1970 Marshall Plane Crash: We Remember

What are your memories of Nov. 14, 1970? Share them here.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

In memory of Charlie E. Kautz

in memory of Charlie E. Kautz, AD of Marshall University may his love of football and the lives he touched be in their hearts forever.

God rest his soul.


In memory of Tommy Howard

My brother died on the crash. His name was Tommy Howard, and he was #60. I was 15 when it happened, my sister was 17, and my little brother was 10. My little brother was the first to see the news of the crash come across the TV. My sister and I were on dates. My parents were at home. My brother was coming home that night. We only lived about 45 minutes from the University. Our home town was Milton, WV. We were very proud of him. He was a wonderful person. He is deeply missed and will forever be in our hearts.

In memory of Nate Ruffin

Here is hoping Nate Ruffin's number 25 is retired and he is enrished in the Marshall Hall of Fame. He is and always will be a true hero and role model.

The ground you're walking on was paved by many black men and many white men," "I was left behind so I could tell the story for those men who are not around now. As long as I live, I shall tell the story. As long as we tell the story, they shall live."


Thursday, December 28, 2006

'Marshall is part of our family'

I was born in Arkansas and am naturally a Razorbacks football fan although living in Texas for the last 40 years. My mom's family is from Wheeling, W. VA. When you get right down to it, all football fans are bonded. We are all one big family. Marshall is part of our family. We all felt pain over the loss of the Marshall football team, coaches, and others on that fateful night. It is encouraging to see Marshall's football success recently. I also have a soft spot in my heart for Marshall. Here's hoping that someday soon the Thundering Herd will win Division 1-A's BCS national championship.

- DNewsom

'God bless you all'

I am a life long resident of Huntington and was only 14 when the crash happened. My only connection with any of the victims at the time is that Dr. Hagely was our family physician. I can remember watching the news and being shocked when his name was announced. Since the crash through work and school I have become aquainted with some of the victims children and have heard first hand of some things they went through and are still going through. God Bless you all.

Monday, December 25, 2006

'Thanks, McG'

My husband (Al Rinehart #43 fullback, 1961 -63) and I have seen the movie twice this week.

We've always been so grateful for the years we spent at Marshall. Our Marshall degrees have helped us in our professional lives, but the friendships and experiences we had there shaped our lives more that the academics.

We love Huntington, Marshall and the movie. Thanks, McG, for finally getting this unbelieveable story out to the nation.

- Linda Thurston Rinehart-64

Sunday, December 24, 2006

In memory of Crow Patterson

i remember well crow patterson from louisburg,nc. I was around him many times before he was off to ferrum and then to Marshall. I will never forget that young man's smile he had beautiful teeth. His brother was my best friend and went on to be a minor league baseball player and after that an arthodonist. In louisburg he was known as Crow patterson. His mother still lives there. He was loved by his family and they suffered a lot by this tragedy.


'God bless the people of Huntington'

I work for SAMS CLUB in Cedar Rapids, IA and for nearly a month heard "We are Marshall" several times a day when a special preview was being offered to SAMS members. Little by little as my days went by, I learned "who" Marshall was and what the movie was about. God Bless the people of Huntington and the families and friends of the people aboard. I will see this movie, and I will be moved. I already have been.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

In memory of Joe Hood and Robert VanHorn

It was one of those times committed to memory just as the day President Kennedy was shot or 9/11.

I was in my first year at Marshall and at home that Saturday evening. My mother had a police band radio as her constant companion. We heard the radio broadcast asking for "every available ambulance to go to the airport because of a plane crash." It was not long before the news came over that it was the Marshall football team.

At school I just happened to be in a Phys Ed class with Joe Hood and Robert VanHorn who were two of the largest class clowns you would ever want to know. I remember them constantly joking with each other and everyone else in the class. Whenever you would see them either in uniform or in a team picture they looked intimidating and menacing but I knew them as fun loving classmates who always made me laugh.

Bob Shain

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

In memory of Jack Repasy

mary and john repasy were dear friends of ours,i had lost a daughter in june of 1970 then jack repasy there son in november of 1970 then my dear cousin in vietnam in 1970,the pain and grief still continues to haunt me. do the tears ever stop? jack was a wonderful young man, loved by anyone who knew him,had a smile you could never forget.what a great, great young man.he came from a wonderful family, that loved him dearly. jack and the team will be in our hearts forever, and the familys that lost so much, bless them all



I Was There....

It was a dreary, foggy, drizzly cold, typical November evening in the Ohio Vally. I was a sophomore at Marshall. My high school sweetheart and love of my life had entered the football program in the fall of 1968. In the spring of 1970 he contracted a severe case of "mono" and had to quit playing. My brother also attended Marshall on a football scholarship, graduating in 1969, so I was very familiar with the challenges the team was facing. I lived in the Twin Towers dorm and was in my room that evening when the news came over the TV. At first there was optimism about potential survivors, but the optimism quickly turned to the cold reality that no one could have possibly survived this horrific event. It was not only unbelievable, but unimaginable. How could these young, beautiful men and coaches and these loyal and supportive boosters from this close knit community just vanish? I immediately went to the pay phone and called my boyfrind at his weekend job in a local upscale restaurant. In shock at the news, he immediately left to come and be with me to do whatever we could to console each other and help however we could. I remember that we carried the mattresses from our beds in the dorm to the athletic center, anticipating the establishment of a shelter for families. In the days to come, we cried, we hugged our friends, we sat and listened to music, we attended memorial services, trying to find some refuge and make sense of what had just happened. Even though the names of all the passengers were known, the identities trickled in. The process of identifying everyone prolonged the pain; we knew we would not see them again, but how could all evidence of their physical existence have vanished? Wasn't it just yesterday that I saw this guy in the cafeteria line or that one practicing right outside my dorm window on the practice field? I loved this school and I loved this team....full of hope and optimism in the face of competitive challenges. In January of 1971 I left Huntington and went home. My boyfriend wanted to play football again, but his offer to play must have been too premature and he eventually left as well. Marshall was, and always will be a very important part of my life. The people that gave their lives that cold, foggy, drizzly evening and the city of Huntington deserve the honor of this film, which, is long overdue. WE ARE MARSHALL!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

In memory of Frank Loria

I was a student at Marshall in November 1970. Vietnam conflict and the military draft were still evident in those times. The first draft lottery in a while was held earlier in the year. The terms were one could volunteer for the draft on a one year period and make it thru the one year; and the student deferments and the headaches that trying to keep them current would not be an issue again. One year at risk. If the local selective service board passed you by that year then the draft board took that person out of the eligible pool of candidates forever. My birthdate drew a relatively high number. They ranged from number 1 to either 365 or 366 --I don't recall exactly what being born on Feb 29th meant. I drew a relatively high number in the 190's and volunteered for the draft. Selective service and my neighbors at Local Board #2 called my number and I was slated for basic training in uncle Sam's Army at Fort Knox. Saturday November 14 1970 found me and some of my friends in the married student campus housing where the host couple's anniversary and my 'going away' were being celebrated. That is till the events of the day put a damper on those celebrations.

Marshall's assistant coach Frank Loria was a kid from my hometown and had quite a reputation as an athelete and a great talent there even before his recognition as an All American during his college days. Frank or Frankie was a good guy and a role model from even his early days. This was true from the ones he faced in competition as well as his team-mates.

-Wayne W

'I thank God for his life'

I am a retired Lutheran pastor now living in Northern Ohio. My first parish was in Centerburg, Ohio where two brothers, twins, were members of the church youth group. Both brothers went to Marshall. Richard (Rick) had been red shirted and was killed in the crash. At the time I was serving a parish in Medina, OH, but since the little church in Centerburg had no pastor, I was asked to officiate at Rick's funeral. He was a tough football player but had the heart for God, people and writing poetry. I read one of his poems in the message that day. I often think of his life and legacy. I thank God for his life.
- Rev. Bill Lucht

Saturday, December 16, 2006

'How precious our lives are'

I was 14 years old when this tragedy happened. I remember it well because my uncle Norman Weichman was the team's photographer. We were at my grandmother's home when it came across the television.My father and other family members left for the crash scene. It was the longest night of my life...waiting for the phone to ring to hear if there was any survivors. And there were none!The following weeks were filled with one funeral after another. This event in my life has taught me how precious our lives are.


A 'soft spot' for the Herd

I am from a small town in southern Ohio (Wellston), was ten years old at the time, and remember watching the WSAZ news bringing this sad and tragic incident to so many around southern Ohio and West Virginia.

Even though I am an Ohio State Buckeye fan I still have a soft spot in my heart for the Thundering Herd.

I have been to Buckeye football games before wearing a Marshall T-shirt, one I wear with much pride.

For the most tragic story in sports history the whole nation shall see why the town of Huntington, and Marshall University can boldly say with pride "We Are Marshall".

I am extremely excited about the opportunity to see this movie.

Darren Swingle, Chillicothe (Wellston), Ohio

'We were a family'

I remember well the night the plane crashed. It may seem odd to people who have never lived on a small university campus but we were a family. I could not tell you the names of our players as I was busy working in the library but I saw them on campus. Before the game, I walked behind some players who were talking about going to the game in style because they were flying there and not taking a bus. I laught at their childish enthusiasm and they turned and smile. That was Marshall. Warm, friendly and than we grieved together. I may not talk about it often as it can still bring tears to my eyes, but they live on in my memories.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

'It was a struggle'

It was my 16th birthday and I was in a youth service at Kenova Baptist because Dave Huffman had a crush on a girl there - great way to turn 16. When I heard the sirens start, I didn't realize that it would be the most memorable birthday of my life. Like most natives, we went to or listened to all the games. Dad was invited Friday morning to take Shirley Hageley's seat when she came to his dental office, but he had something to do. He spent Monday and Tuesday using dental records to make identifications of the victims, many of whom were good friends of ours. I know it was a struggle, but he held up. We're in Florida now, and on 12/22, I will take him and my family to the theater and from all I've read and seen about the film, the rest of the family will start to understand what our "little" town went through and why every year on my birthday, I stop and reflect and then I tell people about that day and what it's meant to my life. God Bless MU.

-Curtis McKenzie

Monday, December 11, 2006

'I will never forget'

I am not from Huntington, but I am a West Virginian. I will never forget the news of the crash that November night in 1970. At that time I was married and living in Connecticut. With my husband and two small children we were returning home to Norfolk, Conn. from a visit with relatives in Torrington, Conn. when the news of the crash came over the radio. I will never forget the shock and sadness I felt at the terrible news of the crash. Much later in my life I met and became a friend of a dear person, Jim Proctor, whose parents were lost in the crash. May God bless and comfort Jim, his family and all who suffered the great loss of that night.

-Mary Lee Scalf, Falling Waters, WV

Sunday, December 10, 2006

'A long and difficult night'

I had just returned home from work that night, and upon entering the house realized my Husband and 3 small children were glued to the TV watching the incoming news reports of the plane crash. I told my family I would see them later, as I needed to return to work. Being a Long Distance Telephone Operator for C&P Telephone Company. I knew our local Switchboard would be jammed with calls. Like myself, 150 Long Distance Operators returned to work, as we tried to keep the lines of communication open, for our University, our Community, Our Friends, our City......It became a Long and Difficult Night.

Joyce Bostic

Saturday, December 09, 2006

'A beautifully made movie'

I am in Clearwater, FL. I also was not born at the time of the crash, but growing up in Huntington with a family originating in Huntington, I learned about it during childhood. There is an alumni group here in Clearwater that meets every week to watch the football games. They managed to get a special screening of the film, which I just returned from tonight. It is a beautifully made movie. From the details and facts I know about the actual events, it is true to it all. I am proud to recommend this movie to anyone who may just be wondering "where is Marshall", and of course to those that might have grown up in Huntington, but have hidden their emotions too long for fear of what they might see and what emotions might get brought back to the surface. As a Huntington native, I too am proud. We Are Marshall...I AM MARSHALL.


'May God bless the families'

My Brother Ernest Levy, Jr was Defensive Back on this team. He was attending Marshall on a football scholarship. He was actually late catching this flight and missed it. He is presently living in Jacksonville, Florida. We have been talking about this incident lately and the film that is coming up in December. He stated he doesn't want to see it because it brings back too many memories. May God bless the families that lost their loved ones.

-Barbara Levy

'Changed the lives of many'

My family lived on Coal Branch Road, about 300 yards from where the MU plane went down. I was eight years old. That evening changed the lives of many. In many different ways. My memories are of the crowds, the media, and the tears of my mother and father. The Marshall movie offers a long-standing action of respect and remembrance for a tragedy felt by many.


'We Are Marshall'

We Are Marshall..... Through the loss , the pain, the tears. We have held on and worked through it Please do not forget our lost brothers and fans and stand with pride and some tears in your eye and from the depths of your hearts always remember WE ARE MARSHALL
-Jim Slone

'Scope of the tragedy'

I will never forget seeing those six hearses traveling up Fifth Avenue to the memorial service at the field house. That really brought home to me the scope of the tragedy.

Steve Hanrahan, M.U. faculty member

'Remember the horrible feeling'

I remember the night all to well. We lived on Rt. 180 and as mother was locking the doors for the night she noticed the sky was unusually bright. She called my dad in and they walked out on the porch talking in hushed tones that it had to either be a big fire at the Ashland refinery or a plane down.

They decided to take us on a drive to see what it was and we learned that the Marshall football team was aboard the flight that had crashed.

I was 13 at the time and remember the horrible feeling that I had that night and I have never forgotten it.

I went to the Huntington Vinson High School prom a few years later and have pictures of myself and my date taken in front of the memorial.


Monday, November 27, 2006

'Hope the upcoming movie does justice'

I was not even born when the plane crashed, but I attended Ferrum College while Hank Norton was still the head coach there. I saw, even twenty years later, the scar that this crash left on the Ferrum Community. I can not even imagine the scars in the Marshall Community. I hope this upcoming movie does justice to all of the people and communities involed. God bless.


'Stunned to hear the sad news'

I was a a 20 year old junior at East Carolina. Me and a friend went to the game that night. It was pretty much what you did in Greenville on a Saturday night. We were winning the game, so me and my buddy decided to get an early jump to our car. We leaped down the stairs of the grandstands to try an beat the crowd out of the stadium. I walked smack into the Marshall team leaving the field. I was 5'9 about 145 pounds and I remember those guys seemed huge to me. It's like they had surrounded us, jogging, knocking into us making contact with me and my friend on their way to the clubhouse. We were later stunned to hear the sad news and also to know that we had touched many of them only a few shorts hours before. I never forgot that. I am looking forward to the film and hope that McG got it right.

-Chris F.
ECU '72

Monday, November 20, 2006

'Not a day goes by'

I remember the night oh too well. A number of us had been working to make sure a schedule demonstration regarding racial intolerance on the campus would be peaceful. Redd, Bill Dodson, Angela Dodson, were in dialogue with a number of white student leaders to avert any violence. The news came on and all talk of demonstrations, of race, of racial inequality stopped. We were a family, and we had lost so many of our family members. As a local resident, I not only lost campus friends and classmates, but members of the community. Murrill Ralsten, Mike Prestera, Dr. Chambers, Happy and Elain Heath, Marcelo.....so many come to mind. I can almost name all of them on the plane.

Not a day goes by, now 36 years later, that I don't think about them and my heart grieves.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

'His life was just beginning and cut short'

I graduated from Eastmoor High School class of 1968. Rick Lech was our President of Student council and a all around good guy. He always had a smile on this face and was well liked by all. He was good at basketball and football. I also knew his brother Ron that was a year younger. I remember the girls really liked Rick. I could not believe it when I heard of the crash. I had known he was off to Marshall on a scholarship. His life was just beginning and cut short. I pray he is happy and looking down on us. May God Bless.

'In memory of Mark Andrews, Jack Repasy and Bob Harris'

In memory of Mark Andrews, Jack Repasy and Bob Harris.

Mark was my brother, and he was best friends with Jack and Bob. They played football together at Moeller High School in Cincinnati, and then went to Marshall together. They seemed to have it all. I was a freshman at Ohio State when they died, and on the radio James Taylor's song "Fire and Rain" played often. It always made me think of Mark, who died in fire and rain. A few weeks after the crash, we studied this poem in my English class (a strange coincidence). It was by A. E. Housman:


THE time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.

Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay,
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.

Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears:
Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.

So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.

And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's.

- Becky Andrews Reed

'May God Bless You'

I will never forget that night. I was a member of the Wayne County Civil Defence Search and Rescue Unit. I was the second first responder on the scene that night. I would like to take this time to say to the victims' families May God Bless You. I also would like to thank all the men and women who was a part of the recovery of the victims. I know first hand what you have gone through all these years afterwards. I will always love Marshall Football. Win or lose always remember that "We Are Marshall."

- Damon Slone

Thursday, November 16, 2006

'I didn't believe it'

I was on out third floor listening to music when my Mother came and told me about the Marshall plane crash. I didn't believe it. Wichita State's football team had one of their planes go down a couple weeks before. I knew some of the players on the team, had class with them or played basketball or handball with them. It took a couple of days for the reality to hit me. Then I found out that some of my friends had lost their parents. I was 18 and this was like a bad movie.
-Jim K

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

'Weeks and weeks of memorials'

I am also a native of Huntington, WV. I was 16 years old and a majorette at Huntington East High School. My memories are of weeks and weeks of memorials and funerals attended by the HEHS football team, majorettes and cheerleaders. Many of my friends lost parents and boyfriends on that night. I will be attending the premiere of "We Are Marshall" on December 12 with my entire family with many mixed emotions.
-Cheryl Wolford Cannizzaro

'God bless all those mourning'

I was not quite a year old when this tragedy occurred, but I had a personal connection to the incident as I worked with John Repasy, father of Jack, for about 7 years of my life. John, or J.R. as we called him, never talked much about the tragedy, but one particular day as I was mourning the loss of my best friend's sister, he sat down and talked to me and opened up about Jack. I remember my heart just aching for him as I saw so much raw pain still bubbling right under the surface. J.R. was a great man whom I loved dearly as a friend. I still miss him and think of him often. I can only imagine that Jack was an outstanding, special young man cut from the same cloth as his father. I visited with J.R. the night before he died in hospice and though he wasn't cognizant of visitors and his surroundings at that point and it was very difficult to see this once vibrant man in that situation, I was comforted to know that Jack would be right there at heaven's gates waiting for his dad and that J.R. would finally have peace on so many levels. God bless all those mourning and still wounded by this awful event. My prayers are with you all.

-Jill Branam

'I still remember'

I am a native of Huntington, WV. Several of my friends were players of on the 1970 MU Football Team. When I got news of the crash, the first person that came to my mind was a very special person Scotty. He always talked about his Grandmother and how much he loved her. I'll always miss him. My two brave friends, H. & R. lost their parents that night. I still remember the days at Huntington High and how this tragedy brought the students closer together. Hey ladies I still keep a special spot in my heart for the two of you. We'll talk soon.

'May God comfort'

I'm not from Huntington and attended Ohio University, but I'm a Marshall supporter and fan.

When this horrible event took place, I was five years old and have no recollection of the tragedy. Many years later, I saw the documentary on PBS,"From Ashes to Glory" and was moved by the way the community and university more or less banded together to emerge victorious and strong, quite like the fabled Phoenix. From that moment on, I became a Marshall fan.

If some other O.U. supporters or alumnae read this posting, they might not be happy about what I'm about to say, but it's how I feel.

Football is just a game to Ohio University. There's not the same connection with the community that M.U. has with Huntington.

It's been said countless times, but Marshall football is a tribute to those lost in the crash, the spirit of the university and community and the way both groups bonded together during the process of rebuilding and healing. May God comfort and bless those who lost friends or family members on that rainy November night.

-Ms Kelley Jarvis

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

'God bless the families'

I was 9 years old when I saw "fire" in the sky! My sister and I were taking a family member home on that rainy, foggy night in 1970. I had a feeling something bad was going to happen when we left home. As we topped Rt. 75 hill, I told my sister and my godmother that I saw fire in the sky. They told me it was probably lightening, not to worry so much.

When we pulled into my godmother's driveway and got out of the car, the entire sky was orange and we rushed back around the hill and saw the most horrifying scene of my life! We were the second witnesses on the scene. I will never forget that fateful night as long as I live. God bless the families who lost loved ones that tragic evening! My heart goes out to them.

-Shelley Ball

Monday, November 13, 2006

'Never forget'

I will never forget that night. I lived in Kenova and I had just came in from a date and was rolling my hair getting ready for church the next morning and I heard a crash and it shook our entire house. I was upstairs and my parents were downstairs and I ran downstairs asking what was that? Then came the news about what happened. I went to school with a lot of kids that were a volunteer at the fire department. It is very sad. I hope the movie that will be coming out stays true to the story and no Hollywood stuff.

-Kathy Caldwell Swaney

Sunday, November 12, 2006

'You remember exactly what you were doing'

Our family doctor and his wife were on the plane. Dr. and Mrs. Joe Chambers. I was in high school and remember what a cold and rainy night it was. I was watching TV when a news bulletin came on announcing the crash. Then our next door neighbor came over to tell us that Dr. Joe was on the plane. It is one of life's moments that you remember exactly what you were doing when you heard the news.

-Jill Taylor Songer-Virginia

Remembering 'that awful day'

I was 22 and remember that awful day. My work just took me to Huntington one week ago to televise a Marshall game, my heart still goes out to all of Marshall and Hunington community and I hope the movie We Are Marshall brings comfort and some joy.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

'Thoughts and prayers'

The first real crush I had as a middle school child was a boy named David O'Connor. We went to the same church in upstate New York and were good friends. He taught me to play "Stairway to Heaven" on the guitar. His sister, Ruth-Ann, was sweet and his Mom was always nice. A classic beauty with a quiet grace. I asked David where his father was one day and he told me that he had died in a plane crash with his school football team. I was only six when this crash occurred in Huntington and I lived in Rome, New York. As the movie is coming out, I browsed through the memorials. David and Ruth-Ann look so much like their father, it all clicked in my mind the instant I saw his photo ... Dr. Brian O' Connor. I do not remember the crash but the memory of my childhood friend David O' Connor and what a young man of integrity and politeness he was tells me much about his father I had never met. My thoughts and prayers are with David, Ruth-Ann, and Miss Katherine as my husband and I reflect on this movie and emotion it will stir.

--Holly Stone/McLeod RN

Columbia, MD

'My heart sank'

I worked for the travel agency in downtown when it flashed on the tv a plane down at the tri-state airport. I called the airport was told it is the charter. My heart sank. I knew so many on the flight, my good friend & Dr. Joe Chambers & his wife Peg. At that moment I didn't know their two daughters, who were cheerleaders for Marshall, were not on the plane till I called their home. There are so many more, a former co worker and her brother. I will never forget that night.

- Anonymous

Saturday, November 04, 2006

'I will never forget'

After losing a child myself a few years prior 1970, I will never forget the gut wrenching feeling I had when the breaking news flashed on the TV screen about the plane crash with Marshall's football team aboard.

I was in my 5th mo. of pragency with my 3rd. child I clinched my stomate so fercely from the news, I felt her kick for the first time but there was no joy in my heart, only pain I felt in my heart for the families left behind that would have to endure the pain of losing a child as I had done not so long ago.

-Mikey Mary Sherman Ironton Ohio

Monday, October 30, 2006

'I will never forget'

I was 11, and still an Alterboy at Sacred Heart Church in Huntington. Father Jacobs had been at the crash site all night until coming to the church for 8 AM Mass. I will never forget the smoke smell, and the look in his eyes as we helped him with his robes. He described the horrible scene to the parish, and although I was young, it was the most surreal moment of my life to that point.

-Brian Angle

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

'My prayers still go out'

I was a member of the Miami University football team during that fateful year and I can still vividly remember that tragic plane crash. Although most of us never got to meet the Marshall players that died that day we all felt that we had become to know them very well after listening to exhaustive scouting reports on the Sunday before our game with Marshall that year.

Now, years later, with two boys at the same young age as what most of those boys were on the plane that day my prayers still go out to the family and friends of those young men whose lives were taken at the prime of their life.

-Dave Pataky

Sunday, October 08, 2006

'Never coming back'

I was 7 years old when this event occurred. I clearly remember my mother answering the phone, the hysteria that ensued, and then Mom trying to explain to me why my Aunt Pat (Patricia Vaught) was never coming back. That was 36 years ago, and I'll never forget it.

Perry Jones

Chesapeake, VA.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

'I love Marshall'

I was ten and my dad went to Marshall and was a big sports fan. We lived in Kenova and were not far from the crash. I remember the flames on TV and Dad saying "I hope the boys are all right". Well the rest is history. I went on to graduate from MU as well as two sisters,a brother and my son. I love Marshall as more than a school and still get a chill talking about it. I now live in Baltimore, but MU is always in my heart.

John David N.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

'No stars were to be seen'

My husband and I were seniors the year of the plane crash. We were out in his volkswagen at the service station down on 1st Street getting gas when we heard over the radio the news the Marshall's football team had crashed short of the runway. The attendants heard it at the same time, and it was so unreal to us all that something that tragic could happen in Huntington, WV. I remember, too, what a dark, cold and rainy night it was. No stars were to be seen. I discovered the next day my landlord, Murrill Ralsten, and his wife were also on the plane. It really bothered me they had two small children left behind. I often wonder whatever happened to them.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

'He knew them all'

I was newly married and visiting my parents the night of the plane crash. My brother, John Hurst, called to let us know he was not on the plane. My aunt and uncle did not know that he had called and came to the house at 7:00 a.m. the next morning because they thought "Johnnie" was on the plane. I will never forget the relief that his life was spared as well as the sorrow that so many others were lost. John can still tell so many wonderful stories of his fellow players. He had used the last of his eligibility and was finishing his education that year. He knew them all and still remembers so much. I wish that he had been contacted when the movie was made. He is a fountain of information having played the two previous years.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

'All I need are the memories of a great friend and teammate"

HI Mike,

Artie was a good friend and teammate and I was always treated like part of his family by his mom , dad and sisters. Mister Harris asked me to got the game with him that weekend, but I didn't go because of a previous committment.

I have some great memories and stories about Art and our "escapades" in high School. Art was a fun loving guy and his dad was his biggest fan. Art was destined for the NFL and could have also played pro baseball.

I'm glad you had your brief encounter with Artie because those of us who knew him have been blessed to have him touch our lives.

One day I'll get back to Marshall and take in the memorials. But all I need are the memories of a great friend and teammate.

Roy Slezak

Passaic, NJ/Chandler, AZ

Friday, August 25, 2006

From an ECU team member

I was the ECU right Defensive End who Art Harris pass blocked most of the game. I have prayed for Art, his Dad and the rest of the Team since the accident.

I made a goal of getting up to Huntington to pay my respects at the Memorials and finally accomplished it about 8 years ago at which time I placed my old ECU purple game helmet that was broken that night so long ago, near the memorial outside of the new stadium. I only wish I could have known Art in a more personal way.

- Mike McGuirk

Thursday, August 24, 2006

'A hard time'

I was teaching at Cammack at the time and remember how sad it was to return on Monday with two children in the same class period who had lost one or both parents and several others within our school that shared the same fate. It was a hard time for all then and will be a hard again as the movie becomes reality. Yet, I am glad the story is being brought to life. It will be a time of sadness, a time when old wounds will re-open, and a time when we all will heal once again.

I have never attended one of the fountain memorial services but think of it often and have visited the fountain several times to remember. I taught 30 years and had several grandchildren of those who were taken that night. All that I have known through the years have made their parents proud. Just recalling those times brings a sadness to my heart and awakens feelings that appeared lost. Yet, another set of feelings move in that lets me know that we all can be proud that WE ARE...MARSHALL! It's good that this space is available for any who wish to share their feelings of then and now.


Saturday, August 19, 2006

'God bless all involved'

My wife and I were both Marshall Graduates. I served on student government SBVP, and Hodges Hall Dorm Director, and wife was on the Parthenon Staff. At the time of the crash, my wife taught at Cammack Elem, while I was teaching at Huntington High. She was teaching a number of kids whose parents were lost and some of the players were in the dorm when I served as Director of Hodges Hall. I had been close to the coaches and players and a friend of mine and I recommended that the new Director of Admissions get the "tickets" to the Big Game and fly with the dignitaries. Oh, what fate life brings to us all. We still love and support Marshall through number of ways and only hope we have "paid back" from sad difficult memories. God Bless all involved in this terrible tragedy, former and present engaged to the memory of a great University.

Fred and Donna Reeder

Friday, August 18, 2006

'The feel of the town was just sadness'

I was in High School attending Huntington High when this happened. Even though is was so long ago, I still get a lump in my throat and choke up when I speak of it or read this web page.

It was gray and raining that night we got the news and it seemed that in the weeks that followed the town itself cried and cried. The "feel" of the town was just sadness. I will never forget it.

Doris Greenlee

'I remember'

I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news that god awful night. All I wanted to do was go home and be with my parents.

I remember falling into my father's lap crying uncontrollably asking him "why". The man had no explanation. When I saw the memorial fountain on campus for the first time with my college-age children, I tried to explain to them but I couldn't speak as the emotions all came back.

I hope the movie will be a success and the nation will see how Huntington became one family on a dark, dreary rainy night in WV.


In memory of Art Harris

Art Harris was a very good friend and teammate. I'll always cherish the times we had together at Passaic High School, our church basketball games etc.

Mr. Harris, Art's dad. would talk with me for hours about local sports and was Art's biggest fan. He was also lost on that November day.

When I heard the news of the crash my whole life changed. Art will always be part of my cherished memories. I was treated as part of his family by his mom , dad and sisters and will never forget that.

I mourned for his young son who never got to know his dad. I only hope that his son knows, today how special Art was to so many people.


'It still seems like yesterday'

So much time has passed since the crash in 1970, but it still seems like yesterday. I was a freshman at Marshall. It was very difficult to lose so many people at once.

I came very close to having my father Ed Starling on that plane, if my grandfather not died the week before he would have been on that flight.

I'm glad that the story is told. It would have been nice if every one involved could have had their story told. My daughter and mom are thankful though that we were told about the Memorial Ceremony and were able to be a part of it. I'm sure my father would have wanted us to be there.

Gina Starling Gunn
Brentwood, TN 37027

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Your new page(s) and related links to the 1970 and 1971 Marshall football story are very well done and much appreciated. I have most of those early articles, but the paper's subsequent follow-up stories are priceless. Congratulations on a great effort!

In many ways, the media is a great part of the story. Mike Brown, Lowell Cade, Ernie, Harry, Bud and others all were there, working, trying to tell the story with heavy or buoyant hearts. I can hear and see each, the years no fog to there friendly demeanor and respectful questions and comments.

Again, thank you...especially for the praise for and remembrances of Nate Ruffin. "We Are Marshall" will be the greatest tribute to his desire that the story of The Herd and Young Herd be told over and over again, as inspiration, as a testament, and as a path to mutual respect and love.

Jack Yager
Sports Information Director
Marshall University

In memory of Art Harris (#22) and his father, Arthur Harris Sr.

In memory of Art Harris (#22) and his father, Arthur Harris Sr.
From a fellow alum of his high school, Passaic HS, Passaic, NJ.

Artie was a multi-talented, two-sport athlete who shined like a star. He was a personable young man who showed so much promise. His dad sat in the stands with us, gave us rides home when it rained, and supported his boy in all that he did.

When I heard the news that awful November day, that Artie and his father were gone, I was stunned. I mourned for his mom, his sister, his fiancee and his young son. That boy is 37 years old now. A whole lifetime has gone by without knowing what a fine young man his father was, and never knowing his grandfather.

This was a tragedy in so many ways. I wept for the loss of everyone on that plane that day, and the town of Passaic, our home town, that lost one of its heroes.

-H Cassutto

Monday, July 24, 2006

In memory of Frank Loria

I was 13 years old when the Marshall tragedy happened. My cousin, assistant coach Frank Loria was on that plane. He and his wife were expecting their third child.

This child is now a very fine young man, who only knows his dad through other people's knowledge of him. I personally feel that this upcoming movie will give his son and his other two children a sense of pride that their father died that horrible night but is not forgotten.

My mom is now 91 years old and remembers that day as if it was yesterday because Frank Loria was her older brother's son. Frank was always a great son, nephew, cousin, husband and most of all a great human being. Even though I have moved from WV, 28 years ago, I am so proud that this movie is being made. This state doesn't always get the best of recognition so I am anxiously awaiting for the viewing of this most couragious story of "We are Marshall".

Donna Donnellon
Port Jefferson, NY

In memory of Mike Blake

"The Pain We Fill When Someone Leaves Our Lives, is in direct proportion thet bring while a part of our lives."

They often say when a beloved sports figure passes away that "heaven need a champion."

Well, on 11-14-1970, heaven got 75 champions. Mike Blake was the 1969 heavyweight state champion (18-0) wrestling champion -- the first ever state wrestling champion from Huntington East. His picture hangs the wall at the new Huntington High School.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

In memory of Dr. Brian R. O'Connor



--Katherine O'Connor/Beiter

Monday, July 17, 2006

In memory of Stuart Cottrell


My brother Stuart Cottrell, a sophomore in 1970, was one of the youngest who died in the plane crash. Today, July 17th, is his birthday--he would have been 55. Instead, because of that horrible accident so many years ago, he will always be 19.

Sally Cottrell

Atlanta, Ga.

'Close to my heart'

I grew up in Kenova and remember hearing the noise from the crash on that horrible evening. Marshall is and always will be very close to my heart.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

'Huntington holds a special place in my heart'

I agree! Huntington holds a special place in my heart. I am a Princeton WV native and went to Marshall from 1971-1975. I now live in Alabama. I met my husband who played on the Young Thundering Herd after the crash. Marshall University and Huntington mean so much to us. Our 3 children feel a part of the community and come back with us at least once a year to see a football game and renew old friendships. Coach Lengyel has been a strong influence on my husband over the years and we still keep in touch. The movie has been so exciting and we can hardly wait for the premier in October. My 3 yr. old grandson can now say "Go Herd" and he loves Marco! Go Herd!


Thursday, July 13, 2006

In memory of Barry Winston Nash




'No place compares to Huntington'

Since graduating from Marshall University, I have been all over the country. But no place compares to Huntington, WV. Good luck herd in 06. Emmons HAy

Thursday, June 29, 2006

'A town in mourning and disbelief'

My 12 year old mind was trying to grasp what my mother had just told my nephew and me. With tears in her eyes she said there had been a plane crash over the hill on route 75, just a mile or so from the runway. She said it was Marshall's football team. I remember the raw emotion that I felt as a pre-teen. What I remember most is the hurt in my mother's eyes, and as the days passed, a town in mourning and disbelief. The tragedy we all faced that night 35 years ago will never leave our hearts and minds. What it has done is to bring a town together in a marvelous way. WE ARE MARSHALL, and will always be.
-Jimmy Bloss

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Movie is long overdue

This movie is long overdue!! Sounds like they are doing it right. My wife and I remember that tragic day as vividly as 9/11.

Jim Wade
Mashall Class of 1967

'We grew up fast'

I was a freshman at Marshall on Nov. 14,1970.My husband was a senior.We had just started dating. I will never forget the crash like many others who were on campus but it was especially memorable for me because my husband's best friend was one of the players. His best friend was Marcello Lajterman. We had also just been lavaliered the night before. It was a shocking night for everyone but I had a new boyfriend going through a difficult time and I was only 18 years old! We grew up fast that weekend.

-Beverly Marple DiMenna

Sunday, June 11, 2006

In January 2006, with all of the excitement surrounding the upcoming “We Are Marshall” movie about the 1970 Marshall plane crash, we at The Herald-Dispatch decided to build a Web site and open our archives for the world to learn about the real story.

“The 1970 Marshall Plane Crash: The Real Story” offers historical stories, video and more. You can read about the rise of Marshall football and learn about the institution of Marshall University. You can also read stories about the Young Thundering Herd.

The story of Nov. 14, 1970, is one that will never be forgotten, especially in Huntington, W.Va.

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Thanks for reading,
Andrea Copley-Smith
online editor