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

Dario Leone

Dario Leone

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

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.

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