Airplane Crash - New York, New York 07/28/1945

Details of airplane crash/ shootdown - New York, New York


Date07/28/1945
Time09:49
LocationNew York, New York
OperatorMilitary - U.S. Army Air Forces
TypeNorth American B-25D bomber
Registration43-0577
Aboard3
Fatalities3
Ground11
SummaryA U.S. Army Air Force plane crashed into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building in heavy fog. Lt. Col. William Franklin Smith Jr., the pilot, became disoriented while trying to land at Newark Airport. Lt. Smith was told he had a 3 hour wait to land at Newark. Impatient to get his plane on the ground, he falsely declared he had official business at La Guardia Airport with the intention of diverting to Newark as soon as he was cleared. The 12 ton plane smashed a 20 ft. hole in the building. Fuel from the ruptured gas tanks poured out and set two floors ablaze killing 10 people. One engine exited the south side of the building and plunged into a penthouse below. The second engine entered an elevator shaft and severed the cables plunging the car and the elevator operator 1,000 feet into a sub basement. Despite suffering a broken back and legs, she survived.

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