Cumberland Times-News

January 27, 2014

These men deserve recognition for what they did at B-52 site

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— My name is Bill Ramsey. I'm 83 years old and reside in Hagerstown.

This is my account of the U.S. Air Force B-52 plane crash on Jan. 13, 1964.

On this date, I was the first sergeant of the 28th Ordnance Detachment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal).

 This unit is a bomb disposal squad stationed At Fort George G. Meade in Maryland.

At that time. In the early morning hours (1 a.m.) about on Jan. 13, 1964, I received an emergency call at my quarters for me to report to our headquarters.

Upon arrival I met with officers who then briefed me. I then alerted my unit. We were then told of an Air Force B-52 aircraft with nuclear on board had crashed in Garrett County.

We immediately departed for the scene in a blinding snow storm our mission was to secure the weapons and render them safe for removal and transport.

The crash site was an isolated mountainous area and small fires burned at the site.

A command post was established and we began dousing the fires, leaving several burning for warmth.

The bombs were secured and rendered safe to be moved for transport out of the area. The following day Air Force officials arrived on the scene and assumed custody of the weapons.

The unit then packed our gear for return to Fort Meade, “mission accomplished.”

In closing let me first say how proud I am of my men and my unit. I've been troubled for 50 years that my unit was never recognized for its actions that day in 1964.

That’s always bothered me.

William “Bill” Ramsey

Master Sgt. (U.S. Army, retired)