Last revised: August 20, 2016

Photo Album

1959 - Syracuse, New York
Syracuse University

Early Morning - January 6, 1959

A Tragic Day at Skytop!

Sad News Makes Headlines

7 of our Young Brothers Died - way to young!

1. BROWNING, Frederick M. 21 - Enfield, NC

2. DUGGAN, Edward E. 23 - Manning, SC

3. GASPARRI, Michael, 19 - Yonkers, NY

4. MARLOWE, Billy D. 29 - Converse, TX

5. STOLL, Joseph E. Jr. - Norwalk, OH

6. TIDWELL, Remus A. 18 - Oneonta, AL

7. MERFELD, Thomas P. 28 - LaCrosse, WI

1. A/3C BROWNING - son of Jesse R. Browning
2. A/3C DUGGAN - Survived by his mother, Mrs. Lillian Benbow Duggan
3. A/3C GASPARRI - Son of Samuel N. Gasparri
4. A/1C MARLOWE - Survived by his wife, Lulu Mae, son, 4; daughter, 6
5. A/3C STOLL - son of Joseph E. Stoll
6. A/3C TIDWELL - son of Sargeant R. Tidwell
7. S/Sgt MERFELD - Survived by his wife, son 3; daughter 5

                   (Merfeld Biography and Photos by his son)

13 of our Young Brothers Survived and Hospitalized

1. BALLIET, Edward, 18 - Jim Thorpe, PA
2. CARIGNAN, Hubert, 30 - Turner Falls, MA
3. CONLEY, Alan, 18 - Fort Huron, MI
4. DONALDSON, John, 18 - Reading, PA
5. DOWLING, Donald, 18 - Rochester, NY
6. DOWLING, Peter, 25 - Kalamazoo, MI
        (not related)
7. FANDRICK, Ronald, 18 - Underwood, ND
8. HACKETT, Thomas
9. INGALLS, Victor, 28 - Alma, NY
10. KELLER, John, 22 - Mount Dora, FL
11. KOWALCZYK, James, 17 - Palmer, MA
12. MUHLBAUER, Robert, 18 - Niagara Falls, NY
13. PRESLEY, Ray, 20 - Knoxville, TN

"We woke up to crackling wood and smoke..."

"We jumped out windows and ran in the snow!"

"We lost everything in this fire!"

"Cause of the fire was never determined..."

Several theories of the cause of this tragic fire including:

1. Faulty soda machine in 'Day Room'
2. Someone smoking in bed
3. Problem with the furnace
4. Strong wind blowing hot pipe against insulation
5. Possible arsonist: person taking photos

Letter from Captain A.J. Del Signore, AFIT Commander in the Syracuse Post-Standard,  thanking the people of
Syracuse for their generous and unselfish response with blood donations in connection with the tragic fire on Jan. 6, 1959.

Barracks were shut in 1953, and then Re-opened 2 years later.
They should never have been re-opened!"

Skytop Barracks were built in 1947 as a temporary housing development for 700 freshmen at Syracuse University. The extra buildings were needed because of the influx of veterans of World War II to college. Sixteen individual barracks similar that which was destroyed were constructed. The development was closed in 1953 as the students were moved into dormitories nearer the campus, but it was reopened again in 1955 as a military barracks for the Air force Institute of Technology (AFIT) language program. The Air Force used the area under contract with the University, but the University owned the land and buildings and were responsible for maintenance.

Last revised: August 20, 2016

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