Air Force Bombs Maryland Tavern

The Maryland Air National Guard bombed Darlene's Tavern. Oops.


The Maryland Air National Guard bombed Darlene’s Tavern. Oops.

Baltimore Sun (“Air National Guard Jet Accidentally Drops Practice Bomb Outside Tavern On Shore“):

No one was injured when a Maryland Air National Guard jet inadvertently dropped a practice bomb over the Eastern Shore on Thursday night, a spokesman said.

The nonexplosive BDU-33 training ordnance struck the parking lot of a Queen Anne’s County restaurant about 9 p.m. Thursday, Lt. Col. Charles Kohler said. Patrons at Darlene’s Tavern in Sudlersville spotted the hole in the gravel parking lot and called police.

“We were just in the bar, shooting shuffleboard,” bar owner Darlene Hurley said. “It blew the parking lot up so bad, rocks flew up everywhere.”

Kohler said an experienced A-10 Warthog pilot from the 104th Fighter Squadron was attempting to drop the ordnance during a routine training mission over Warren Grove Range in New Jersey on Thursday evening when the instrument panel indicated it had failed to release from the aircraft.

After following the proper procedures for a release failure, Kohler said, the pilot returned to Warfield Air National Guard Base in Middle River.

“They couldn’t tell what had happened, so they had to come back as soon as possible,” Kohler said. “They avoid heavily populated areas.”

When the aircraft arrived, Kohler said, the ground crew noted it was no longer carrying the ordnance.

“It released along the way,” he said. “We’re fortunate that nobody was hurt.”

This is why we have training ordnance.

The bar’s patrons are taking it with good humor:

Darlene’s Tavern patrons called police about 9:20 p.m., Kohler said. Officers dug around the hole, saw the fins of the inert bomb and contacted the state fire marshal.

Hurley said her bar, located in the middle of a soybean field, was full of regulars who joked with bomb technicians that they should rename the place “Bull’s-Eye.” The ordnance, she said, was buried more than 2 feet into the ground and had to be removed with a backhoe.

“We decided to go with Tshirts that say, ‘We got bombed,’ and put the time and date on there,” said Hurley, adding that business was brisk Friday as “the whole town” talked about what happened.

For some reason, I’m reminded of this:

Also, this:

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Wait, they’re flying around on training missions with training ordnance? But…but…what about the sequester?

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    First, the Great Barrier Reef, now Darlene’s Tavern, what’s next? The Lincoln Memorial?

  3. rudderpedals says:


  4. JKB says:

    It’s not easy being rural. The government is out to get you all the time. Sometimes, by “accident”.

    Aircraft with failed bomb deployments taking the low-density population route….hey, I live there. Or the Hollywood diversion of missiles or alien microbes out to sea….hey, I work there.
    They just don’t seem to care about the country folks.
    Unless you serve some milk fresh from the cow, then the government is suddenly all ‘Fatal Attraction’

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:


    They just don’t seem to care about the country folks.

    Yeah, that’s why they are over represented in Congress.

  6. bill says:

    is darlenes last name “assad”?

  7. Mikey says:



    I was going to say they should rename that bar “The Shack.”

    I once worked for a pilot who had something similar happen. One of his aircraft’s hardpoints malfunctioned and when he went into a turn the practice bomb came off. There was a farm just off the range boundary–the only buildings for miles–and his bomb went right through the roof of the barn.

    From then on, his nickname was “Shack.” He was the first guy I thought of when I read this story.

  8. JKB says:


    It would be rude of you to bring up farm subsidies or rural electrification.

    I do recommend you, like Sheldon, work on your recognition of sarcasm.

  9. rudderpedals says:

    @Mikey: I was thinking along the same lines…Tipsy or Lush could also work

  10. Davebo says:

    Only the Air Force would designate a Warthog a “fighter”. I’d say we should just take away all their aircraft and let them just handle the ICBM’s but they don’t seem to be very good at that either.

  11. JT says:

    @Davebo: It’s not designated a fighter. The A in A-10 stands for attack.