EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSMU To Pay Tribute To Plane Crash Victims At Memorial Service
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Darrah Wilcox
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Also Contributing: Jeff Morris
Reported: Nov. 14, 2013 10:53 AM EST
Updated: Nov. 14, 2013 6:34 PM EST
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
Huntington attorney John Proctor, whose parents were among the 75 victims of the 1970 Marshall University plane crash, was scheduled to be the featured speaker in this year’s annual memorial service honoring all who died in the tragedy.
The service, conducted by Marshall’s Student Government Association, starts at noon Thursday, Nov. 14, at the Memorial Student Center plaza on the Huntington campus. The public is invited to attend, according to a news release from the university.
The crash on Saturday, Nov. 14, 1970, occurred at 7:36 p.m. when a DC-9 jetliner, returning Marshall home from its football game at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., clipped some treetops just short of Tri-State Airport and went down. Victims included Marshall football players, coaches, staff and supporters, along with the crew of five.
Proctor, who was 5 years old when the plane crashed, was the youngest of five sons and daughters of H.D. “Pete” Proctor and his wife, Courtney Josephine Proctor, both of whom died in the crash. The other surviving children were John’s sister Courtney, who was 6; his sister Patricia, who was 8; his brother, Jim, who was 17, and his sister Kim, who was 19.
“I don’t remember a whole lot about it,” Proctor said of the crash. “Not until I was about eight years old when other kids talked about it did I even realize it. The first distinctive memories I have are from the third grade on. The brain is a wonderful thing. I’m not sure if I was too young or what.”
H.D. “Pete” Proctor graduated from Marshall University and received his medical degree from the Emory School of Medicine in Atlanta, Ga. A Navy veteran of World War II, he was one of the team’s physicians. He was 43 years old when he died.
In addition to Proctor and Hassan, other speakers invited to take part in the memorial service include Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Marshall President Stephen Kopp and Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick.
The service will conclude with the placing of the memorial wreath at the Memorial Fountain. The fountain will be silenced after the laying of the wreath, and remain silent until next spring.
At 6:30 p.m., the SGA will conduct the first Memorial Service Site Visit. Anyone interested in boarding a bus that will take them to the crash site near Tri-State Airport may do so at that time.
Meanwhile, Marshall’s football team will pay special tribute to the victims of the crash. When the Herd takes on Tulsa at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, players will wear the number “75” on their helmets in honor of those who perished.
To see a list of names of the men and women who lost their lives that day, click here.
* Photo shows 1970 Marshall football team and coaches
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