When Bomber Crashed Into Empire State Building

“An English day if I ever saw one.”


Those were some of the last words that Lieutenant Colonel William Franklin Smith Jr. said to his wife before accidentally piloting his B-25 Mitchell Bomber into the side of the New York City's Empire State Building, killing 14 people in the process.

On a routine transport mission from Bedford Army Air Field to LaGuardia Airport, just before 9:40 a.m. on Saturday, July 28, 1945, Smith found himself lost in a heavy fog. With his view distorted, he was instructed to land at Newark Airport instead.

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