I was a radar nav in the Bomb Squadron and lived on base 1974-1980. The explosion shook the base housing that I lived in, woke up about 0400 when it occurred, looked out the window and saw the huge ball of fire and smoke going skyward. Mikkelson is a name I remember associated with the crew chief. But as I was told the story a couple of mornings later by a line chief, the ASSISTANT crew chief was in the cockpit at the time and was prepping the plane for its sortie that morning and survived with two POL guys killed, apparently due to failure to make a three-way ground connection between plane, fueling unit and ground. The PRIMARY crew chief lived in downtown Minot and wasn't scheduled to show up until scheduled sortie recovery time later in the day. He arrived for duty at the specified time to recover the airplane after its scheduled flight, UNKNOWING of the events that had transpired about 12 hours earlier. He went into Job Control to check on where his aircraft would be parking. No one advised him of its condition there. He rode a "Bread Truck" out to the parking spot where the burned hulk rested and THEN learned what had happened to "his" BUFF earlier when he looked agasp at it first hand.

Another war story among the maintenance guys or true??

Bill Beavers