Bill to name mountain B-47 Ridge heads to president’s desk

A bill to name a ridge east of the Paradise Valley for an Air Force bomber that crashed there in 1962 is headed to the desk of President Donald Trump.

The B-47 Ridge Designation Act passed the U.S. House unanimously on Monday, clearing the final hurdle between it and the president.

The bill would dub a ridge off the southwest side of Emigrant Peak as B-47 Ridge and allow the placing of a memorial plaque at the crash site. It’s where four Air Force pilots died in 1962 while flying a training mission through Montana. Debris from the wreck is still scattered on the mountain.

Montana’s entire congressional delegation has been behind the effort to honor of the four pilots since Bryan Wells, of Emigrant, began pushing for it a few years ago. Wells, the chair of the B-47 Memorial Committee, has taken many people to the crash site. In 2016, he organized a memorial at a nearby cemetery for the families of the men who died.

The three members of the delegation celebrated Monday’s vote in a joint news release.

Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte said the designation will honor the pilots and “serve as a permanent reminder of their enormous sacrifice.”