1970 Marshall Plane Crash: We Remember

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

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


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!


Anonymous said...

I have never known if this was true or not, but our college coach said we flew that exact plane from Clarksville, Tn. to Troy State University from our opening game of the 1970 season. I just watched the film today and it was an emotional time. In addition, Chad Pennington's('95-'99, MU QB) dad worked for me as an assistant coach in Knoxville, Tn. ('93-'95)

Anonymous said...

I was surfing the web one evening and trying to search for my husband's ancestors. I found different spellings for the name Shoobridge and discovered some of his ancestors spelled it Shoebridge. I entered the name and discovered the story on Marshall University and Ted Shoebridge. I was amazed to be watching the news one evening and heard someone speaking of Ted and his personality and athletic skills. i am looking forward to seeing the movie and hope to some day visit the university. Darlene and Vince Shoobridge