Bomber Crashes Into Empire State Building
July 28, 1945
A U.S. B25 bomber crashed into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building. Fourteen people were killed, including the pilot and his two crew members. A female elevator operator survived a 75-story elevator plunge, which still stands as the Guinness Record for the longest survived elevator fall.
Lieut. Col. William F. Smith Jr. was piloting the B-25 Mitchell bomber on a routine personnel transport mission when he asked for clearance to land, but was advised of zero visibility. Proceeding anyway, he became disoriented by the fog, and turned right instead of left after passing the Chrysler Building.