Recognizing the 54th Anniversary of The Miracle Landing

54 years ago today, the Lakers were almost wiped out in an airplane crash. We remember and honor the flight crew that saved them.
The Miracle Landing by Harold Gifford
The Miracle Landing by Harold Gifford
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* Minneapolis Lakers
* Los Angeles Lakers
* Nba
* Aviation Accident
* Elgin Baylor

* Publishing
* Sports

* Minneapolis - Minnesota - US

MINNEAPOLIS - Jan. 17, 2014 - PRLog -- On this date 54 years ago, a DC 3 airplane with twenty-three souls on board made an emergency landing in an Iowa cornfield. Today, we remember the heroism of the flight crew which saved a legendary NBA basketball team.

The Miracle Landing  (ISBN: 978-1-935991-97-7, Non-fiction/Sports History) from indie book publisher Signalman covers this incident that could have changed U.S. sports history. On the evening of January 17, 1960 after a game in St. Louis, the Minneapolis Lakers boarded their DC-3 for the flight home. Perhaps the memory of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper perishing in an Iowa cornfield only 11 months earlier had faded. In any case, this flight would be like no other.  The co-pilot of that flight, Harold Gifford, tells the real, full story of what happened that almost wiped out the Lakers before that NBA dynasty even had a chance to really get started.

Jeanie Buss, Executive Vice President of the Los Angeles Lakers said, “This incredible story is a turning point of Lakers history and the more the fans know about their team the more they love us. Because of this miracle landing, the players and other passengers on this flight would be able to continue their lives with their families and loved ones for the next half-century.”

Pat Moran, past president of the Minnesota Business Aviation Association remarked, “Every aviator should read this book. A fascinating account of what went wrong and what went right in the cockpit.”

John McClure, president of Signalman Publishing, stated, “Not only will this story keep you on the edge of your seat, but Harold Gifford’s own personal story is compelling as well, spanning nine decades. Harold is a living testament to aviation history.”

On this day, we remember and honor the flight crew, Harold Gifford, Jim Holznagel, and Verne Ullman, for their skill in safely landing their aircraft in Carroll, Iowa and saving all on board.

About the Author

Harold Gifford has had a very diverse career in military and commercial aviation. He is a WWII veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corps and after a 29-year career, he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force Reserve. Harold and his wife, Carol, currently live in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota.

John McClure
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