa Chapman, says she’ll always remember the kindness shown by area residents. They include another member of the recovery team who placed a stone marker on the remote spot where her father’s body was found.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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