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Gianforte Bill to Honor Four Fallen Airmen Unanimously Clears Committee

July 29, 2020
Press Release

The House Committee on Natural Resources this morning unanimously passed Congressman Greg Gianforte’s bipartisan B-47 Ridge Designation Act. The next step for the bill is a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Today’s vote is a promising step as we work to honor Lt. Fred Hixenbaugh, Capt. Bill Falconer, Lt. Lloyd Sawyers, and Lt. David Sutton. Their tragic deaths have left a lasting impact on the community,” Gianforte said. “Naming the ridge will serve as a permanent reminder for generations to come of their enormous sacrifice. I’ll continue working to get the bill passed and signed into law.”

The men 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.

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.

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.