Baltz Memorial plaque.

Pocket Change Plaque of Mid-Air Collision Survivor

Field review by the editors.

Brooklyn, New York

On December 16, 1960, two commercial airliners crashed into each other over Brooklyn, killing 134 people in the air and on the ground. There was only one survivor: 11-year-old Stephen Baltz, who somehow landed in a snowbank. He appeared to have miraculously escaped, even describing the crash from his hospital bed. But he was also badly burned, and died the next day.

Stephen's relatives took the change from Stephen's pocket -- four dimes and five nickels -- and put it into the hospital poor box. The coins were quickly retrieved, then embedded into a small bronze plaque that was screwed onto the rear wall of the hospital chapel. It's still there today. "Stephen Baltz Memorial" it reads, next to the nickels and dimes. "Our Tribute to a Brave Little Boy."

Pocket Change Plaque of Mid-Air Collision Survivor

New York Methodist Hospital

Address:
506 6th St., Brooklyn, NY
Directions:
In the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. On the south side of 6th St. between 7th and 8th Aves. Enter New York Methodist Hospital underneath the big red awning (the Miner Pavilion entrance) then walk to the Phillips Chapel. The small plaque is mounted on its rear wall.
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In the region:
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December 11, 2019

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