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website with the patronage of the
Municipality of Olgiate Olona


greeting of mayor Montano


This website and the spirit that animates it arise from the desire to honor the memory of the plane crash of Olgiate Olona of June 26, 1959 and the seventy immortal lives whose mortal body fell to the ground that day; moreover, this website is intended to build bonds of solidarity with the persons linked by blood, love and friendship to the seventy immortal lives.

The Quirinale and
the memory of June 26, 1959


Former President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano expressed on several occasions his appreciation for the commemorative events of June 26, 1959, that he rewarded with his medal in 2011.

Today’s remembrance

Pasquale Graffeo
born March 22, 1895
in Palermo, Italy

Creators and supporters of the commemorative events

Persons, institutions and enterprises share the spirit of the commemorative events inspired to June 26, 1959 and support the commemoration in various ways.



Commemoration of June 26, 2017



Commemoration of June 26, 2017


Stay updated on the news and the events promoted in memory of June 26, 1959.


Featured story - October 13, 2017


The family of those who care about the memory of June 26, 1959, keeps growing

With pleasure we inform that a new contact with the family of one of the 70 immortal lives of the plane crash of 1959 has been established: recently contacted by us, Vanessa Veleris – granddaughter of Georgia Chioles – wrote on October 8, 2017: Thank you for your email. My husband and I just returned (yesterday) from a trip to Italy and Greece. Based on your email, we visited the memorial about 10 days ago. It was an overwhelming experience for me, and I want to thank you for being the impetus that prompted me to make the journey. I never knew my grandmother, and visiting the memorial made her a “real person” for me. Please let me know if there will be other dedications made at this site. Thank you.
Therefore, contacts with the relatives of 43 out of 70 immortal lives have been established to date.




[featured story archive]


The plane crash of June 26, 1959

Friday June 26, 1959. The town of Olgiate Olona was miraculously saved from a plane crash (the fifth worst disaster of civil Aviation in Italy) which shocked all the world: the Trans World Airlines (TWA) four-engine Lockheed L-1649A Super Constellation Starliner Jetstream (reg. No. N7313C) - flight 891: Athens-Rome-Milan-Paris-Chicago - just taken off from Milan-Malpensa Airport during a storm, was struck by lightning and crashed in flames losing the engines and the rudder; the fuselage with seventy people on board (they were from eight Countries: USA, Italy, United Kingdom, France, Chile, Germany, Egypt, Israel) crashed near Cascina Agnese missing the town for a few dozen of meters. All the people on board perished and the prompt intervention of rescuers was vain. The corpses were recovered on June 27, 1959 and the coffins were brought to the basilica of St. John the Baptist in Busto Arsizio where on June 28, 1959 the funerals were celebrated. The investigation of the Judiciary ended with the dismissal of the case, while the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) confirmed that the breaking up in flight was due to a lightning that ignited the fuel vapors contained in tank No. 7 coming out from the vent outlets.


The oral tale handed down by eyewitnesses became unlikely and turned into legend. In 2008 Alberto Colombo reconstructed the plane crash in his book Il disastro aereo del 26 giugno 1959 a Olgiate Olona (translation: the plane crash of Olgiate Olona of June 26, 1959) and the memory of the fact came back to life thanks to the initiatives promoted by the Municipal Administration: restoration of the memorial monument, Commemoration of 50th anniversary (2009) with naming of via 26 giugno street, commemorative stone, “Ape” car symbol of solidarity in memory of seventy immortal lives, book Settanta vite immortali. Volume commemorativo 50° anniversario disastro aereo 26 giugno 1959 Olgiate Olona (translation: Seventy immortal lives. Volume commemorating the 50th anniversary of Olgiate Olona plane crash of June 26, 1959); educational project with the students in eighth grade of Olgiate Olona started in 2010; in 2011, medal of the President of the Italian Republic (acknowledgment of the high value of the commemorative events of June 26, 1959) and memorial stone in memory of the victims of Milan-Linate air disaster; in 2013, publication of this website.


Fatality struck seventy lives and tortured only their mortal bodies which fell to the ground: their spirits rose to immortality instead. For the seventy immortal lives of June 26, 1959 is worth what the Bible says: The souls of righteous are in the hands of God and no torment shall touch them anymore (Sap 3,1). The relatives of these righteous have silently and with dignity turned their great sorrow into a gift: for their loved ones, for new generations, for the community. We are not allowed to change the History already happened. What was done in Olgiate Olona so far and what still will be done is only the essential that we are allowed to do: pray, honor the immortal lives and their loved ones by remembering and with acts of solidarity.
Alberto Colombo


Messages received


October 14, 2017
Dear Staff, thank you for sharing such a significant testimony. This is yet another confirmation of the humanity and sensibility which are inspiring you (...)


October 8, 2017
My husband and I just returned (yesterday) from a trip to Italy and Greece. Based on your email, we visited the memorial (...)


June 28, 2017
Dear people of Olgiate Olona... What can we say?! Attending the yearly commemoration dedicated to our beloved ones always arouses an infinity of emotions (...)
Maria Enrica and Roberto


June 28, 2017
On behalf of my family and especially my mom, I thank you for perpetuating this initiative with unchanged spirit, it truly represents an extraordinary example (...)


June 27, 2017
We want to thank you again for remembering the families of this horrible day. As my mom joins her family she dearly missed, this day will always be a day we will never forget (...)




read all the messages received


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