Throwback Thursday: Plane Crash

Perusing an online auction site last week, I was stunned by a photograph that suddenly appeared on the screen. It was a newspaper photographer’s photo from 1946, of a plane crash on Long Island — with my grandfather’s name in the caption! I’ve always known that he was riding in a small plane piloted by a friend when it crashed in a potato field. My mother, eight years old, witnessed the crash, along with her mother and baby sister. My grandmother had tried to convince my grandfather not to accept a plane ride with his friend, who was an inexperienced 22-year-old pilot. My grandfather should have listened. He broke his jaw, lost all of his teeth, and suffered some other injuries. Still, he was the lucky one; the pilot was paralyzed for the rest of his life.

Two Injured in Plane Crash. HICKSVILLE, N.Y. – Wreckage of light plane which crashed in Commack, L.I., seriously injuring the two persons aboard, John Swiersky, 22, and Ralph DeRicci, 31, both of Long Island. Plane took off from Hicksville Air Park. Credit Line (ACME). (That is the text from the back of the photo.)

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