• The National WWII Museum Blog
dividing bar

SciTech Tuesday: 70 Years Ago, Mount Vesuvius Erupts

dividing bar

The last major eruption of Mount Vesuvius began 70 years ago today on March 18, 1944. Massive explosions and lava outflows destroyed three Italian villages and part of a fourth. Approximately 80 B-25 Mitchell bombers of the 340th Bombardment Group based at Pompeii Airfield were damaged beyond repair. Hot ash and tephra, rock fragments from the explosion, wreaked havoc on the acrylic glass windshields, gun turrets, engines and fabric surfaces of the aircraft.

Mount Vesuvius, a stratovolcano identified by a large cone formed from layers of hardened lava and rock, is best known for the destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in AD 79. The cataclysmic eruption spewed stone and ash over 20 miles into the atmosphere, killing over 16,000 people. The only active volcano in mainland Europe, Vesuvius is considered one of the most deadly volcanoes in the world due to its location near heavily populated areas.

Post by Annie Tête, STEM Education Coordinator

dividing bar
  • Posted :
  • Post Category :
  • Tags :
  • Follow responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

  • (Your email address will not be published.)
dividing bar