New York City, NY Plane Hits Building, May 1946

Bank of Manhattahan Building East View.jpg



New York, May 20 -- (AP) -- An army airplane, speeding through fog and a visibility of approximately 400 feet, crashed into the 58th floor of the 72 story bank of the Bank of Manhattan Company Building in Wall Street, tonight, killing the plane's five occupants.
The known dead were four army men and a woman.
The dead were identified by the police department as:
First Lt. MARY E. BOND, WAC.
Addresses were not immediately available.
Police said the name of Capt. J. M. COLLISION had been inscribed on the fuselage of the plane, leading to their erroneous report that he was aboard.
Tonight's accident brought thousands of people rushing to the scene as the sound of the crash and the ripping away of part of the brick wall of the building resounded through the financial district. The structure is the fourth tallest in the world -- 927 feet.
Army officials informed police that the plane had left the army air base at Smyrna, Tenn., bound for Newark, N.J., airport and had five persons aboard.
The plane, identified as a two-engined C-45, an all-metal low wing monoplane frequently used as a staff ship for high army personnel, tore a 15-foot square hole in the brick wall of the building. The building fronts on 40 Wall Street and runs back into 33 Pine Street. The building was struck from the rear.
The control tower at Newark airport reported it was last in contact with the plane's pilot at 7:08 p.m. (EST) after previously giving him clearance to land.
The tower operator said first clearance was given at 6:56 p.m. (EST) when the plane circled the field. After waiting about ten minutes, the operator said, the tower contacted the plane and learned it was five miles southwest of the field. That was the last contact.
The bodies were found piled together in the forward part of the plane and police and firemen experienced difficulty in extricating them. The bodies were not burned.
The office into which the plane crashed -- The Atlas Corporation -- was a ruin. A fire started but was soon extinguished.
As parts of the ship fell -- one engine dropped into Pine Street -- fire also started on the 24th floor,
but the flames there also were quickly put out.
The ship exploded as it hit the building. Windows in another building were shattered. One wheel of the ship bounced from the street to the fourth story of another building.
A few persons in the street were struck by falling debris and flaming particles of the plane.
JOSEPH BROWN, a longshoreman, said he was talking with a friend at 8 p.m. when he heard the plane. He said it was flying southwestwardly
"underneath the fog," about 500 feet above the street. A minute later, he said, he heard the crash, not a loud explosion. BROWN said he had observed to his friend that the plane would "hit something before it got out of New York."
It was the second airplane accident among the towering buildings of Manhattan. Fourteen persons, three army men and 11 office workers, were killed last July 28 when a B-25 bomber crashed into the 79th floor of the 102 story Empire State Building.

Nashville, Tenn., May 20 -- (AP) -- The Smyrna Army Air Base Public Relations office said tonight the C-45 plane which crashed into the 58th floor of the 72-story Bank of Manhattan company building in New York cleared the field here at 2:16 p.m., Central Standard Time.
The office said that the ship was a "Transient" craft not based here and that it had no other information about it.

Daily Capital News Jefferson City Missouri 1946-05-21