Sad Story of B-25 Bomber that Crashed into Empire State Building

2019/07/1563261469.jpg
Read: 461     14:07     16 July 2019    

by Dario Leone

Taken on Jul. 28, 1945 the photos in this post feature the Empire State Building after the infamous 457th Bomb Group B-25 Mitchell crash.


The 457th Bomb Group had only been in the States a short while (in fact the unit was deployed at Glatton, U.K., for WW II operations over Germany until Jun. 21, 1945) when on Saturday, Jul. 28, Lieutenant Colonel William F. Smith lost his way while flying a B-25 Mitchell bomber from Bedford, Massachusetts to Sioux Falls Army Air Base via Newark Airport. Emerging from low cloud at about 900ft, the 457th pilot found himself among the skyscrapers of downtown Manhattan.

As explained by Roger A. Freeman in his book Airfields of the Eighth Then and Now, the aircraft crashed headlong into the 79th floor level of the Empire State Building killing Lieutenant Colonel Smith, two servicemen ‘hitch-hikers’ and eleven office workers.

The B-25 exploded on impact spraying burning fuel into West 34th Street below, one of the enginescompletely passing through the building and out the other side! On Sep. 28, 1977, New York publishers of a new book on crash (The Sky is Falling), Grosset & Dunlop presented a plaque which can now be seen on the 86th floor, ‘in grateful appreciation to those men and women of the Empire State Building who unselfishly gave their assistance in the crash‘.

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Sad Story of B-25 Bomber that Crashed into Empire State Building

2019/07/1563261469.jpg
Read: 462     14:07     16 July 2019    

by Dario Leone

Taken on Jul. 28, 1945 the photos in this post feature the Empire State Building after the infamous 457th Bomb Group B-25 Mitchell crash.


The 457th Bomb Group had only been in the States a short while (in fact the unit was deployed at Glatton, U.K., for WW II operations over Germany until Jun. 21, 1945) when on Saturday, Jul. 28, Lieutenant Colonel William F. Smith lost his way while flying a B-25 Mitchell bomber from Bedford, Massachusetts to Sioux Falls Army Air Base via Newark Airport. Emerging from low cloud at about 900ft, the 457th pilot found himself among the skyscrapers of downtown Manhattan.

As explained by Roger A. Freeman in his book Airfields of the Eighth Then and Now, the aircraft crashed headlong into the 79th floor level of the Empire State Building killing Lieutenant Colonel Smith, two servicemen ‘hitch-hikers’ and eleven office workers.

The B-25 exploded on impact spraying burning fuel into West 34th Street below, one of the enginescompletely passing through the building and out the other side! On Sep. 28, 1977, New York publishers of a new book on crash (The Sky is Falling), Grosset & Dunlop presented a plaque which can now be seen on the 86th floor, ‘in grateful appreciation to those men and women of the Empire State Building who unselfishly gave their assistance in the crash‘.

nationalinterest



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