Unsung Heroes of Hispanic Heritage Month: Mel Krupke

They were ordinary people living ordinary lives, until one singular sensation of circumstances conspired with fate to make them UNSUNG HEROES OF HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH

Commercial pilot Mel Krupke’s wings iced up on Feb. 3, 1959, near Clear Lake, Iowa, sending his light plane, carrying Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens, crashing into the frozen earth. The fatal crash was immortalized in song as The Day the Music Died.

With one crash, Flight Officer Krupke (1925-1959) catapulted Pacoima pocho Valens into eternal celebrity and helped launch the careers of Hispanic heart throbs Lou Diamond Phillips and Esai Morales.



Photo by Langley.