Summer of ’67: When Two Planes Crashed in The Bronx

Towards the end of the summer of 1967, The Bronx experience not one but two fatal plane crashes.

On September 16 of that year, 6 people died as a twin engine private plane crashed into the famous rocks of St Mary’s Park on E 149th Street just 10 minutes after taking off from LaGuardia Airport.

According to reports from witnesses, the single engine craft had narrowly missed NYCHA’s Moore houses next to St Mary’s and officials said it was a miracle that the plane landed where it did and not a few yards over into nearby apartment buildings.

The other miracle was that there were no children playing on the rock because it was a rainy and dreary day. On a typical day, the rock has dozens of kids sliding down its face and playing.

According to an article in The New York Times, Reverend John Downes of nearby St Pius Roman Catholic Church came to the park and performed last rites over the victims’ bodies.

But this wasn’t the first plane crash in The Bronx that year.

A few weeks earlier on August 27th, another single engine craft crashed also killing 6 passengers when it went down on High Island off the coast of City Island and crashed into the transmitting towers.

High Island/Image By Bigtimepeace – Own work, Public Domain,

That crash ended up knocking down the AM radio service off the air for WCBS and WNBC which used the towers to transmit across the region.

Ten years later, a twin-engine plane crashed into the woods of Pelham Bay Park on its approach to LaGuardia Airport killing seven on board that plane.

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.