Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Delegation’s Bill Honoring Fallen Airmen Passes House

September 21, 2020
Press Release

A bipartisan measure honoring four fallen airmen, the B-47 Ridge Designation Act, passed the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously this afternoon.

“In 1962, four brave airmen tragically lost their lives in service to our country, and today, we are one step closer to honoring their legacy,” Gianforte said. “B-47 Ridge will serve as a permanent reminder of their enormous sacrifice. I look forward to President Trump signing this important legislation into law.”

“After years of hard work, we’re now one step away from forever memorializing and honoring the four brave men who tragically died during a routine B-47 mission almost six decades ago in Montana,” Daines said. “I thank Congressman Gianforte for working to get our bipartisan bill passed out of the U.S. House of Representatives, and I look forward to President Trump signing it into law.”

“I’m glad to see that the House came together to pass this bipartisan bill ensuring that we honor the brave men whose lives were cut short on that tragic night years ago,” said Tester. “I urge the President to quickly sign this legislation into law so that we honor the lives of these four servicemen for generations to come.”

Lt. Fred Hixenbaugh, Capt. Bill Falconer, Lt. Lloyd Sawyers, and Lt. David Sutton died on July 23, 1962 when their B-47 bomber, flying a training mission from Dyess Air Force Base in Texas, crashed into the side of Emigrant Peak in Park County.

The B-47 Ridge Designation Act names the ridge of the crash site to ‘B-47 Ridge’ and allows the placement of a memorial plaque at the site.

Earlier this summer, Gianforte and Bryan Wells, chairman of the B-47 Memorial Committee and a resident of Emigrant, testified before a House Natural Resources subcommittee in support of the bill. The full committee reported the bill on September 14.

On February 12, 2020, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the B-47 Ridge Designation Act, after the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources cleared it on December 17, 2019.

On February 14, 2019, Gianforte introduced the B-47 Ridge Designation Act, H.R. 1267. U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester introduced companion legislation in the Senate, S. 490, on the same day. Their bill passed the Senate in February 2020.

In the 115th Congress, Gianforte, Daines, and Tester introduced the measure in their respective chambers, H.R. 6041 and S. 3035.