March 1960 B-47 explosion over Little Rock topic of discussion today

Arkansas Gazette map of debris and damage

The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program will host a free talk featuring Travis Ratermann, who will present a lecture on “A Living Hell: The Story of a B-47 Crash that Devastated Little Rock Neighborhoods.”

The lecture will happen today (September 8) at the Darragh Center at the main branch of the Central Arkansas Library Systems in downtown Little Rock.  It will begin at 2pm.

Travis has presented this paper to very positive reviews as it shares the history and retelling of a B-47, assigned to the Little Rock Air Force Base, that was torn apart over Little Rock, causing a debris field that stretched from Allsopp Park, all the way to what is now Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Travis will also discuss how this accident affected the community and the Air Force personnel involved in the aftermath of the tragic accident that took the life of all but one crew member, and the lives of two civilians on the ground.

Travis Ratermann is the Survey Historian for the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, located in Little Rock, AR. He has a B.S. in Historic Preservation from Southeast Missouri State University and a M.S. in Historic Preservation from Ball State University. As the Survey Historian, Travis is involved with reviewing Residential and Commercial District Surveys throughout the state. Travis gathers information by surveying the property, completing site forms, taking photographs, and researching historical records of the property, to determine its authenticity and historical significance. His main focus is on documenting Arkansas’ current and former military installation including: Fort Chaffee, Pine Bluff Arsenal, Blytheville Air Force Base and former Shumaker Naval Ammunition Depot.