That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building - We Are The Mighty
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That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building

Decades before the terror attacks of 2001 struck New York City, another, very different plane crashed into the Empire State Building, arguably one of New York City’s — America’s —most iconic buildings. It was July 1945, and it wasn’t terrorism or even an attack from the Japanese Empire (with which America was still at war).


It was a simple wrong turn from a U.S. military B-25 bomber.

The aircraft flight plan indicated the plane was coming from Massachusetts and would land at La Guardia. Instead the pilot decided to land in Newark but got lost in the heavy fog while flying over Manhattan. Believing he was on the West Side of the island, he flew to the right instead of the left when he went around the Chrysler Building. That was his fatal error.

According to a 1995 story in the New York Times, Lt. Col. William F. Smith Jr. heard from the tower at La Guardia airport that the top of the Empire State Building wasn’t visible in the fog. Minutes later, he hit the iconic skyscraper between its 78th and 79th floors at 200 miles per hour.

The crash blew an 18-by-20-foot hole 913 feet above 34th Street. It’s tail section was stuck in the hole in the building.

 

That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building
The aftermath of a B-25 Bomber that crashed into the Empire State Building in 1945.

Luckily, the bomber was an unarmed trainer aircraft with no bombs on board. The explosions that rocked the area came from the B-25’s fuel tanks exploding.

“It was as if a bomb went off,” said harpsichordist Albert Fuller, who was shopping across from the Empire State Building that day. “The floor moved. I looked at the clerk and said, ‘Isn’t that strange?’ And I thought it couldn’t be an earthquake.”

That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building

Fourteen people died, all told; the three bomber crewmembers and 11 people working in the building that day.

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This is how the Iraqi army beat ISIS in less than a week

Iraqi armed forces have pushed out Daesh from Tal Afar city while some parts of the district bearing the same name remain under the terrorist group’s control, a senior army official said Aug. 27.


“Joint forces of the army and the Hashd al-Shaabi — a pro-government Shia militia — have liberated two neighborhoods of Al-Askari and the Al-Senaa Al-Shamaliya, as well as the Al-Maaredh area, Tal Afar Gate, and the Al-Rahma village in the eastern part of the city,” Lt. Gen. Abdul-Amir Yarallah, Mosul operation commander, said in a televised statement.

While all parts of the city have been recaptured, fighting for control of some parts of Tal Afar district continues.

That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building
Troops on the streets of Tal Afar, Iraq. Photo courtesy of DoD.

Yarallah said only the Al-Ayadieh area and its surrounding villages in the district now remain in Daesh’s grip, adding the armed forces were advancing “towards the last targets in order to liberate them”.

On Aug. 27, the Iraqi government launched a major offensive to retake Tal Afar, involving army troops, federal police units, counter-terrorism forces and armed members of Hashd al-Shaabi — a largely Shia force that was incorporated into the Iraqi army last year.

That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building
A member of the Iraqi Security Forces establishes a security perimeter around an HH-60M Black Hawk helicopter. Photo by Capt. Stephen James.

Ministry of Displacement and Migration official Zuhair Talal al-Salem told Anadolu Agency 1,500 people fled the district’s surrounding villages and areas.

“The displaced people were transferred from security checkpoints to Nimrod camp, where they are receiving relief assistance,” Al-Salem said.

 

 

Nimrud camp in the southeast of Mosul is said to have a capacity to house 3,000 families.

The ministry transferred some 500 displaced families to the camp after checking their names August 26 in the district of Hamam al-Alil, south of Mosul.

MIGHTY TRENDING

This is how you fight when the waters are rising

When we left off, you were hanging from a pull-up bar trying to get your knees to your chest for the first time since Basic.


Max, in his wisdom, started you out in the gym, which is full of many helpful things, like dumbbells and molecules of air. He wanted you to develop a little stoutness at your center, because he knows what’s coming and you, silly wittle baby, do not. You’re wet behind the ears, is what he’s saying. And that’s not even 5% wet enough to pass the Max Your Body, Season 1 final exam.

That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building
(Go90 Max Your Body screenshot)

Today, you’re either going to sink or survive.

That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building
(Go90 Max Your Body screenshot)

Because it’s all well and good to be fit with both feet planted on firm ground, unbound and wearing comfy, civilian shoes. It’s been years since you were a fetus, so you’ve forgotten what it’s like when there’s water on all sides of you, it’s dark and murky, and it’s up to you to figure out where your next lungful of sweet, sweet air is coming from.

Today, Max would like to remind you of the primordial fluid from whence you swam. And to make it extra memorable, he’s going to bind your feet at the ankles and your hands behind your back.

That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building
At least solid muscle is super buoyant, right? (Go90 Max Your Body screenshot)

If you haven’t tapped out at this point, it’s advisable that you tap a buddy to be in charge of Operation You Not Drowning. Everything all nice and secure? Excellent! In you go.

Your mission — and it’s too late to opt out — is to suppress your rational panic and concentrate on using all this handy fitness you’ve been developing to go Full Amphibian while the water rises around you. You. Can. Do. This. For nine months, this was your everything. You used to be the Chuck Norris of tadpoles. Time to make your mother proud.

And if you do start getting the urge to have a big baby meltdown, just remember, there’s a benefit to plunging in with Max.

That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building

The benefit is you’ve lost the illusion of control. There’s no turning back. And the alternative to rising to this most fetal of challenges is sinking to the most fatal of depths.

Death, at whatever depth, is dumb. So it’s your choice, baby.

That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building
The Captain of the Guard at Fort Uterus, comin’ ta gitcha. (Go90 Max Your Body screenshot)

Watch as Max takes your fear and drowns it in a municipal pool, in the video embedded at the top.

Watch more Max Your Body:

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Our trainer will make you a leopard

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One session with this trainer will make you assume the fetal position

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Watch Green Berets demonstrate a lot of cool firepower

When you think about United States Army Special Forces personnel, the Green Berets stand out. We’ve heard the stories of their heroism, ranging Dick Balwanz and ODA 525 surviving against outrageous odds during Desert Storm to the acts of Gary Beikirch during the Vietnam War. They are very well trained (as the famous song says, “100 men we’ll test today, only three win the Green Beret“), and a single ODA can make a huge impact on any mission, especially as they reach across cultural and language boundaries.


Outside of being extremely brave and skilled with their weapons, Green Berets are also trained in operating and maintaining weaponry from foreign arsenals. Given that a primary mission of Green Berets is to help train and support foreign military forces, this lesser-known skill is quite important. Take, for instance, the Special Forces troops being sent today to work with Nigerian troops against ISIS presence in West Africa, known as Boko Haram.

That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building
Green Berets train military personnel from other countries – and that requires being familiar with a lot of weapons not used by American forces. (DOD photo)

Wikipedia lists a wide variety of assault rifles used by the Nigerien Army, ranging from M16A1 rifles to Soviet-era AKMs to Heckler and Koch G3s to FN FNCs. Sounds confusing, right? Well, a Green Beret weapons specialist can help train Nigerien troops on maintaining and effectively employing just about any of those rifles, and those freshly trained troops pass lessons on to newer recruits down the line.

The result? The Nigerien Army troops who go into battle against Boko Haram now have weapons they can rely on. A single detachment of Green Berets can give an entire foreign force the much-needed, modern training to wrest any power from the hands of Boko Haram terrorists. Such is true for many missions around the world, in countries ranging from Colombia to Kenya to Iraq to Indonesia.

That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Sean Suttles (left), and Sgt. 1st Class Keith Looker (right), brief U.S. and Royal Thai Special Forces personnel on safety procedures prior to fast-rope training on May 17, 1998, during Exercise Cobra Gold ’98. (DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Raymond T. Conway, U.S. Air Force)

In the video below, see Green Berets carry out a demonstration of foreign weapons. It’s just one of the many ways that Green Berets put the hurt on the bad guys – albeit indirectly.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-FbEAmjQMQ
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A firefighter’s secret identity reveals a Marine veteran – and gourmet chef

Fighting fires is hungry work. And since firefighters spend long hours, even days, at the fire station, it naturally falls to some schlub rookie to lace up an apron and put food on the table. That’s normally how it goes.

But Meals Ready To Eat doesn’t profile normal.


In South Philadelphia, there’s a fire station where things go down a bit differently. That’s because the members of Philly’s Fire Engine 60, Ladder 19 are lucky enough to count a gourmet chef among their ranks. In fact, he outranks most of them. He’s Lieutenant Bill Joerger, he’s a former Marine and this kitchen is his by right of mastery.

That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building
The two sides of Lt. Bill Joerger… (Go90 Meals Ready To Eat screenshot)

That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building
…and both are delicious. (Meals Ready To Eat screenshot)

It is a little weird for a ranking officer to spend hours rustling the chow. It’s a little strange that he goes to such lengths to source ingredients for his culinary art. It’s a bit outlandish when those meals are complex enough to necessitate a demo plate.

But Bill Joerger doesn’t care about any of that. When not actively saving lives, he cares about honing his cooking skills, eating well, and creating — in the midst of a chaotic work environment — some small sacred space where everyone can relax and just be people together.

“You have the brotherhood in the Marine Corps, and it’s the same as being in the firehouse…it’s some satisfaction for me to know that I’m producing a good meal for these guys after the things that we deal with on a daily basis.”

Meals Ready to Eat host August Dannehl spent a day with Joerger at the firehouse, experiencing the often violent stop-and-start nature of a firefighter’s day and, in the down moments, sous-cheffing for the Lieutenant. The story of how Joerger found his way from the Marine Corps to a cookbook and then to the firehouse kitchen is a lesson in utilizing one’s passion to impose some order in the midst of life’s disarray.

That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building

Watch more Meals Ready To Eat:

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This Galley Girl will make you want to join the Coast Guard

This is the food Japanese chefs invented after their nation surrendered to the Allies

Articles

Watch a 20mm Lahti anti-tank rifle rip through steel plates

The Lahti anti-tank rifle looks a little unusual, showing a pair of skis on the front. But then again, it does come from Finland.


According to Modernfirearms.net, the Lahti L-39, also known as the Norsupyssy — or “elephant gun” — fired a 20x138mm round and had a 10-shot clip. While not effective against the most modern tanks, like the Russian T-34, the rifle proved to be useful against bunkers and other material targets. One variant was a full-auto version used as an anti-aircraft gun.

That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building
Lahti L-39 anti-tank rifle. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Don’t laugh. According to the 25th Infantry Division Association’s website, American personnel used the Browning Automatic Rifle — or BAR — against the Japanese planes during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

This semi-auto rifle was kept in Finnish military stocks until the 1980s, when many were scrapped. This makes the M107 Barrett used by the United States military look like a mousegun.

A number of these rifles, though, were declared surplus and sold in the United States in the early 1960s. The Gun Control Act of 1968, though, placed these rifles under some very heavy controls — even though none were ever used in crimes.

That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building
A Lahti L-39 anti-tank rifle used during World War II. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

In this video, the punch this rifle packed is very apparent. The people who set up the test put up 16 quarter-inch steel plates. You can see what that shell does to the plates in this GIF.

via GIPHY

For a real in-depth look at this awesome gun — and the way they set up this firepower demonstration — look at the whole video below:

FullMag, YouTube

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How to properly seal a gas mask without shaving your beard

Warfighters have charged into battle throughout history with fully bearded chins. Sadly, the need to survival chemical weapons attacks has overshadowed the need to keep one’s chin beautiful.

Today, the most widely stated reason for requiring troops to keep a clean-shaven face is because facial hair prevents the proper sealing of a gas mask. Many studies and personnel trials have proven this true time and time again. That’s right, folks. Chemical weapons are so evil that they’ve even killed beards.


That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building
Even though chemical warfare is uncommon, we might have a potential enemy who isn’t afraid to use it. (Photo by Sgt. Scott Wolfe)

 

Maintaining a clean shave isn’t a problem for most troops. Military regulations prohibit facial hair and every male service member must remain baby-faced. This isn’t solely for potential chemical warfare reasons, but rather for maintaining a uniform and professional appearance among troops.

However, troops with religious reasons or a medical profile may be exempt from the shaving requirement. Unfortunately, their luck runs out when it’s time to visit the CS chamber. Despite knowing that their beards will prevent a complete seal, some in the chain of command will still send these troops in for whatever reason.

 

That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building
I’m not saying these leaders are setting up those troops for failure, but they really are. (Photo by Pierre Courtejoie)

 

Well, my bearded friends, the military is developing an alternative to the standard M50 gas mask that will protect a troop from chemical weapons by forming a skin-tight seal at the neck instead of the chin. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much progress with the technology, even from the Canadian military, but trials are still ongoing.

This doesn’t mean that bearded gentlemen are completely screwed out of wearing a gas mask. A Marine veteran and survivalist YouTuber, TEOTWAWKI Man, has found a field expedient solution — all it takes is a bunch of Vaseline. What you need to do is slather the edges of the mask with Vaseline and coat your beard with it, too. It should be a nasty amount of goo.

It won’t be pleasant, but it will be a lot faster than shaving and a lot less painful than sucking up CS gas.

MIGHTY TRENDING

These vets share the challenges they faced transitioning back to civilian life

WATM hosted groups of veterans to answer several questions about their time in the military. The vets kept it real when responding to topics ranging from relationships to recruiters.


Editor’s note: If you have ideas for questions that you’d like to see a group of veterans answer, please leave a comment below.

 

Music courtesy of Jingle Punks:

All Ears – Auracle

Anyone Else-JP – The Beards

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This Medal of Honor recipient took care of business at the Super Bowl

Super Bowl LII kicked off with a coin toss — naturally — but this year the NFL added a patriotic element.


This year, 16 Medal of Honor recipients stood on the field, shoulder-to-shoulder, as one of their own took care of business and officially flipped the traditional coin like the operator he is.

After the stadium announcer introduced Marine veteran Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams, he gave the crowd a prideful and enthusiastic “thumbs-up.”

While wearing his Marine Corps League Garrison cover, Williams flipped that NFL coin like a seasoned champ; no surprise there — how the former WWII flamethrower earned his network TV spot is an incredible story of heroism and badassery.

Related: This Navy veteran is ‘sleeping over’ at Sunday’s big game

A strong toss, sir. (Image via GIPHY) Before joining the Marine Corps, Williams took part in Civilian Conservation Corps, a public relief program operated by the U.S. Army. After the events at Pearl Harbor, Williams requested his release and quickly enlisted in the Marine Corps so he could get right into the fight.

His unique training earned him a role as a demolition operator — and he would certainly put his skills to good use. In 1945, he was sent to the Japanese island of Iwo Jima to lay siege against the enemy.

Williams served in a reserve unit and he was told he probably wouldn’t even be utilized in the fight, but things changed quickly under the brutal barrage of enemy fire.

Also Read: This sailor has one of the most impressive resumes you’ll ever see — and he’s not done yet

That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building
Marines clearing enemy caves with grenades and BARs.

After numerous American casualties, Williams was thrust into battle and ordered to engage the Japanese’s well-fortified pill boxes with his deadly flamethrower.

Under the guidance of a Marine officer, he was given a few riflemen for protection as he dashed toward the Japanese stronghold to burn them out of their position.

Due to the enemies’ muzzle smoke, Williams managed to identify their well-concealed positions and light them up.

“It almost like a dream, like it’s really not real,” he recalled.

Williams climbed to the top of the pill box and stuck the barrel of his flamethrower into the small air vent and fired. During his time on the bloody island, Williams single-handedly knocked out seven different concealed enemy positions.

Now Read: This SEAL was shot 27 times before walking himself to the medevac

That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building

On Oct. 5, 1945, Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams was presented with the Medal of Honor by President Truman.

Check out Medal of Honor Book‘s video below to listen to Woody’s incredible story from the legend himself.

(MedalOfHonorBook, YouTube)
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Watch one of the baddest A-10 pilots ever land after being hit by a missile

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Paul T. “PJ” Johnson is right up there with the best pilots to have ever flown the A-10. While serving as a captain during Operation Desert Storm, he was decorated with the Air Force Cross for leading the rescue mission of a downed Navy F-14 Tomcat pilot deep behind enemy lines.


Capt. Johnson was en route from another mission when he received the call to search for the F-14 crew that had been shot down the night before. During the next six hours, he lead the search through three aerial refuelings, one attack on a possible SCUD missile site, and three hours of going deeper into enemy territory than any A-10 had ever flown. When he finally spotted the survivor, an enemy vehicle was heading in his direction, which Johnson proceeded to destroy, thus securing the target.

The mission was successful and a first for the A-10. A few days later, Johnson’s skills were on full display when he was hit by an enemy missile while trying to take out a radar site. The explosion left a gaping hole on his right wing, which disabled one of the hydraulic systems. Still, he managed to fly back to safety.

This video shows how Johnson pulled through his “high pucker factor” experience, which he credits to a “wing and a prayer.”

Watch:

Gen. Johnson received his commission in 1985 from Officer Training School, Lackland Air Force Base. He’s a command pilot with more than 3,000 hours on the A-10 and served as commander of the 75th Fighter Squadron, Pope AFB, N.C.; the 354th Operations Group, Eielson AFB, Alaska; the 355th Fighter Wing, Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona; and 451st Air Expeditionary Wing, Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. He’s retiring on July 01, 2016, according to his Air Force profile.

Feature image: Screen capture from YouTube.

Articles

This is what happens when Israelis and Palestinians eat dinner together

In our post for Part 1 of the MRE season finale, we explored how the task of bringing the Israelis and Palestinians together might, in fact, be facilitated by mutual concern over food — specifically the production of olive oil.


That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building
Middle Eastern oil, the happy kind. (Go90 Meals Ready To Eat screenshot)

Host August Dannehl toured a Palestinian-owned olive farm in the West Bank that was being guided by consultants from the Near East Foundation and USAID’s Olive Oil Without Borders project. Similar aid was being offered to neighboring Israeli olive farmers and, far from begrudging the competition, the Arab farmers seemed relieved just to be able to get on with their livelihoods and happy to wish their Jewish counterparts the same.

In Part 2, Dannehl dives deeper into Israeli military, farm, and food culture, meeting with an Arab gourmet chef who helms a cutting edge restaurant in Tel Aviv, talking to young Israeli Defence Force soldiers about how they view their nation’s foes and learning from diners of both nationalities the frank similarities between Israeli and Palestinian cuisine.

That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building
“We’re kind of the same people, you know? We love hummus, they love hummus…” (Go90 Meals Ready To Eat screenshot)

Finally, he returns to West Bank olive country, to the farm of Israeli olive oil maker Ayala Meir in order to attend a traditional kibbutz dinner, joined this time by Meir’s family and a number of their Palestinian friends from across the border wall.

Olive oil is culture. It brings people together. This is now the season that Jewish and Arabs and Muslims and Christians meet together. We all love this product. And it’s a way to know our neighbors. Actually an ancient olive tree is many individuals living in the same house. Every branch has a different root system. —Ayala Noy Meir

That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building
A toast to friends and neighbors. (Go90 Meals Ready To Eat screenshot)

The recent success of efforts like Olive Oil Without Borders, not to mention the more live-and-let-live worldview that can be found among younger citizens of both nations, gives the world a glimmer of hope that this, one of the thorniest conflicts in human history, may one day be no more than a story neighbors reminisce about around a communal dinner table.

That time an Army Air Corps bomber crashed into the Empire State Building
Magic hour in occupied territory. (Go90 Meals Ready To Eat screenshot)

Watch as Dannehl finds that hospitality knows no nationality, in the video embedded at the top.

Watch more Meals Ready To Eat:

Army food will make you feel the feels

This whiskey is a WWII victory, distilled

This is what happens when you run your kitchen like a platoon

This is what it means to be American in Guam

This is how olives could bring peace to the Middle East

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