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  B-25D-20 "Old John Feather Merchant" Serial Number 41-30577  
USAAF

Pilot  Lt. Col. William Franklin Smith, Jr. (KIA, BR) Latham, AL
Co-Pilot 
Sgt Christopher Domitrovich (KIA, BR) Granite City, IL
Passenger  AMM2c Albert G. Perna (KIA) New York, NY

Crashed  July 28, 1945 at 9:40am

Aircraft History
Built by North American. Assigned U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25D-20 Mitchell serial number 41-30730. Nicknamed "Old John Feather Merchant".

Mission History
On July 28, 1945 took off from Bedford Army Air Field near Boston on a flight bound for Newark Airport. Aboard was passenger AMM2c Perna who was hitching a ride. Over the New York City area, there was poor weather conditions. While crossing Manhattan, this B-25 collided with the Empire State Building at 9:40am impacting the north side between the 78th floor to 80th floor and creating a 18' x 20' hole. On impact, everyone aboard was killed as were eleven inside the building plus 24 injured. The damaged caused an estimated estimated $1,000,000.00 in damage.

Memorials
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the crash. After the recovery of remains, all three were buried in their hometowns.
Smith was buried at Elmwood Cemetery Birmingham, AL at block 28.
Domitrovich was buried at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Edwardsville, IL at section A, lot 18, grave 5.
Perna was buried at Saint John Cemetery in Middle Village, Queens, NY.

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-25D-20 Mitchell 41-30577
FindAGrave - LTC William Franklin Smith, Jr (photo, grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Christopher S. Domitrovich (photo, grave photo)
FindAGrave - Albert G Perna (news, photo)

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Info
B-25

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