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The United States Army has its fair share of embarrassments, like losing nuclear bombs and accidentally dropping one on the backyard of a South Carolina home. One such incident, involving conventional bombs, occurred on the night of July 5, 1943. A 10-member crew had taken off from the Dalhart Army Air Base in Texas in four B-17 bombers for a nighttime practice bomb run. They were supposed to proceed to Conlen, also in Texas, 20 miles to the northeast where the target range was located. The square target was to be marked by four lights at each corner creating the illusion of an 'X'. The mission was supposed to be routine, but somehow the young, inexperienced navigator, took the formation 40 miles north to Boise City in Oklahoma instead.


A memorial erected on the 50th anniversary of the incident. Photo credit: Ryan Lowery/Flickr

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