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.