Marshall Univ. Football Team Memorial - Huntington, WV
Posted by: bisbee5
N 38° 25.367 W 082° 25.733
17S E 375268 N 4253691
Quick Description: Memorial dedicated to the 75 Marshall University football players, coaches, boosters and airline employees killed in a plane crash on November 14, 1970.
Location: West Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 5/27/2008 12:05:12 PM
Waymark Code: WM3WT5
Southern Airways Flight 932 was a chartered DC-9 flight from Kinston NC, returning to Huntington WV from a game between Marshall University and East Carolina University. The plane was carrying 37 members of the team, eight coaches, 25 boosters, four crewmembers and one Southern Airways employee. At 7:35 p.m. on Saturday, November 14, 1970, the plane crashed into a hill less than one mile from the Huntington Tri-State Airport, killing all 75 aboard.
Then-Marshall University President Donald Dedmon appointed a Memorial Committee soon after the crash. The committee decided upon one major memorial within the campus, a plaque and memorial garden at Fairfield Stadium and a granite cenotaph at the Spring Hill Cemetery. The Memorial Student Center was also designated a memorial as well.
On November 12, 1972, the Memorial Fountain was dedicated at the campus entrance to the Memorial Student Center. The sculpture's designer, Harry Bertoia, was an Italian artist who created the $25,000 memorial that incorporated bronze, copper tubing and welding rods. The 6500-pound, 13-foot-high (2900-kilogram, 4-meter-high) sculpture was completed within a year and a half of its conception. Employees from the F.C. McColm Granite Company installed a permanent plaque on the base on August 10, 1973. The plaque reads:
"They shall live on in the hearts of their families and friends forever and this memorial records their loss to the university and the community."
Each year on the anniversary of the crash, those who died are mourned in a ceremony on the Marshall University campus. The fountain is then turned off and remains off until spring.
The memorial bronze plaque
and gardens were dedicated at the stadium on November 11, 2005. A granite cenotaph was erected at Spring Hill Cemetery, where six unidentified sets of remains were interred. This cenotaph bears the same inscription as the plaque at the student center.
Marshall's Thundering Herd football team, after suffering the humiliation of one of the nation's longest losing streaks in the 1960s and after the devastation of this plane crash, came back to become the winningest team in any decade with 114 wins in the 1990s. The Herd dominated NCAA I-AA football from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s, appearing in several National Championship games and winning the National Championship in 1992 and again in 1996.