Montana Ridge Named in Honor of Airmen Who Died in Crash

BOZEMAN — An area of Montana countryside where four Air Force pilots crashed and died in 1962 was named in honor of the fallen service members.

President Donald Trump signed the B-47 Designation Act Tuesday naming the area east of Paradise Valley the “B-47 Ridge,” the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported Tuesday.

The legislation honors Capt. Bill Faulconer, Lt. Fred Hixenbaugh, Lt. David Sutton and Lt. Lloyd Sawyers, who died during a training mission.

The crew flew a B-47 bomber from an air base in Texas on July 23, 1962, but never returned after the plane crashed into the ridge located north of Yellowstone National Park.

Members of the Montana congressional delegation including Republicans Rep. Greg Gianforte and Sen. Steve Daines and Democratic Sen. Jon Tester introduced the legislation in 2018.

The U.S. Senate passed the bill in February and the House approved the provisions in September.

“After almost six decades, it was an honor to get this bipartisan bill signed into law that will forever recognize the brave men who tragically died in the B-47 Bomber crash near Emigrant Peak,” Daines said in a statement.