Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Atomic Bomb Accident at Mars Bluff

Marker ID: SCHM 21-26
Location: on E Marion Hwy (US 301/76) Mars Bluff, SC
County: Florence
Coordinates: N 34° 11.797    W 079° 39.783
  34.19661666    -79.66305
Style: Free Standing **


In 1958, in the midst of the Cold War, the U.S. Air Force accidentally dropped an atomic bomb near here. The unarmed 7,600-lb., 10´8"-long bomb was aboard a B-47E bomber on a training mission headed for England. Its high-explosive trigger detonated on impact, making a crater as large as 35 feet deep and 70 feet wide. The bomb landed in the woods behind the asbestos-shingle sided home of railroad conductor Walter "Bill" Gregg (b. 1921). Gregg, his wife, their three children, and a niece were injured by the concussion, which destroyed the house and out-buildings and did slight damage to buildings within a 5-mile radius.