This photo of the World Trade Center was taken on 26 August 2001, two weeks before the Towers were attacked by terrorists.
It was taken from a 1951 Marine L-17, beautifully restored by Frank Flagg at Casey Avaiation in Mansfield, Massachusetts,
and one of our crew chiefs in HMM-362 in Vietnam (1967-68).
An L-17 ia a four passenger, single engine, propeller driven, low wing, bubble canopy airplane used by the Marine Corps in Korea & early Vietnam.
In the late afternoon of August 26, 2001 we were returning to Teterboro Airport, having shown the aircraft at the Sussex Airshow that weekend.
Flying up the Hudson River, prior to making our final approach, I took out my pocket camera and snapped the usual "touristy" photos of the Statue of Liberty, the World Trade Center, the Intrepid and the Washington Bridge, never intending to get the wing in the photo.
I had forgotten that I had even taken the pictures, until months later, when I finally had the film developed.
It was then that I discovered this photo with the Marine Wing framed between the towers.
Apparently as I took the picture, I must have leaned away from the canopy causing the wing to come up and become framed between the towers, which ironically distinguishes this picture from the thousands of others taken of the WTC.
This photo has since become famous within the Marine Corps and related communities.
The original enlargement was presented to General James Jones, the former Commandant of the Marine Corps, when I was presenting Warfighting Seminars at the Basic School, under the commandant's mentoring Program, and it hung behind his desk when he was the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO.
He was fond to relate, that when people invariably commented on the photo, he took the opportunity to say: "That's why we are there."
It has given me great pride to present this photo.
It has never been sold, but only donated for Marine-related charitable purposes, and given to those Marines who have requested copies.
Capt. Ben R. Cascio USMC Retired
"Seldom wrong, but never in doubt"