Mars Bluff, South Carolina

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Mars Bluff, South Carolina
Mars Bluff is located in South Carolina
Mars Bluff
Mars Bluff
Mars Bluff is located in the US
Mars Bluff
Mars Bluff
Coordinates: 34°12′20″N 79°39′19″W / 34.20556°N 79.65528°W / 34.20556; -79.65528Coordinates: 34°12′20″N 79°39′19″W / 34.20556°N 79.65528°W / 34.20556; -79.65528
CountryUnited States
StateSouth Carolina
CountyFlorence County
98 ft (30 m)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)843
GNIS feature ID1246538[1]

Mars Bluff is an unincorporated community in Florence County, South Carolina, United States that bears the distinction of having been inadvertently bombed with a nuclear weapon by the United States Air Force.


Originally known as Marr's Bluff during the American Revolution, the area west of the Great Pee Dee River eventually became known as Mars Bluff at some point before the American Civil War.[1][2] Near the end of the American Civil War, the Mars Bluff Naval Yard was established, one of many inland Confederate naval yards.[3]

Nuclear bomb accident[edit]

Historical marker and access sign

On March 11, 1958 a U.S. Air Force B-47 Stratojet with a nuclear payload left for nuclear training exercises for war preparations in the United Kingdom and South Africa. The navigator mistakenly pulled the emergency release pin which resulted in the bomb falling out of the plane. Although the bomb was not armed with the trigger (a removable capsule of fissionable material which was securely stored in a containment area on board the plane), it nevertheless contained a high-explosive detonator. The resulting explosion created a crater estimated to be 75 feet (23 m) wide and 25–35 feet (7.6–10.7 m) deep. It destroyed a local playhouse, near the residence of Walter Gregg, and leveled nearby trees. Nobody was killed by the blast but several people in Gregg's family were injured.[4] The Site is located near US 301, but is difficult to access due to the site being on Private propriety.[1]

Fragments of the bomb are on display at Florence County Museum.[5]


  1. ^ a b "Mars Bluff, South Carolina". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  2. ^ Reynolds, William (2012). Andrew Pickens: South Carolina patriot in the Revolutionary War. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-6694-8.
  3. ^ "Dixie Historical Society: Mars Bluff and the CSS Pee Dee". Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  4. ^ Accidental Mars Bluff bombing survivor dies at 92, Morning News, July 25, 2013.
  5. ^

External links[edit]