April 21st in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1965, construction foreman Russell Wilfong, 44, plummeted ninety feet to his death when a cable holding a platform snapped as it was being run through a pulley. The platform was being installed on North American Aviation’s one hundred-eleven foot vertical assembly building where the S-2 second-stages of the Saturn V rockets were assembled for the Apollo space program. Witnesses said Wolfing was able to grab on to some metal rods sticking from the tower, but ultimately he lost his grip and fell feet first to the ground.

– Michael Dobkins

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