THE PLANE CRASH OF OLGIATE OLONA (ITALY) OF JUNE 26, 1959

 

website with the patronage of the
Municipality of Olgiate Olona

 

greeting of mayor Montano

 
Welcome!

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.

 
Holy Year of Loreto
 
 
The Quirinale and
the memory of June 26, 1959

 

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. In 2019, President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella sent a message of ideal participation to the ceremony of the 60th anniversary, and greeting to the relatives of the seventy immortal lives.

 
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, 2019

 

 

Commemoration of June 26, 2019

 

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

 

Featured story

 

Mass in suffrage planned for Sunday May 9, 2021, at 9 a.m. in the Prepositural church of Olgiate Olona

 

30/04/2021 - On Sunday May 9, 2021, at 9 a.m. in the Ancient Collegiate Prepositural church of Saints Stephen and Lawrence of Olgiate Olona, a mass in suffrage (already scheduled for May 10, 2020, and canceled due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic) will be celebrated for two of the seventy immortal lives born in May: Jean Georges Brahamsha (born on May 10, 1934) and Frank Charles Sternes. The last of the twelve masses in suffrage celebrated after the 60th anniversary of 2019 is scheduled for Saturday June 26, 2021, at 9 a.m.; in particular, Albert John Palmer, Mary Belknap, Antonio Salbego, Ernest Rotter, Jacqueline Jaussen, Emilio Sarchi and Ferrando Fratelli will be remembered.

 

Press release of Municipality of Olgiate Olona - Masses in suffrage of the seventy immortal lives

 

 

 

[featured news archive]

 

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 29, 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 (in operation until January 2016), 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 the eighth grade of Dante Alighieri school of Olgiate Olona started in 2010; in 2011, medal of the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano (acknowledgment of the high value of the commemorative events of June 26, 1959) and stone in memory of the 118 victims of Milan-Linate air disaster; in 2013, publication of this website; in 2016, total conservative restoration of the memorial monument; in 2019, message of greeting to the relatives of the seventy immortal lives, and of ideal participation in the 60th anniversary sent by the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella.

 

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


 

February 18, 2021
Thank you for your continued efforts to remember the victims of the 1959 air disaster. We especially appreciate the special remembrance of my grandmother, Anna Rey, at the memorial mass on Saturday (...)
George

 

December 24, 2020
Wishing everyone, especially those involved with the olgiateolona26giugno1959.com project, a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year! (...)
George

 

December 23, 2020
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy yera 2021. By an Air Force Surveillance airman of i.T. 81st Group, 68th Course (...)
Vincenzo

 

December 23, 2020
Wishing the wonderful people of Olgiate Olona a most sincere Merry Christmas and blessings for a happy and healthy New Year. I appreciate all that you do to keep the memories of the 70 immortal souls close to my heart (...)
John

 

December 23, 2020
Thank you very much for the wishes. The families of those who perished appreciate you very much! (...)
Don

 

December 23, 2020
Heartfelt thanks for the wishes, high appreciation for what you are doing for the community (...)
Giorgio

 

 

 

read all the messages received

 

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