Were there any survivors from the Marshall plane crash?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

I remember that day like it was yesterday. It was a cold and rainy evening on November 14, 1970. The Marshall University football team was returning home from a game against East Carolina University. Little did anyone know that this would be a journey that would end in tragedy.

The plane, a Southern Airways DC-9, was carrying a total of 75 people on board. Among them were 36 members of the Marshall football team, including players, coaches, and administrators. There were also 25 fans who had traveled to support their beloved Thundering Herd. The crew consisted of five individuals who were responsible for piloting the aircraft.

As the plane approached the Tri-State Airport in Huntington, West Virginia, it encountered heavy rain and fog. The visibility was extremely low, making it difficult for the pilots to navigate. Tragically, the aircraft descended too early and struck trees on a hillside just one mile short of the runway. The impact caused a massive explosion, engulfing the plane in flames.

The news of the crash spread quickly, and the devastation was unimaginable. Rescue efforts were launched immediately, but it became clear that there were no survivors. The entire Marshall University football team, along with the coaches, administrators, fans, and crew members, had perished in the crash. It was a dark day for the university and the community as a whole.

The aftermath of the crash was a time of mourning and grief. The loss of so many young lives was felt deeply by everyone connected to Marshall University. The impact was not only felt within the football community but also across the entire nation. Support poured in from all corners, as people came together to offer their condolences and assistance.

In the years that followed, the Marshall plane crash would be remembered as one of the deadliest disasters in the history of American sports. The tragedy left a lasting mark on the university and its football program. However, it also served as a catalyst for the rebuilding and revitalization of Marshall football.

There were no survivors from the Marshall plane crash. The loss of 36 football players, 9 coaches and administrators, 25 fans, and the air crew of 5 was a devastating blow to the Marshall University community. It was a tragedy that will never be forgotten, but it also brought about a spirit of resilience and determination to honor the memory of those who were lost.