Manhattan, NY

The day a B-25 Bomber accidentally struck into the Empire State Building

Cristoval Victorial

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Aftermath of crashPhoto byWikimedia Commons

On Saturday, July 28, 1945 early in the morning, a thick fog covered the streets of Manhattan, New York. Although it was peak of summer, the morning began with an unusual fog coming from the coast. The ambience in the city was described as happy and cheerful at the time, mainly due to World War 2 coming to an end, when all of a sudden, tragedy occurred. Lt. Col. William F. Smith, a seasoned pilot for the U.S. Army Air Force, was scheduled for a routine mission that involved him picking up the Sioux Falls air base's commander, Colonel H.E. Bognerfrom.

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Actual photo of Lieutenant Colonel William F. Smith Jr.Photo byChristopher S. Myers

The flight was scheduled to depart from the Hanscom Army Air Base at New Bedford, Massachusetts, and arrive at the Newark Army Air Field. As he was coming close to his destination, a thick fog covered the city of New York and blinded Smith's view, although he was advised by La Guardia Field air traffic control to circle back and land there rather than trying to make it to Newark. Thinking he was west of Manhattan over the Hudson River when in reality he was over the East River and heading into the heart of Manhattan, directly on his course towards the Empire State Building.

At 9:49 a.m of that day, Smith along with two other crewman, lost in the fog that covered the city, smashed directly into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building. The tragic incident took the lives of 14 people (including Smith and the crewmen) and injured dozens more. Despite the extensive damage caused to the building and the deaths, the building was open for business on many of its floors the very next Monday morning, less than 2 days later.

Here are a few images of the tragic event.

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Photo byNYDN

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