Emmett, pretending to be drunk outside the Herbst Cafe in 1942.
For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in hearing about family stories. One of my favorite people to learn about was my great-uncle, Emmett Herbst. From all the information I gathered, he seemed, funny, full of life, and he was pretty handsome too. On November 20, 1942 at 8:39am he died in an airplane crash above Morrison Field, Florida when he was only 23. I was so curious as to what went wrong in that airplane. Why did he die so young? I asked my father if he knew anything; but he said that Emmett's parents, Mildred and Adolph, never got a clear explanation of what went wrong.
After a lot of searching, I discovered a wonderful website that specilizes in military aviation incident reports, Accident-Reports.com. I browsed their website, and delighted in finding Emmett's name. I quickly ordered the 54 page report and waited eagerly for the mail everyday. When it arrived, I was not dissapointed. It was an overwhelmingly large amount of information.
The reason? "Power stall immediately after take-off at 300 feet, then fell off on left wing, and vertical dive out of control, to ground where gas tanks exploded, and airplane burned."