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

 

 

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October
11
2021

Twentieth anniversary of Milan-Linate air disaster

October 8, 2021, marks the twentieth anniversary of Milan-Linate air disaster, the most serious of civil aviation in Italy. On September 24, 2021, at Palazzo Marino in Milan, the seat of Municipality, the book of Francesca La Mantia titled Non è colpa della nebbia. La tragedia di Linate raccontata ai ragazzi (trans. It’s not fog’s fault. Linate tragedy told to young people) was presented. On Friday October 8, 2021, at Bosco dei faggi, Municipality of Milano, Sea, Comitato 8 ottobre committee and Fondazione 8 ottobre foundation remembered the 118 victims - originating in 14 countries, 64 the Italian ones: at 10.30 a.m. the Eucharist was presided over by the Archbishop of Milan, Monsignor Mario Delpini.
Since 2011, the community of Olgiate Olona remembers this disaster with a stone posed near the memorial of the plane crash of 1959 in presence of the relatives of the victims of Milan-Linate disaster and of the unforgotten first president of Comitato 8 ottobre committee, Paolo Pettinaroli, defender of justice and hope who prematurely passed away in 2015. On the 62nd anniversary of Olgiate Olona plane crash, on June 26, 2021, the promoting staff of the commemorative events proposed on this website as an international prayer of suffrage the passage from the Gospel of Luke chosen and evoked by Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini in the homily of the Mass celebrated in Duomo in Milan for the victims of the air disaster of October 8, 2001.

 
September
13
2021

The copy of the Madonna of Loreto in Milan-Malpensa airport till September 17, 2021

The pilgrimage - interrupted due to the pandemic - of the copy of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Loreto in the Italian airports for the Lauretan Jubilee (celebrated in 2020 on the centenary of the proclamation of the Madonna of Loreto as patroness of aeronauts and of the Italian Air Force) has resumed on September 7 from Milan-Malpensa airport where the simulacrum will remain until September 17 in the Terminal 1 chapel, then it will continue towards Bergamo-Orio al Serio airport.

 
July
9
2021

Giuseppe Mario Cerana, precious testimony of June 26, 1959, in a photograph

One year ago (on July 6, 2020) Giuseppe Mario Cerana - eye-witness of the plane crash and volunteer in the welding of coffins - joined the seventy immortal lives. While tidying up his personal belongings, Cerana’s relatives have found two precious testimonies he had kept: the negative of a photograph showing the rudder of the unfortunate TWA aircraft crashed on the boundary wall of a textile factory in Olgiate Olona, and a simple handwork with the same photograph embedded built by Cerana in memory of those indelible days. By thanking Cerana’s family, the staff of the commemorative events of June 26, 1959, once more, fondly remembers Giuseppe Mario.

 

Photographs

 
June
29
2021

Memory and solidarity ten years after the medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic

Ten years have passed since 2011 when the commemorative events of the plane crash of Olgiate Olona were awarded the medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic. It was an important and significant award that embellished both the work of the volunteers dedicated to rebuild ties with history, the protagonists of the disaster and the relatives of the seventy immortal lives, and the appreciation aroused by the commemorative events promoted since 2008 by the Municipality of Olgiate Olona with deliberately solemn and sober modalities. With the same style, the commitment that has recovered the memory has continued and improved in these ten years, it has restructured the physical signs of the plane crash, it has united the people of Olgiate Olona in solidarity, and above all it has joined all the younger generations and many others in the world with the families of the seventy immortal lives and to those who directly experienced the disaster. During the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, the solemnity and sobriety of the commemorative events have become essential to remember a tragic page of history of the past by respecting those affected also in Olgiate Olona by the tragedy of the present time and by the loss of relatives and friends, some of whom part of the family of the commemorative events of June 26, 1959. Under the embers of the commemoration of 2020 and 2021 there are both the living fire that feeds memory and solidarity, and, above all, the thanksgiving for those who shared and supported the spirit of the commemorative events and the hope of a better future for all and for each.

 
June
26
2021

Commemoration of the plane crash of June 26, 1959

To honor History (the plane crash and its protagonists) and to respect the present (communities and individuals affected by COVID-19-Coronavirus pandemic), the 62nd anniversary of the plane crash of 1959 in Olgiate Olona is essential, with signs of memory and solidarity. On Saturday June 26, 2021, no public ceremony; floral tributes at the memorial monument and on Maria Fermi Sacchetti’s grave at the cemetery; at 9 a.m., in the Ancient Collegiate Prevostal church of Saints Stephen and Lawrence, mass in suffrage for the seventy immortal lives (the lattest of twelve celebrations in memory after the 60th anniversary); at 17.33, the bell tolling of the Prevostal church.

 

Message of Mayor Giovanni Montano

International prayer in suffrage

Texts of eleven significant works produced from 2009 to 2020 with the educational project in memory of the plane crash

 
April
30
2021

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

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

 
March
5
2021

Masses in suffrage planned for Sunday March 21, 2021, and Sunday April 4, 2021, at 9 a.m. in the Prepositural church of Olgiate Olona

The memory of the plane crash continues with the prayer in the Saints Stephen and Lawrence Prepositural church of Olgiate Olona. On Sunday March 21, 2021, at 9 a.m. the Mass in suffrage for the immortal lives born in March - originally scheduled for March 22, 2020, and canceled due to COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic - will be celebrated: George S. Sherman, Frank William Ellis, Paul Sidney Grade, Francesca Mariani, Gabriele Cavallanti, Paolo Ciserani (born on March 22, 1927), Pasquale Graffeo (born on March 22, 1895), Percy Charles Nicholls will be remembered. Two weeks later, on Easter Day, Sunday April 4, 2021, at 9 a.m. the Mass in suffrage for the immortal lives born in April will be celebrated: Maria Fermi Sacchetti, Pietro Castelnovo, Pilar Quinteros, Peter Fröhn. will be remembered.

 

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

 
February
12
2021

Mass in suffrage planned for Saturday February 20, 2021, at 17.30 in the Prepositural church of Olgiate Olona

Also in 2021, the memory of the plane crash continues with the prayer: on Saturday February 20, 2021, at 17.30 in the Ancient Collegiate Prepositural church of St. Stephen and Lawrence of Olgiate Olona, the Mass in suffrage for the seventy immortal lives will be celebrated; in particular, Anna Rey, Georgia Chioles, Raffaele Cohen, Edmond Mouchnino will be remembered.

 

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

 
January
18
2021

12th educational project in memory of the plane crash to be held in school year 2021/2022

The 12th edition of the educational project in memory of the plane crash in Dante Alighieri school in Olgiate Olona has been postponed to school year 2021/2022, in any case, subject to being able to carry out the conversation in class in the presence of the students and teachers of literature. This is the decision of the promoting staff of the commemorative events of June 26, 1959, given the persistence of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic that - allowing a remote lesson without direct interaction with the protagonists - affects the feasibility, formula and outcome of the educational project. The promoting staff of the commemorative events of June 26, 1959, thanks in any case the school director and her deputy, the teachers of literature, the staff of secretariat of Beato Contardo Ferrini Institute and Dante Alighieri school, for their support and collaboration.

 
January
11
2021

In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

With heartfelt gratitude, Olgiate Olona’s Mayor and the promoters of the commemorative events of the plane crash of June 26, 1959, remember the many people and friends who - after sharing the journey of memory that honors the seventy immortal lives and the memory of the plane crash - passed away in 2020, year already devastated by community and personal misfortunes; in particular: Andrea Vaccaro (eyewitness), Ernando De Dionigi (eyewitness, author of the painting for the commemorative postcard of 50th anniversary), Giuseppe Mario Cerana (volunteer welder of the coffins), Enrica Castiglioni (volunteer nurse of the Italian Red Cross), Mario Canavesi (commemorative events collaborator: guardian of Olgiate Olona town hall), Antonio Monti (firefighter rescuer), Giovanni Pietro Peo Albini (commemorative events sponsor: owner of Nuova terra bookshop in Legnano).

 
December
14
2020

Giovanni Pietro Peo Albini (1943-2020), owner of Nuova terra bookshop in Legnano who since 2013 has supported as a technical sponsor the commemorative events of the plane crash of June 26, 1959, by providing books coupons for the best works produced by the students of Olgiate Olona, passed away on December 12, 2020. The promoters of the commemorative events of June 26, 1959, express their condolences and closeness to his family and remember Peo with gratitude, an independent bookseller and dispenser of useful advice for reading and even more a man of culture and creator of cultural events as passionate as tenacious and far-sighted.

 
December
1
2020

Mass of suffrage planned for Saturday December 5, 2020, at 17.30 in the Prepositural church of Olgiate Olona

The memory of the plane crash continues with the prayer: on Saturday December 5, 2020, at 17.30 in the Ancient Collegiate Prepositural church of St. Stephen and Lawrence of Olgiate Olona, the seventh one of the Masses of suffrage for the seventy immortal lives to be held every two months until June 26, 2021, will be celebrated; in particular, Caterina Guglielmo Germo, Franco Cavallanti (born December 5, 1928), Hermann Zwy Carmely, Basilio Lombardi, Jeann Renée Rousseau will be remembered

 

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

 
November
10
2020
Awarding of the deserving works of the educational project

On Friday June 26, 2020, OlgiateOlona26giugno1959.org website published texts and rankings of the ten deserving works of the 11th edition of the educational project in memory of June 26, 1959, proposed in the 2019/2020 school year to the students in the eighth grade of Dante Alighieri school. The authors of the deserving works will be awarded with a certificate of merit during the ceremony where the Municipality of Olgiate Olona is used to reward the deserving students: it will be held on a date and place to be defined, compatibly with the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors of the best three works (Gabriel Mazzilli, Rachele Maria Vittoria Scordamaglia Ferrari, Gianluca Albè) will also receive a book coupon sponsored in 2020 by Assistenza e sicurezza Olgiate Olona of Fabio Casarotto.
 
October
26
2020

On October 25, 2020, Antonio Monti (1938-2020) from Vergiate, firefighter rescuer of the plane crash of June 26, 1959, passed away. Condolences and closeness to Antonio’s family are expressed by the mayor and the people of Olgiate Olona, together with the promoters of the commemorative events of June 26, 1959. With gratitude and emotion, we remember Antonio’s precious testimony of the disaster, his assiduous presence at the commemorative events, his friendship and goodness of soul translated into empathy for the relatives of the seventy immortal lives.

 

Alberto Colombo’s memory

 
October
8
2020
Thursday October 8, 2020, 19th anniversary of Milan-Linate air disaster

Due to COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, the commemoration of the 118 angels of Milan-Linate air disaster - remembered by a stone placed in Olgiate Olona in 2011 near the memorial monument of the plane crash of 1959 -, organized by the Municipality of Milan, Sea, Comitato 8 ottobre committee and Fondazione 8 ottobre foundation, was held on October 8, 2020, not in the Saint Ambrose basilica in Milan but at Bosco dei faggi, the beech forest created to commemorate the victims of the worst disaster of civil aviation in Italy: the mass of suffrage was celebrated by Monsignor Giuseppe Vegezzi, auxiliary of the archbishop of Milan.
 
September
28
2020
The plane crash in the memories of Franco Giove, former guest of Opai in Olgiate Olona

Turin-born Franco Giove - who on June 26, 1959, was as a thirteen-year-old guest of the Foundation for childhood tuberculosis prevention (Opai) in Olgiate Olona - evokes the moments following the plane crash in a precious and detailed testimony. «My name is Franco Giove, I’m from Turin. From March 1959 to September 1960, I was a guest in the Opai preventorium of Olgiate Olona. I was thirteen. Perhaps the strongest memory of the period I spent in Olgiate is related to June 26, 1959. We were playing in the halls of the pavilion when all of a sudden the nuns gathered us, they took us to the theater room and then we began to pray the Rosary. This was unusual, because the time of the Rosary was later. We could see that the attitude of the nuns was of concern and we did not realize why. A plane crash had occurred over the sky of Olgiate Olona. After filling up with fuel and taking off from Malpensa airport, a TWA Super Constellation was struck by lightning during a violent storm and crashed to the ground missing the Opai complex for a few dozens of meters. Bits of a wing, of the fuselage and several fragments of metal fell all around us in the park of the Institute. We later learned that all the passengers on the plane had died, about seventy people».

Witnesses of the plane crash
 
September
24
2020
Mass of suffrage planned for Thursday October 1st, 2020, at 9 a.m. in the Prepositural church of Olgiate Olona

The memory of the plane crash continues with the prayer: on Thursday October 1st, 2020, at 9 a.m. in the Ancient Collegiate Prepositural church of St. Stephen and Lawrence of Olgiate Olona, the sixth one of the Masses of suffrage for the seventy immortal lives to be held every two months until June 26, 2021, will be celebrated; in particular, Jacob Binder (born October 1st, 1901), Lillian Sternes (born October 1st, 1910), Mary Thompson (born October 1st, 1936), Farid Geargeoura, Mary Germo, Harry Louis Stanton, Leonardo Armanetti will be remembered.

Press release of Municipality of Olgiate Olona - Masses in suffrage of the seventy immortal lives
 
September
7
2020

Loreto Jubilee to last until December 10, 2021

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Jubilee (from December 8, 2019, to December 10, 2020) for the centenary of the proclamation of the Madonna of Loreto as patron saint of aeronauts and of the Italian Air Force will last until December 10, 2021: the term was extended by Pope Francis who added three invocations to Our Lady to the Litany of Loreto: Mater misericordiae (Mother of mercy), Mater spei (Mother of hope), Solacium migrantium (Comfort of migrants). The plenary indulgence of the Holy Year for those in flight is received by crossing the holy door of the sanctuary of Loreto and by visiting the airports chapels. Information on jubilee initiatives promoted in the Milan airports is available at www.voladadio.it, on Twitter @CappellaLinate and at info@voladadio.it.

 
September
2
2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency and the weeks of confinement associated with it, only now we learn that Enrica Castiglioni (1928-2020) passed away on April 1st, 2020, in Busto Arsizio, the town where she was a strong and long-lived volunteer of the Red Cross volunteer nurses. In the days of the plane crash of 1959, Enrica recruited by telephone the Red Cross women who then assisted the relatives of the seventy immortal lives; on October 11, 2008, in Olgiate Olona, she attended the presentation of the book Il disastro aereo del 26 giugno 1959 a Olgiate Olona by Alberto Colombo – who obtained the photographs of the time included in the book thanks to Enrica - giving a touching testimony to Rete55 network, and in 2009 she attended the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the crash. The promoters of the commemorative events of June 26, 1959, express condolences and closeness to Enrica’s family, remembering with gratitude and emotion her willingness and dedication embellished by an elegant presence and vibrant religiosity.

 
July
9
2020

An unedited and precious video shot in Olgiate Olona on June 27, 1959

In addition to the footage of RAI radiotelevisione italiana shot in Olgiate Olona on June 26, 1959, a few minutes after the plane crash of Trans world airlines (TWA) Super Constellation - published on this website and in Olgiate Olona 26 Giugno 1959 song by Panama Bus -, an unedit and precious video (published by Archivio Siciliano del Cinema) has appeared on the web 61 years after the disaster. Lucarelli’s historical archive footage shot in Olgiate Olona at the plane crash site on June 27, 1959 - produced in the form of newsreel (probably for RAI radiotelevisione italiana TV station): edited as a TV service of 46 sec. length, with voiceover and solemn and mournful background music - it immortalizes some moments of the day following that of the plane crash and attests what the voiceover describes as a hallucinating picture of horror and death: wreckage of the Super Constellation crashed in via per Marnate street near farm Agnese, the rudder fallen on a perimeter wall in Garottola place, the mobile crane used to extract the fuselage of the ill-fated airplane from the ground, people from Olgiate Olona and onlookers observing the theater of the tragedy from afar, soldiers presiding over the area, investigators and TWA staff, coroners in a white coat, Red Cross nurses, the arrival of a truck loaded with coffins, the pain of the relatives of the seventy immortal lives reaching the scene of the disaster.

Olgiate Olona community, miraculously saved from the plane crash of 1959, never forget this hallucinating picture of horror and death; even better, since 2008, they have placed it in a serene frame of memory and solidarity consisting of the commemorative events that honor History, the seventy immortal lives and their relatives, teaching love for life to everyone and in particular to new generations.

 
July
28
2020
Mass of suffrage planned for Saturday August 1st, 2020, at 17.30 in the Prepositural church of Olgiate Olona

The memory of the plane crash continues with the prayer: on Saturday August 1st, 2020, at 17.30 in the Ancient Collegiate Prepositural church of St. Stephen and Lawrence of Olgiate Olona, the fifth one of the Masses of suffrage for the seventy immortal lives planned until June 26, 2021, will be celebrated; in particular, Natalina Suardi Sarchi (born August 1st, 1929), Manuel E. Rey, Olivia Pattison Heminway Kammerer will be remembered.

Press release of Municipality of Olgiate Olona - Masses in suffrage of the seventy immortal lives
 
July
7
2020

Giuseppe Cerana (1932-2020) passed away on July 6, 2020. Born in Olgiate Olona, he was an eyewitness of the plane crash and on June 27, 1959, he was recruited as a volunteer to weld the zinc of the sixty-nine coffins containing the remains of the seventy immortal lives; with self-sacrifice and although he was not a welder, in the infernal scenario after the crash he was among the protagonists of the bloodiest and most delicate phase of the work of corporal mercy: to honor the mortal body of those who perished near farm Agnese. The promoters of the commemorative events of June 26, 1959, express their condolences and closeness to Giuseppe’s family, and with gratitude and emotion they remember his simplicity, laboriousness, cordial irony, the testimony given in 2008 to Rete55 network, his assiduous and continuous presence at the commemorative events.

 
June
30
2020

Post-it with anonymous message for the seventy immortal lives

While tidying up the area of the memorial monument after the 61st anniversary of the plane crash, next to the floral tribute of the community of Olgiate Olona, a post-it with a message handwritten by an anonym was found, it reports the date of June 26, 2020, and is addressed to the seventy immortal lives; the writing is as short and simple as profound and meaningful, it says (transl.): On the day of your bitter dip, I remember you with a writing, hopefully you won’t be bothered by our celebrating with a smile.

 
June
26
2020

Witness of Angelo Capozzi
grandson of Leonardo Armanetti who was among the victims of the plane crash

 

Caro Nonno: In Memory of the Grandfather I Never Knew - TWA Flight 891

 
June
26
2020

Commemoration of June 26, 2020
61st anniversary of the plane crash of 1959


For the 61st anniversary of the plane crash planned for June 26, 2020, the promoting staff of the commemorative events together with the Municipality of Olgiate Olona decided for a more than sober, essential commemoration: to honor History (the plane crash and its protagonists) and to respect the present (communities and individuals affected by the pandemic). Commemoration without the usual public ceremony and characterized by the usual signs of memory and solidarity.

Commemoration of June 26, 2020
International prayer in suffrage
Message of Olgiate Olona Mayor
Works awarded of the educational project

 
June
26
2020
COMMEMORATION OF JUNE 26, 2020
61st ANNIVERSARY OF THE PLANE CRASH OF 1959


Olgiate Olona, Friday June 26, 2020.
Between the earth and the sky, between the river and the Ocean, here on Friday June 26, 1959, the spirit of seventy human lives hovered towards immortality.
Sixty-one years later, from here, we raise silence, prayers, memories, thoughts, words.
Today, Olgiate Olona is memory of History, solidarity in the sign of seventy immortal lives.
Today, in the sign of memory and solidarity, we wrote a new page in History.
Now we resume our journey. Between past, present and future, we are not alone under this sky: seventy immortal lives guide our path.
Their spirit hovers and rests in the immortal peace of the clouds in the sky where the sun always shines.
 
June
10
2020

On Friday June 26, 2020, an essential 61st anniversary of the plane crash of Olgiate Olona

To honor History (the plane crash and its protagonists) and to respect the present (communities and individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic), the 61st anniversary of the plane crash of 1959 in Olgiate Olona is essential and with signs of memory and solidarity. On Friday June 26, 2020, no public ceremony; floral tributes at the memorial monument and on Maria Fermi Sacchetti’s grave at the cemetery; at 17.33, bell tolling of the Prevostal ancient Collegiate church of Saints Stephen and Lawrence; on OlgiateOlona26giugno1959.org website, Mayor Giovanni Montano speech, texts of the international prayer in suffrage, texts and classification of the best deserving works of the students in the eighth grade of Dante Alighieri school involved in the 11th edition of the educational project in memory of the plane crash of June 26, 1959.

Press release of Municipality of Olgiate Olona

 
May
5
2020
Mass in suffrage of May 10, 2020, postponed to May 9, 2021

Because of the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic, the Mass in suffrage of the seventy immortal lives of Sunday May 10, 2020, at 9 a.m. in the Ancient Collegiate Prepositural church of St. Stephen and Lawrence of Olgiate Olona, will be postponed to May 9, 2021. We remember the immortal lives who were born in May: Jean Georges Brahamsha (born on May 10, 1934), Frank Charles Sternes.

Press release of Municipality of Olgiate Olona - Masses in suffrage of the seventy immortal lives
 
March
23
2020

Painter Ernando De Dionigi (1941-2020) passed away today. Born in Olgiate Olona, he was an eyewitness of the plane crash of 1959 who in 2009 - for the commemorative card of the 50th anniversary of the crash - made the painting titled Il disastro aereo del 26 giugno 1959 (oil on canvas cm 70x50: numbers of the immortal lives and years passed) that he donated to the Municipality of Olgiate Olona (it is in the town hall, in Mayor’s office). The promoters of the commemorative events of June 26, 1959, express their condolences and closeness to his family, and with gratitude and emotion they remember Ernando's artistic talent, availability, generosity, smile, and his faithful presence at the commemorative events.

 
March
13
2020
The Mass in suffrage of March 22, 2020, in the Prepositural church of Olgiate Olona will be postponed

Because of the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic, the Mass in suffrage of the seventy immortal lives of Sunday March 22, 2020, at 9 a.m. in the Ancient Collegiate Prepositural church of St. Stephen and Lawrence of Olgiate Olona, will be postponed. We remember the immortal lives who were born in March: George S. Sherman, Frank William Ellis, Paul Sidney Grade, Francesca Pellecchia Mariani, Gabriele Cavallanti, Paolo Ciserani (born on March 22, 1927), Pasquale Graffeo (born on March 22, 1895), Percy Charles Nicholls.

Press release of Municipality of Olgiate Olona - Masses in suffrage of the seventy immortal lives
 
February
17
2020

The copy of the Madonna of Loreto in Milan-Linate airport from February 18 to March 10, 2020

For the Lauretan Jubilee celebrated on the centenary of the proclamation of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Loreto as patroness of aeronauts and of Italian Air Force, from 18 February to 10 March, 2020, the chapel of Milan-Linate airport will host a copy of the Madonna of Loreto and it will be possible to gain the plenary indulgence of the Holy Year for those who are in flight. The initiative will be repeated in Milan-Malpensa airport from May 12 to June 2, 2020 (from May 12 to 26 in Terminal 1 chapel, from May 26 to June 2 in Terminal 2 chapel). Additional information is available at www.voladadio.it, Twitter @CappellaLinate.

 
February
7
2020
Eleventh edition of the educational project in memory of June 26, 1959, with 100 students

Eleventh edition of the educational project in memory of June 26, 1959: on February 5, 2020, all the 100 students in the eighth grade of Dante Alighieri school and their teachers of Literature have attended the conversation in the classroom titled Olgiate Olona 26 giugno 1959-2019. Settanta vite immortali tra memoria e solidarietà (trans. Olgiate Olona, June 26, 1959-2019. Seventy immortal lives between memory and solidarity).
 
December
16
2019

The Holy Year of Loreto and the copy of the Madonna of Loreto in Linate and Malpensa

Loreto Jubilee (from December 8, 2019, to December 10, 2020) wanted by Pope Francis for the centenary of the proclamation of the Madonna of Loreto as patron saint of aeronauts (and of the Italian Air Force) and defined Holy Year for those in flight, can be lived in the airports of the world and in those of Lombardy: in fact, the plenary indulgence is received by crossing both the holy door of the sanctuary of Loreto and by visiting airports chapels. Airports of Milan-Linate and Milan-Malpensa are among the twenty Italian airports where a copy of the Madonna of Loreto will stop: it twill be present in Milan-Linate from February 18 to March 10, 2020, and in Milan-Malpensa from May 12 to June 2, 2020 (from May 12 to 26 in Terminal 1 chapel, from May 26 to June 2 in Terminal 2 chapel). Information on jubilee initiatives promoted in the Milan airports is available at www.voladadio.it, on Twitter @CappellaLinate and by info@voladadio.it.

 
October
9
2019
Olgiate Olona attended the 18th anniversary of Milano-Linate air disaster

As in the last years, Olgiate Olona attended on October 8, 2019, in the Basilica of St. Ambrose in Milan, the celebration in suffrage of the 118 victims of Milan-Linate air disaster whose memory is being kept since 2011 by a stone close to the monument dedicated to the plane crash of June 26, 1959. The event was promoted by the Municipality of Milan, Sea, Comitato 8 ottobre and Fondazione 8 ottobre committees.
 
September
30
2019
Omissione: a movie about Milan-Linate air disaster for the 20th anniversary

For the 20th anniversary of the Milan-Linate air disaster (October 8, 2001) – the worst disaster of Civil Aviation in Italy -, Comitato 8 ottobre per non dimenticare committee is producing a movie entitled Omissione (transl. omission) to keep alive the memory and the truth of a tragedy that did not happen by fate, but caused by negligence and omission of responsibility instead. The project was born from Michele Fontana Association which together with Comitato 8 ottobre per non dimenticare committee have being dedicating resources since 2017 to finance the documentation and collection of witnesses by producer Renata Tardani and director Francesca La Mantia. Additional news and updates are available on website omissione.it.
 
September
4
2019
The concession signed by TWA for the two niches in the main cemetery of Busto Arsizio holding the coffin with human remains and the remains of two of the seventy immortal lives, will end on September 19, 2019

As stated also in the book by Alberto Colombo Il disastro aereo del 26 Giugno 1959 a Olgiate Olona published in 2008, the concession signed at the time by the Trans World Airlines (TWA, which no longer exists) for the two niches in the columbarium of the main cemetery of Busto Arsizio, Italy - where the mortal remains of some of the seventy immortal lives of the plane crash of Olgiate Olona of June 26, 1959, are resting – will end on September 19, 2019. In a niche (arch 4F, last row at the top) in 1959, the coffin number 67 - containing pieces of corpse not attributable to any of the victims of the plane crash - defined by the Judicial Authority as coffin with human remains was placed, as attested by the inscription on the stone Sono stati qui raccolti resti mortali delle vittime della sciagura avvenuta il 26 giugno 1959 a Olgiate Olona (trans. Mortal remains of the victims of the disaster occurred on June 26, 1959, in Olgiate Olona were collected here). The other niche (arch 7E, last ro wat the top) holds - as ascertained by the recognition of June 17, 2010 – the coffin with human remains (here translated later) and the bone remains of US spouses Michael A. Martino Jr. and Corinne Drafz Martino buried in the same cemetery in 1959. In November-December 2017, in great advance on the expiry of the cemetery concession, Alberto Colombo contacted the Mayor’s secretary and manager of the cemetery services of the Municipality of Busto Arsizio asking for news regarding the fate of the burial niches and the mortal remains, obtaining as a reply to wait for September 19, 2019.
 
July
31
2019
Mayor Montano’s Town Council confirms support for the educational project in memory of June 26, 1959

Inside the 2020-2022 programming document (DUP) of the Municipality of Olgiate Olona approved by the Town Council on July 30, 2019, the Municipal Administration led by mayor Giovanni Montano and the Councilor for Educational Services Luisella Tognoli confirm full support for the educational project in memory of the plane crash of June 26, 1959. The document says: Ten are the editions of the project in memory of June 26, 1959. Conceived by Alberto Colombo, the project has been developped in cooperation with the School Director, the teachers, the students in the eighth grade of Dante Alighieri school, as well as the past and current Municipal Administrations. Educating to the memory has always been a goal that we intend to share, by agreeing on the need to preserve the History of a territory, a memory that makes itself present.
 
July
16
2019
Masses in suffrage for the seventy immortal lives

After the 60th anniversary, the memory of the plane crash continues with the prayer: on Monday July 22, 2019, at 8.30 a.m. in the Ancient Collegiate Prepositural church of St. Stephen and Lawrence of Olgiate Olona, the first one of the Masses of suffrage for the seventy immortal lives to be held every two months until June 26, 2021, will be celebrated; in particular, Achille Belloni, Valerio Reggiani, Sophie Nafpliotou Doumouras, Anna Maria Adele Boaro Maga, Corinne Drafz Martino (born July 22, 1928), Anna Picha Korecky (born July 22, 1928) will be remembered.

Press release of Municipality of Olgiate Olona - Masses in suffrage of the seventy immortal lives
 
July
4
2019

Commemoration of 60th anniversary of the plane crash

The ceremony of June 26, 2019, was held in the Ancient Collegiate Prepositural church of St. Stephen and Lawrence in Olgiate Olona: it began with the reading of the names of the seventy immortal lives and the message of ideal participation and greeting sent by the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella; following, the Eucharistic celebration of suffrage for the seventy immortal lives and their deceased relatives and the awarding of the authors of the most deserving works of the educational project in memory of June 26, 1959. During the ceremony, offers for Eur 300 + USD 50 were collected: these will be used for celebrating Masses of suffrage in the Prepositural church for the seventy immortal lives and their deceased relatives.

 

Message of ideal participation and greeting sent by the President of the Italian Republic
Photo gallery of the commemoration of June 26, 2019
Press release of Municipality of Olgiate Olona - Masses in suffrage of the seventy immortal lives

 
June
17
2019

Commemoration of 60th anniversary of the plane crash of June 26, 1959

The commemorative events of the plane crash of Olgiate Olona of June 26, 1959 - awarded with the medal of the President of the Italian Republic in 2011 - celebrate the 60th anniversary: on Wednesday June 26, 2019, an eucharistic celebration in suffrage for the seventy immortal lives and their deceased relatives will be held in the Ancient Collegiate Prepositural church of St. Stephen and Lawrence in Olgiate Olona, and the authors of the most deserving works of the tenth edition of the educational project in memory of June 26, 1959, will be awarded; for the ceremony, the organizing staff has invited all those who have actively supported the commemorative events of June 26, 1959, from 2009 through 2019.

 

Municipality of Olgiate Olona - Press releases of June 17, 2019

 
April
16
2019

Senate of the Italian Republic - Stenographic report of 158th public session of Friday July 3, 1959

A recent research carried out on the website of the Senate of the Italian Republic led us to the stenographic report of 158th public session of Friday July 3, 1959, where the Ministry of Defense Mr. Giulio Andreotti excluded any responsibility due to insufficient air traffic control and flight assistance services in relation to the plane crash of Olgiate Olona of June 26, 1959.

 
April
12
2019

Well-known and respected lawyer Vittorio Celiento (1936-2019) passed away in Busto Arsizio, Italy, on Friday, April 12, 2019, at the age of 82. Chancellor at the Public Prosecutor’s Office in the Court of Busto Arsizio from 1956 to 1965, then lawyer, Celiento was the President of Busto Arsizio Lawyers’ Order for years. We are grateful to him for providing us with a photograph among the most emblematic ones of the plane crash of June 26, 1959; for his work done after the crash, he received the thanks of the Consulate of the United States of America and of the Israeli community of Milan, and a praise of the Ministry of Grace and Justice.

 
March
15
2019
Environmental rehabilitation gives greater visibility to the memorial ... and the underlying degradation

The works in progress for weeks in the municipality of Olgiate Olona for the environmental rehabilitation of the area between via per Marnate and via 26 giugno streets, and in the area where Farm Agnese was located, have given greater visibility to the memorial of the plane crash, but also have these works unveiled the underlying degradation

Press release   Photo gallery

 
February
21
2019

Only now we become aware of the passing away of Pier Giorgio Fieno and Enrico Biganzoli, whose name are connected to the plane crash of June 26, 1959.
On December 30, 2018, Pier Giorgio Fieno (1938-2018) passed away in the hospital of Bra, Italy, the town where he lived until 2016. During the solem funerals of the seventy immortal lives in Busto Arsizio on June 29, 1959, Fieno made an Honor service as Carabinieri corporal beside the “representing casket” (numbered “1”).
On January 6, 2019, Enrico Biganzoli (1937-2019) passed away in Jerago con Orago, Italy. Driver second lieutenant in service in Milan, on June 26, 1959, he was an eye-witness of the plane crash while driving along the Milan-Varese highway and he rushed on the crash site.
Sincere condolences to their relatives are expressed by the Mayor, the people of Olgiate Olona and the staff of the commemorative events of the plane crash, who remember the presence of Pier Giorgio and Enrico at the commemorations and their precious written testimonies.

 
February
5
2019

Tenth edition of the educational project in memory of June 26, 1959, with 67 students

Tenth edition of the educational project in memory of June 26, 1959: on Monday February 4, 2019, 67 students in the eighth grade of Dante Alighieri school and their teachers of Literature attended the conversation in the classroom titled Olgiate Olona 26 giugno 1959-2019. Settanta vite immortali tra memoria e solidarietà (trans. Olgiate Olona, June 26, 1959-2019. Seventy immortal lives between memory and solidarity).

 
November
12
2018

June 26, 2019 - Commemoration of 60th anniversary of plane crash

On June 26, 2019, the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the plane crash will take place in Olgiate Olona. The promoters of the commemorative events of June 26, 1959, have worked on the organization of the event for a long time, and their commitment will continue despite the impossibility to cooperate free of charge with the Municipality of Olgiate Olona, but not because of the latter.

Commemoration of June 26, 2019 - Notice

 
October
23
2018

The letter written to Lueke’s family in 1959 by cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini, archbishop of Milan: the future Pope Paul VI, now proclaimed Saint

Donald Edward Lueke of Kansas City, Missouri, USA, son of Donald Albert Lueke (flight engineer in service on the plane crashed in Olgiate Olona), shares a precious document with those who care about the seventy immortal lives: the letter of 1959 with the reply of the cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini – archbishop of Milan and future Pope Paul VI – to Virginia Lueke, Donald Edward Lueke’s mother, who in a previous missive had thanked him for rushing to the site of the disaster on the evening of June 26, 1959. The Ambrosian prelate wrote: I express sincere condolences at the tragic death of your husband Donald A. Lueke in the air disaster of June 26 at Olgiate Olona. I sincerely thank you for your letter of July 14, and for your kind remembrance of your dead husband. I shall pray again for the repose of his soul, and I shall also pray for you and your family so that God may grant you his comfort, merit and hope in so great a sorrow. With my personal blessing and my deepest regards I remain, + G.B. card. Montini Archbishop of Milan. The letter is even more precious and significant today, given that on October 14, 2018, Pope Paul VI was proclaimed Saint.

Letter of cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini to Lueke’s family

 
October
12
2018

20.000 visits and the style of memory and solidarity

More than 20.000 visits for the website OlgiateOlona26giugno1959.org which – with the patronage of the Municipality of Olgiate Olona - since 2013 offers every knowledge and update of the plane crash of June 26, 1959, perpetuates the memory of the seventy immortal lives and strengthens the bonds with those who care about them. The rise of the visits (7.000 in 2015 - after two years online -, 15.000 on June 25, 2017) rewards the commitment also aimed at improving the site’s contents (documents, videos, images) with patience and humility. That same commitment already looking at the 2019 and the 60th anniversary with the style adopted so far: a plane falling makes a lot of noise, more silent are the growing memory and solidarity.

 
October
9
2018

Olgiate Olona and the 17th anniversary of Milan-Linate air accident

Also in 2018 Olgiate Olona attended the commemoration of the 17th anniversary of Milan-Linate air accident of October 8, 2001, for honoring the 118 people who lost their lifes. A Mass in suffrage was celebrated in the Basilica of St. Ambrose in Milan on Monday October 8, 2018. Promoters of the commemorative events of the worst accident of the Civil Aviation in Italy were the Municipality of Milan and Sea together with the Comitato 8 ottobre committee and Fondazione 8 ottobre foundation whose delegation attend the annual commemoration of the seventy immortal lives in Olgiate Olona on June 26. A stone located on one side of the monument dedicated to the plane crash of June 26, 1959, commemorates the accident of Milan-Linate.

 
August
31
2018

Jeremy Nicholls (1949-2018) - son of Percy Charles Nicholls who was among the seventy immortal lives of June 26, 1959 – passed away on Thursday, August 9, 2018, in Canada where he lived: he was 68, the complications of the stroke that occurred three weeks before ripped him from the affection of his loved ones. Sincere condolences to Jeremy’s relatives, and particularly to his niece Sophie Bailie, are expressed by the Mayor and the people of Olgiate Olona and by with the promoters of the commemorative events of the plane crash, who remember Jeremy’s visit to Olgiate Olona in June 2010 when – together with his sister Jennifer Ann Marchand (1947-2014) – he accompanied the ashes of his mother Irene Amelia Nicholls (1920-2010) then buried in the cemetery of Busto Arsizio.

 

Condolence message sent by Olgiate Olona Mayor to Sophie Bailie
Personally and on behalf of the Municipality I express deepest condolences for the loss of the beloved Jeremy Nicholls. The memory of his visit to Olgiate Olona in 2010 remains alive in the hearts of those who remember the seventy immortal lives of June 26, 1959. Mayor Dr. Giovanni Montano

 
July
2
2018

Commemoration of 59th anniversary of the plane crash of June 26, 1959

The commemoration of June 26, 2018, in front of the memorial monument was attended by the relatives of the seventy immortal lives from Italy and USA, by a delegation of Comitato 8 ottobre commettee, by the students in the eighth grade of Olgiate Olona authors of the most deserving works produced in the ninth edition of the educational project in memory of June 26, 1959: all the students were awarded a merit certificate, the best three works were read by the authors who received a book coupon sponsored by Caccia Services of Olgiate Olona.

Commemoration of June 26, 2018, documents and photo gallery
Page dedicated to the educational project with the works awarded

 
April
4
2018

Photographs of TWA Super Constellation N7313C crashed in Olgiate Olona in 1959

Donald Edward Lueke from Kansas City, Missouri, USA, volunteer at Twa Museum of Kansas City and son of late Donald Albert Lueke (member of the crew in service on the aircraft of the plane crash of Olgiate Olona) kindly sent us some photographs of the TWA Starliner aircraft with registration number N7313C whose fuselage crashed near Cascina Agnese on June 26, 1959. We are publishing these images for the first time after nearly 59 years from that tragic day. Don Lueke received these photos by a visitor of the Twa Museum, Greg Smith, who wrote: The image is actually an Airport Postcard of Ciampino Rome. This is also in my collection and this is the only copy I have ever seen. I’ve been collecting airline postcards since 1975. I am thinking that after the crash, it was removed as an airport postcard knowing it featured the crashed aircraft. I don’t know for sure, but it is pretty hard to find.

More photographs of TWA aircraft N7313C

 
March
25
2018

The website in memory of June 26, 1959, turns 5

Satisfactory results for the website OlgiateOlona26giugno1959.org which has kept the memory of June 26, 1959, alive since 2013 with the patronage of the Municipality of Olgiate Olona: the number of pages have increased from 168 to 236, the images are doubled, six times multiplied are the video clips, three times the number of linked documents, and the amount of contents has improved. Significant figures proved by the number of visits that has passed 17500, by the constant updates proposed to the web visitors and sent to the subscribers of the mailing list, and by the messages received by those who care about the seventy immortal lives.

 
February
6
2018

103 students addressees of the ninth edition of the educational project in memory of June 26, 1959

The ninth edition of the educational project in memory of the plane crash of June 26, 1959, is addressed to all the 103 students in the eighth grade of Dante Alighieri school in Olgiate Olona, thanks to the cooperation of school director Maria Alberta Vignati and her deputy Donata Canavesi. On February 5 and 6, 2018, the students in the eighth grade and their teachers of Letters attended the conversation in the classroom titled Olgiate Olona 26 giugno 1959-2018. Settanta vite immortali tra memoria e solidarietà (trans. Olgiate Olona, June 26, 1959-2018. Seventy immortal lives between memory and solidarity).

 
November
30
2017

The niche in the main cemetery of Busto Arsizio (arch 4F) which hosted in 1959 the coffin with human remains

Another historical element is added to the plane crash of Olgiate Olona of June 26, 1959: the niche located in the columbaria of the main cemetery of Busto Arsizio (arch 4F, last row at the top) where the coffin number 67 - defined by the Judicial Authority as coffin with human remains, containing the unidentified remains of the victims of the crash – was placed in 1959.

Link to the page of the plane crash

 
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 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 have been established to date.

 
October
8
2017

Commemoration of 16th anniversary of Milan-Linate air disaster

In the afternoon of October 8, 2017, a delegation of the community of Olgiate Olona attended the Mass in suffrage for the 118 victims of Milan-Linate air disaster in St. Ambrose basilica in Milan. A memorial stone near the monument of the plane crash of June 26, 1959, in Olgiate Olona remembers the disaster. Promoters of the ceremony were the Municipality of Milan and SEA together with Comitato 8 ottobre committee and Fondazione 8 ottobre foundation, whose delegation attends the yearly commemoration of the seventy immortal lives on June 26th in Olgiate Olona.

 
September
11
2017

A few copies of the book of 2008 still available in e-commerce

Nine years after the publication, Alberto Colombo’s book Il disastro aereo del 26 giugno 1959 a Olgiate Olona - that was given for free to the people of Olgiate Olona and whose contents are proposed and updated by this website - is out of stock and no longer available in the libraries. For those interested in having a copy, we point out the availability of few copies through e-commerce.

Link to Alberto Colombo’s book presentation

 
July
6
2017

Cristiano Comelli’s thought about the seventy immortal lives of June 26, 1959

Cristiano Comelli, author of the poem In memoria del 26 giugno 1959 inspired to the plane crash of Olgiate Olona (composed for the 50th anniversary and proposed during the Evening of memory of June 26, 2009, in the Prepositural St. Stephen and Lawrence church of Olgiate Olona) sent the following meditation: «A tragedy has always a double result; it is death, but it is required to give new life. It is earthly death recalling a memory that - even though enriched with wealth that the people who unfortunately have been protagonists in first person have left on earth in terms of goodness of their actions and affection and love reserved to their loved ones – becomes universal memory, no more subject to the laws of time but able to be itself a monarch of time» (...)

Link to the full text

 
June
27
2017

Commemoration of June 26, 2017 - 58th anniversary

The commemoration of June 26, 2017, in the town hall was attended by the relatives of the seventy immortal lives from Italy and USA, by a delegation of Comitato 8 ottobre commettee, by the students in the eighth grade of Olgiate Olona authors of the most deserving works produced in the eighth edition of the educational project in memory of June 26, 1959: all the students were awarded a merit certificate, the best three works were read by the authors who received a book coupon sponsored by laboratorio di falegnameria Legno e dintorni of Olgiate Olona.

Photo gallery of the commemoration of June 26, 2017
Page with the works of the students in the eighth grade rewarded

 
June
26
2017

58th anniversary plane crash of Olgiate Olona: today, June 26, 2017, ceremony in the town hall

Given the exceptional and unstable weather conditions, today, June 26, 2017, the solemn and sober ceremony in honor of the seventy immortal lives of the plane crash of June 26, 1959, and their beloved ones will be held in the town hall at 17.33 instead of at the memorial monument.

 
June
9
2017

Commemoration of 58th anniversary of the plane crash of June 26, 1959

The commemorative events of the plane crash of Olgiate Olona of June 26, 1959 - awarded with the medal of the President of the Italian Republic in 2011 - celebrate the 58th anniversary: on Monday June 26, 2017, a solemn and sober ceremony will be held in front of the memorial monument to honor the seventy immortal lives and their beloved ones.

 
April
19
2017

The plane crash of June 26, 1959, in Olga Adobati’s testimony

Resulted from a recent web research, an article of the Sydney Morning Herald of Sunday, June 28, 1959, reports the testimony of Olga Adobati (1918-2011) who was in her house at Cascina Agnese - the site where the fuselage of the TWA Super Constellation crashed in flames - at the moment of the disaster.

 
April
18
2017

The news of the plane crash in the world thanks to Aldo Trippini of Upi

As correspondent of United press international (Upi) in Italy, journalist Aldo Trippini (1923-1974) – center in the picture – spread the news of the plane crash of June 26, 1959, worldwide, thanks to his work for his news agency. Trippini joined Upi in Milan, Italy, and since 1966 was the director of press office in Madrid, Spain; later - always in the Spanish capital - he worked as correspondent for several Italian daily newspapers and magazines and for a European radio network. Our archive of newspapers articles - set up thanks to the web - consists of more than 600 pieces dedicated to the plane crash published by international newspapers, many of them signed, in fact, by Aldo Trippini.

 
March
15
2017

The journey of memory and the contacts with the relatives of 41 out of

Since the publication of the book Il disastro aereo del 26 Giugno 1959 a Olgiate Olona in 2008, a page of Olgiate Olona’s History - as well as international History – and the memory have been enriched. The 50th anniversary of June 26, 2009, has reinvigorated the journey of memory then enhanced by the website olgiateolona26giugno1959.org online since 2013. The family of those who care about the memory of June 26, 1959, has increased and the contacts with the relatives of 41 out of have been established to date: Leonardo Armanetti, Mary Belknap, Achille Belloni, Augusta Benedetti, William E. Buckley, Zwi Hermann Carmely, Pietro Castelnovo, Franco Cavallanti, Gabriele Cavallanti, Rizieri Celli, Malfisa Celli, Paolo Ciserani, Jack Davis, Frank W. Ellis, Eleonora Kraft Fantoni Sellon, Giuseppina Fuda, Dominick Fuda, Gian Pietro Giordana, Paul S. Grade, Pasquale Graffeo, Olivia Kammerer, Anna Korecky, Chester Linsky, Basilio Lombardi, Donald A. Lueke, Michael A. Martino Jr., Corinne Martino, Percy C. Nicholls, John A. Palmer, John V. Powell, Anna Rey, Manuel Rey, Jesus Rey, Maria Fermi Sacchetti, Emilio Sarchi, Natalina Suardi Sarchi, Hugo Sei, George S. Sherman, Harry L. Stanton, Frank C. Sternes, Lillian Sternes.

 
March
13
2017

Honor for the sole survivor of Milan-Linate air disaster

On Saturday March 11, 2017, in the archbishopric of Milan, cardinal Angelo Scola conferred the pontifical honor of Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great – approved by Pope Francis - to Pasquale Padovano, the sole survivor of Milan-Linate air disaster of October 8, 2001, where 118 people died. In 2011, the community of Olgiate Olona placed a headstone in memory of the disaster near the memorial monument dedicated to the plane crash of June 26, 1959.

 
February
7
2017

65 students addressees of the eighth edition of the educational project in memory of June 26, 1959

The eighth edition of the educational project in memory of the plane crash of June 26, 1959, is addressed to 65 students in the eighth grade of Dante Alighieri school in Olgiate Olona. On February 6 and 7, 2017, the students attended the conversation in the classroom titled Olgiate Olona 26 giugno 1959-2017. Settanta vite immortali tra memoria e solidarietà (trans. Olgiate Olona, June 26, 1959-2017. Seventy immortal lives between memory and solidarity).

 
January
17
2017

Service ended for the Ape car symbol of solidarity in memory of the seventy immortal lives

Worn down by years of valuable work, the Ape car symbol of solidarity in memory of the seventy immortal lives ended its service in Olgiate Olona. It was donated to Massimo Carletti social cooperative of Olgiate Olona in 2009 during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the plane crash.

 
November
7
2016

Previously unpublished photographs of commemoration of June 26, 2010

Thanks to amateur photographer Giuseppe Pinuccio Ferioli - which we thank - we are publishing three photographs that he took on June 26, 2010, during the commemoration of the 51st anniversary of the plane crash of June 26, 1959. These shots have been added to the photo gallery of the commemorative events, and we invite those who own similar and unpublished pictures to share them with us, for contributing to enrich the memory of June 26, 1959.

 
October
17
2016

The Civil defence has taken care of cleaning and decor of the area of the memorial for 13 years

Thanks to Enrica Mariateresa Ferrazzi – head of the Communication of the Municipality -, we retrieved some photographs taken by Giuseppe Belloni (1933-2013) – founder and first President of Pro Loco of Olgiate Olona, cantor in poetry of the local dialet, worthy citizen - which show the maintenance of the memorial monument of the plane crash of June 26, 1959, carried out in 2003 by the Civil defence led by coordinator Luigi De Bortoli. We thank Giuseppe Belloni (in memory) and the Civil defence of Olgiate Olona which since then has taken care of cleaning and decor of the memorial monument and via 26 giugno street.

 
October
10
2016

15th anniversary of Milan-Linate air disaster

On Saturday October 8, 2016, a delegation of the community of Olgiate Olona attended in Milan the ceremonies promoted by Municipality of Milan, Sea, Comitato 8 ottobre and Fondazione 8 ottobre in remembrance of the 15th anniversary of Milan-Linate air disaster. 118 people perished in the disaster, one survivor was seriously injured: in their memory in 2011, the community of Olgiate Olona dedicated a memorial stone near the monument of the plane crash of June 26, 1959.

 
September
7
2016

The plane crash in the memory of guests of Opai

The plane crash of June 26, 1959, did not cause damages to the town and the people of Olgiate Olona and firstly to the buildings of Opai (foundation for child tuberculosis prevention) – located a few dozen meters from the place where the fuselage crashed – where hundreds of children were housed, cared for by the nuns, the attendants and the other staff. Some of them today still remember well the disaster.

 
July
20
2016

The story of Rizieri Celli, Marfisa Bertolucci and their unborn child

The article Una favola d’amore nel rogo dell’aereo (transl. A love tale in the burning airplane) by Vittorio Lojacono, published on La settimana INCOM illustrata newspaper of July 11, 1959, let us know in detail the love tale of Rizieri Celli, Marfisa Bertolucci and their unborn child: a dream vanished on the moorland of Olgiate Olona in the terrible burning of the Superconstellation crashed by the lightning on June 26, 1959.

 

Rizieri Celli, Marfisa Bertolucci and their unborn child

 
July
11
2016

Original and appreciated thanks expressed by means of a few pictures of the Thinking Christ – located on the top of Castellazzo mountain, St. Martin’s Blades, Dolomites, Italy – and the message on its plaque, have been sent by some relatives of the seventy immortal lives to the promoters of the commemoration of June 26, 2016. The message on the plaque says: Find the time to think Find the time to pray Find the time to smile. In Olgiate Olona, the memory of June 26, 1959, consists precisely of thoughts, prayers and smiles.

 
July
1
2016

Plane crash of June 26, 1959
Testimony of eyewitnesses Gualtiero Conti and Silvana Scanagatta


We are publishing the testimony of Gualtiero Conti (1932-2015), journalist of Il popolo newspaper of Milan who rushed to the site of the plane crash on June 26, 1959, and his wife Silvana Scanagatta, who saw the pieces of the burning airplane falling down while she was in her home garden. The testimony has been kindly provided by Miss Scanagatta who attended the commemoration of June 26, 2016.

 
June
28
2016

Commemoration of June 26, 2016

The Commemoration of June 26, 2016, held in front of the memorial monument of the plane crash, was attended by some relatives of the seventy immortal lives coming from Italy and United States of America, the delegation of Comitato 8 ottobre committee, the authors of the ten deserving works awarded with merit certificate. The work Ali bianche of Matilda Marchetta - first classified - has been rewarded with the Special award 2016.

 

Photo gallery of the commemoration of June 26, 2016
Page of the educational project with the works of the students rewarded

 
June
24
2016

Restoration of the memorial monument dedicated to the plane crash of June 26, 1959

A restoration work on the memorial monument has removed the deterioration caused by the passing of time, bad weather and atmospheric agents (cracks, detachment of parts, greenish patina, rust): the monument has been plastered, repainted and fitted with a metal cover on the top to prevent the infiltrations in the concrete.

 
June
3
2016

With serenity and with faith in life that overcomes the cancer, Ann Rey Clam passed away on June 1, 2016, in Plainfield, Illinois, USA. She was relative of five of the seventy immortal lives of June 26, 1959: among the victims of the plane crash were her parents Jesus Rey and Anna Rey, brother Manuel Rey, aunt Giuseppina Fuda and cousin Domenick Fuda. Condolences and solidarity are expressed to Ann’s sons and daughters – who honored Olgiate Olona with their presence on June 26, 2014 – and to all their families by the Mayor and the community of Olgiate Olona that Ann would have liked to meet. Ann’s warm affection and closeness to our community, that she expressed through constant messages and thanksgivings, will be never forget.

 

Ann Clam’s obituary

 

Text of the message of condolences sent by the Mayor of Olgiate Olona to George Clam
Personally, and on behalf of the Municipality of Olgiate Olona I express sincere condolences for the loss of your dear Ann Rey Clam who proved so much love towards the community of Olgiate Olona and those who care about the memory of the seventy immortal lives of the plane crash of June 26, 1959, in which she lost five beloved ones. Her kind words of affection and thanks that she wrote to us in these last years will be kept forever in our hearts.
Olgiate Olona Mayor Dr. Giovanni Montano

 
May
26
2016

Cardinal Loris Francesco Capovilla (1915-2016) passed away on May 26, 2016, in Sotto il monte Giovanni XXIII, Italy. At the time of the plane crash of Olgiate Olona of June 26, 1959, he was the secretary of Pope John XXIII, and in 2008 he wrote a short and important testimony.

 
May
11
2016

We are publishing the testimony of artist Andrea Vaccaro (1939-2019) written on January 20, 2008, in his blog at pittoreandreavaccaro.blogspot.it. He saw the parts of the TWA Super Constellation falling down and ran with his bicycle from Legnano to Olgiate Olona to the place where one of the plane’s engines fell.

 
May
4
2016

Two events in Rome on May 4, 2016, in the sign of Paolo Pettinaroli

In memory of the victims of air disasters, on Wednesday May 4, 2016, the national agency for flight safety (Ansv) titled its technological laboratories in Rome to Paolo Pettinaroli (1944-2015), founder and President of Comitato 8 ottobre committee and Fondazione 8 ottobre foundation, in the presence of the relatives of Pettinaroli and of the 118 victims of Milan-Linate air disaster of October 8, 2001. On the same day Francesco Paolo Tronca - special commissioner of Rome who as deputy vicar Prefect of Milan reserved great dedication and care to the relatives of the victims of the air disaster - was awarded the Premio Paolo Pettinaroli 2016 prize.

 
April
14
2016

We have recently received a copy of the weekly newspaper Visto dated July 11, 1959, it includes an article titled Forse la colpa non è del fulmine (trans. probably it was not lightning’s fault) dedicated to the plane crash of June 26, 1959. The article emphasizes the exceptional nature of the tragedy - one of the worst of the civil aviation at that time – and reports the doubts about the cause of the disaster (lightning) highlighted by the experts who were not excluding the complicity of an air turbine. The article is accompanied by five photographs that illustrate the disaster in all its tragedy.

 

The plane crash of June 26, 1959 - photo galleries

 
April
12
2016

Olgiate Olona community does not forget Paolo Pettinaroli

Olgiate Olona community does not forget the courage of hope of Paolo Pettinaroli (1944-2015) – only temporarily invisible since April 11, 2015 – with his smile always close to his loved ones and to the relatives of the victims of Milan-Linate air disasater (October 8, 2001). A Mass in suffrage of Paolo was celebrated on April 11, 2016 at 3.30 p.m. at collegio San Carlo in Milan, promoted by Comitato 8 ottobre committee and Fondazione 8 ottobre foundation.

 
March
25
2016

Website dedicated to June 26, 1959 - 3 years online, nearly 10.000 visits

Online since March 25, 2013, this website dedicated to the memory of the plane crash of June 26, 1959, is growing continuously. With nearly ten thousands visits and with the contents increased by 15% compared to twelve months ago, the website consists of 326 pages, 106 of which are dedicated to the seventy immortal lives, 688 pictures, 18 videos, 142 articles taken from the mass media, 162 external pdf documents for a total of 367 pages. At nearly fifty-seven years from the day of the disaster, and especially thanks to this website, the memory of June 26, 1959, and the existing connections with the relatives of forty one of the seventy immortal lives have grown.

 

Homepage of March 25, 2013, day of launch of this website

 
February
5
2016

Seventh edition for the educational project inspired to June 26, 1959

Even in 2016, the memory of the plane crash of June 26, 1959, and of the seventy immortal lives is perpetuated among the younger generations of Olgiate Olona, thanks to the educational project inspired to June 26, 1959, addressed to the students in the eighth-grade of “Dante Alighieri” school. On Wednesday, February 3, 2016, sixty-four pupils and their teachers of Literature attended the conversation in the classroom titled Olgiate Olona 26 giugno 1959-2016. Settanta vite immortali tra memoria e solidarietà (trans. Olgiate Olona, June 26, 1959-2016. Seventy immortal lives between memory and solidarity) held by Alberto Colombo, creator of the educational project.

 
January
15
2016

Thanks to the continuous digitization of texts published in the distant past, and thanks to a successful recent web research, the contents of this website and the memory of June 26, 1959, can now be enriched also with what appeared on some newspapers of Swiss Confederation which published the news of the plane crash.

 

The plane crash in the newspapers

 
December
22
2015

Dolores Rey Jacobs (1929-2015), widow of Manuel Rey who perished in the plane crash of June 26, 1959, passed away on Sunday, December 20, 2015. Her relative George Clam wrote to us: “I must also share some unfortunate news. Dolores Jacobs Rey passed away on December 20, 2015. She was the widow of Manuel Rey, one of the victims of the 1959 air disaster. I know she was very appreciative of all those involved in the memorial and the efforts to remember all the victims.
We express our deepest condolences to Dolores Rey Jacobs’ son and daughter and all their relatives.

 

Dolores Rey Jacobs’ obituary

 
November
19
2015

Acclaimed journalist Mario Cervi (1921-2015) passed away on November 17, 2015. He was a genuine reporter and special correspondent who worked for Corriere della sera newspaper for 30 years. In 1974 he joined Indro Montanelli at La voce and later at Il giornale, the newspaper that he directed from 1997 to 2001. Working for Corriere della sera Cervi signed some articles on the plane crash of Olgiate Olona of June 26, 1959: an accurate and masterful chronicle as always in his style.

 
November
6
2015

On November 2, 2015, in Miami, Florida, USA, the Flight Safety Foundation (the non-profit independent international organization for research, education, defence and publishing relating to aviation safety) awarded the FSF President’s Citation 2015 to the memory of Paolo Pettinaroli – late President of Fondazione 8 ottobre foundation - for his service to flight safety, to the victims of air accidents and their families. Pettinaroli was elected to the Board of Directors of Flight Safety Foundation in 2010, when the International Air Safety Seminar was held in Milan.

 
October
21
2015

Another Constellation with its 48 immortal lives

The true novel of forty-eight lives - more or less famous – who borded the Air France Constellation on the night between October 27 and 28, 1949, the plane which took off from Paris-Orly airport headed to New York and crashed on an island of the Azores: it’s the book Constellation written by the young Adrien Bosc and awarded in 2014 with the Grand Prize of the Académie française.

 
October
1
2015

Thanks to a benefactor of Olgiate Olona, the tombstone made of white Carrara marble commemorating Maria Fermi Sacchetti in the cemetery of Olgiate Olona has been restored. The restoration has been carried out by Enrico&Carlo Lualdi of Busto Arsizio, the same firm which manufactured the tombstone in 2009.

 
September
7
2015

Rosine Lueke, wife of Donald Edward Lueke (son of Donald Albert Lueke, TWA Flight Engineering who is remembered among the seventy immortal lives of June 26, 1959) passed away Friday, September 4, 2015, in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.
Condolences and solidarity to Donald and his relatives are expressed by those who care about the memory of June 26, 1959, by the Mayor and the people of Olgiate Olona who fondly remember Rosine’s smile and tenderness during her visits to our town and her courageous perseverance in facing the cancer and the fate which prematurely took away her beloved granddaughter Rebecca Marie Lueke (1995-2013).

 

Rosine Lueke’s obituary

 

Text of the letter sent by the Municipality of Olgiate Olona to Donald Edward Lueke:
Personally, and on behalf of the City administration I express sincere condolences for the loss of your dear Rosine, exemplary woman in love for life and in fighting the disease. The memory of her visit to Olgiate Olona, her kindness and her unforgettable smile will always be in our hearts.
The Mayor Giovanni Montano

 
July
15
2015

During the feast of the patron Saint on July 10, 2015, the Municipality of Romagnano Sesia conferred the honor of the Antico Borgo di Romagnano Sesia to the memory of Paolo Pettinaroli identifying him as Romagnano Sesia resident of year 2015, ”for his constant support shown to the activities of the associations of Romagnano Sesia. For knowing how to turn pain into commitment dedicated to the search for truth, justice and safety, so that tragedies like the one that hit his family would not happen anymore“.

 
June
26
2015

Commemoration of the plane crash of June 26, 1959 - 56th anniversary

The commemoration of the 56th anniversary of the plane crash of June 26, 1959, was held in the town hall of Olgiate Olona on Friday, June 26, 2015, at 17.33. Many people attended the ceremony: relatives of the seventy immortal lives coming from Italy, Switzerland and United States of America (they read some passages of the prayer in suffrage), a delegation of the Comitato 8 ottobre committee, the authors of the five deserving works of the educational project, some eyewitnesses of the plane crash.

 
June
3
2015

Words in poetry by Alberto Colombo before the Commemoration of June 26, 2015

In June 2015, Alberto Colombo - collaborator of the Municipality of Olgiate Olona for the commemorative events of June 26, 1959 - issued for the first time words in poetry about the genesis and the meaning of the commemorative events.

 
May
29
2015

A poignant detail about June 26, 1959, is coming to light from the newspapers of that time; it was highlighted in l’Unità of June 27, 1959, by Salvatore Conoscente who was among the reporters who rushed to Olgiate Olona on the crash site: “A big, blonde Lenci doll was found near the wreckage of the fuselage, it belonged to ten years old victim Mary Belknap”.
Therefore the U.S. child Mary Belknap who boarded the airplane at Rome-Ciampino airport was going back home bringing along a fine genuine Italian toy: one doll made of lenci cloth produced by company Lenci of Turin since 1929, already famous in the fifties and yet collectible items of high value.

 
April
11
2015

Paolo Pettinaroli (1944-2015) passed away today. He was the president of 8 ottobre per non dimenticare committee and foundation which gather the relatives of the victims of the Milan-Linate air disaster whose memory is perpetuated since 2011 in Olgiate Olona by the stone posed near the memorial monument of the plane crash of June 26, 1959. The Mayor and the people of Olgiate Olona express sincere condolences and compassionate presence to the relatives of Paolo Pettinaroli whose smile, the friendly presence, and the strong dedication to soothe the pain of dozens of families and to promote safety in air transport are remembered.

 

Translation of the telegram sent by the Municipality of Olgiate Olona to Pettinaroli’s family:
Personally, and on behalf of the Municipal administration of Olgiate Olona, I express the deepest condolences for the loss of beloved Paolo, exemplary figure of civic consciousness, strong altruism and continuing commitment to the safety of air transport.
The Mayor Giovanni Montano

 
March
26
2015

Website dedicated to June 26, 1959 - 2 years online, nearly 7000 visits

The website OlgiateOlona26giugno1959.org dedicated to the memory of June 26, 1959 - with the patronage of the Municipality of Olgiate Olona - has grown continuously since March 25, 2013: all the knowledge of the disaster and every update about the commemorative events are illustrated in Italian and English languages by the massive amount of texts, unpublished documents, photo galleries, witnesses, mass media articles.
With nearly seven thousands visits (about 300 per month), the website consists of 312 pages, 106 of which are dedicated to the seventy immortal lives, 616 pictures, 16 videos, 122 articles taken from the mass media, 143 external pdf documents for a total of 320 pages.
Especially thanks to the website - at nearly fifty-six years from the day of the disaster - the memory of June 26, 1959, and the existing connections with the relatives of forty one of the seventy immortal lives of have grown.

 
March
23
2015

The memorial and the excursionists of Olona Valley

Who walks without hurry can notice everything. The Gruppo escursionistico abete rosso in his website (full of information for excursion enthusiasts) illustrates the cycle and walking path from Castellanza to Lonate Ceppino and - talking about Olgiate Olona - reminds the existence in that area of the memorial monument dedicated to the plane crash of June 26, 1959. The citation contributes to the memory and deserves this notice.

 
February
19
2015

On February 18, 2015, Marisa Broggini, wife of Antonio Monti – fireman who was among the rescuers on the site of the plane crash of June 26, 1959 – has passed away. Those who care about the memory of June 26, 1959, the Mayor and the people of Olgiate Olona express sincere condolences to Antonio and his family. All of us here in Olgiate Olona appreciated the kindness and friendliness of Marisa whenever she faithfully accompanied Antonio among us to attend the commemorative events.

 

Translation of the telegram sent by the Municipality of Olgiate Olona to Antonio Monti:
Personally, and on behalf of the Municipal administration, I express the deepest condolences for the loss of the beloved Marisa.
The Mayor Giovanni Montano

 
February
3
2015

Sixth edition for the educational project inspired to June 26, 1959

Also in 2015 in Olgiate Olona, the memory of the plane crash of June 26, 1959, and the seventy immortal life are perpetuated among the new generations thanks to the educational project inspired to June 26, 1959, addressed to the students of “Dante Alighieri” school of “Beato Contardo Ferrini” institute.

 
January
16
2015

Oltre il dovere prize awarded to Paolo Pettinaroli President of 8 ottobre 2001 foundation

On January 16, 2015, the Regional Council of Tuscany and Cerchio blu association of Florence awarded Paolo Pettinaroli - President of Fondazione 8 ottobre 2001 foundation (relatives of the victims of Milan-Linate air disaster) - with Oltre il dovere prize, because “he constantly engaged himself in the protection of passenger safety and in the assistance to the families of victims of air accidents, by promoting together with his Foundation some important regulatory improvements in the field of aviation safety”.
Pettinaroli thanked for this “totally unexpected award that I dedicate to all the Technical Task Force members of our Foundation, without whom nothing I could do”.
The community of Olgiate Olona and those who care the seventy immortal lives of June 26, 1959, congratulate Paolo Pettinaroli.

 
October
31
2014

The plane crash in the memory of guests of Opai

The plane crash of June 26, 1959, did not cause damages to the town and the people of Olgiate Olona and firstly to the buildings of Opai (foundation for child tuberculosis prevention) – located a few dozen meters from the place where the fuselage crashed – where hundreds of children were housed, cared for by the nuns, the attendants and the other staff. Some of them today still remember well the disaster according to the testimony contained in the book Opai, io c’ero... Voci e volti della Casa dei bambini di Olgiate Olona, presented in Olgiate Olona on October 26, 2014, and written by native Enrica Mariateresa Ferrazzi who kindly allowed us to publish a few excerpts of the testimony.

 
October
8
2014

Commemoration of the victims of Milan-Linate air disaster

Delegated by the mayor Giovanni Montano, Alberto Colombo represented the town of Olgiate Olona on October 8, 2014, in Milan at the commemoration of the victims of Milan-Linate air disaster, event organized by Comitato 8 ottobre per non dimenticare committee and by the Municipality of Milan. During the ceremony the President of the committee Paolo Pettinaroli made a complaint-appeal so that in Italy there will be freedom to fly safely, directed by people responsible and aware of what they decide.

 
May
28
2014

Greetings of new Olgiate Olona Mayor Dr. Giovanni Montano

On behalf of the people and the Municipality of Olgiate Olona I greet all of you who are reaching this website dedicated to the plane crash of June 26, 1959, the fifth worst disaster in civil Aviation in Italy.
Thanks to the enthusiastic commitment of its creators and supported by the patronage of the Municipality of Olgiate Olona, this website testifies all the knowledge of June 26, 1959, and outlines the initiatives and events - whose value and meaning were awarded by the President of the Italian Republic in 2011 – animated worldwide by memory and solidarity which make the seventy lives immortal, those whose mortal body fell fatefully to the ground in Olgiate Olona and who are always alive in the hearts of their loved ones.
More and better than other signs this website attests that in Olgiate Olona the painful memory of the June 26, 1959, is capable of generating love for life: in the eyewitnesses of the plane crash as well as in the young students taking part in the educational project, in the relatives of the seventy immortal lives and in those who are honoring this page of history.
Seventy immortal lives silently accompany our journey not only in front of the memorial at the ceremony of June 26 and in other occasions, but everyday thanks to the contents of this website.

 
March
7
2014

Website dedicated to June 26, 1959 - A year of continuous growth

The website dedicated to the memory of June 26, 1959, presented on March 23, 2013, in Olgiate Olona and online since March 25, 2013, has grown and improved during its first year of life. New texts, unpublished documents, photo galleries, witnesses, mass media articles about the plane crash and commemorative events held in Olgiate Olona have been added to the already massive amount of documentation available from the day of the debut in the web. Contents of the website have increased overall by 175%: the website now contains 1.100 files for a total weight of 386 MB, but despite the size leavened, the continuous reorganization of graphic files facilitates a faster display of the pages.

Olgiate Olona Mayor Giorgio Volpi commented: “This significant website which improves over the time attests that the memory is alive, and it is the tool that allow us to establish new relations and keep in touch with some relatives of the seventy immortal lives and other people of Olgiate Olona and the World who take to heart the memory of June 26, 1959”.