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A neat pic, Jim. Is that the B-17G "Aluminum Overcast"?

 

In seeing this with the city and the Empire State Building in the background I was reminded of the terrible accident that occurred there in July 1945. In fog a B-25 heading to Newark struck the Empire State Building on the 79th floor killing a total of 14 people and causing a lot of damage. Of course, today most people think of more recent collisions in Manhattan buildings, but the 1945 incident was a major deal at the time.

 

Charlie Flick


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Nice shot!

 

Here's a scene from about 69 years ago... 2nd BG Y1B-17s overflying NYC shortly before their famous goodwill flight from Miami, Florida to Buenos Aires, Argentina and then back to their home field at Langley.

 

Y1B-17soverNYC001b.jpg

Click for larger image

Project 914 Archives

 

 

Fade to Black...


Steve O. Reno

(formerly BlackWolf3945 here on USMF)

Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug...

HAWKSNESTSig1.jpg

Seeking Curtiss-Wright aircraft photos, especially the P-40, P-36, & O-52...

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In seeing this with the city and the Empire State Building in the background I was reminded of the terrible accident that occurred there in July 1945. In fog a B-25 heading to Newark struck the Empire State Building on the 79th floor killing a total of 14 people and causing a lot of damage. Of course, today most people think of more recent collisions in Manhattan buildings, but the 1945 incident was a major deal at the time.

The aircraft involved in that accident was a B-25D, serial number 41-30577, named 'Old John Feather Merchant'. The three crewman aboard the B-25 were Col. Bill Smith (pilot), Sgt. Chris Domitrovich (crew chief), and Albert Perna, a US Navy machinist.

 

Here's the pilot:

 

LtColWilliamSmithEmpireStateCrash.jpg

 

 

The following is an account by Bill Larkins, who was in New York at the time:

 

I lived in the McAlpin Hotel at 34th and Broadway for a year and had probably been there about seven months by the time of the accident. I was at the time a Corporal in the AAF and assigned to the AAF Training Aids Division at One Park Avenue. We worked six days a week so I was on my way to work on the Saturday morning. I was just coming down in the elevator and getting off on the ground floor when the whole thing seemed to shake and there was a loud boom. We went out into the street to see what was happening but as I remember nobody knew anything. At one point we could see a hole with smoke coming out of it in the Empire State Building (the 34th Street side) and had no idea why. The rumors were that it was a bomb. The fog settled back down and you could no longer see the hole. Luckily it was a Saturday morning or the death toll would have been very high as almost all of the offices were empty.

 

I walked to work down 34th Street and don't remember any debris on the street. I think I didn't get back there until late afternoon and as I recall it was roped off and you could not get near the building. I don't think that I found out that it had been an airplane until the next day when the New York Times came out. It's hard for young people today to understand, with instant news on TV and the Internet, but we not only did not have television I didn't have a radio.

 

 

If Bill had owned a radio he would undoubtedly have heard this MBS news broadcast covering the incident: (Right-click, save)

 

45-07-28 (MBS) B-25 Hits Empire State Building (MP3, 2.3MB)

 

 

A close-up look at the damage to the building...

 

EmpireStateJuly45b.jpg

Click for larger image

Project 914 Archives

 

 

Fade to Black...


Steve O. Reno

(formerly BlackWolf3945 here on USMF)

Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug...

HAWKSNESTSig1.jpg

Seeking Curtiss-Wright aircraft photos, especially the P-40, P-36, & O-52...

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