On Saturday, July 28, 1945, William Franklin Smith, Jr., was piloting a B-25 Mitchell bomber on a routine personnel transport mission from Bedford Army Air Field to Newark Airport. He became disoriented by the fog, and the aircraft crashed into the north side of the Empire State Building.
Fourteen people were killed: Smith, the two others aboard the bomber, and eleven others in the building. Smith was not found until two days later after search crews found that his body had gone through an elevator shaft and fallen to the bottom.
Elevator operator Betty Lou Oliver was injured. Rescuers decided to transport her on an elevator that they did not know had weakened cables. The cables snapped and the elevator fell 75 stories, ending up in the basements. She managed to survive the fall, which still stands as the Guinness World Record for the longest survived elevator fall, and was later found by rescue workers among the rubble.