Skip to Content

Minneapolis, MN Navy Planes Collide, May 1957


Minneapolis (AP) -- A thousand horrified Memorial Day cemetery visitors Thursday watched two Navy jet planes flying an aerial salute to war dead collide and crash in flames into a heavily populated neighborhood of northeast Minneapolis.
One of the pilots was killed and six civilians injured when one of the jets, streaming smoke and flame, hurtled into a residential street, demolished a parked car and set four houses afire.
The other pilot bailed out safely before his disabled jet plunged into a vacant lot five blocks away.
Cmdr. NEWELL OLSON, 38, Liaison and public relations officer at Wold Chamberlain Naval Air Station, was killed when he tried to parachute just before his plane crashed amid the homes.
Five residents of the area were hospitalized with burns and a sixth with an arm injury caused by flying debris. None was in serious condition. Three other persons were treated for shock.
Interiors of two homes were burned out. Fronts of two adjacent residences were badly damaged.
Lt. JOHN FORSMARK, 26, Minneapolis, a "weekend warrior," ejected himself from his plane after it went out of control. He landed on a sidewalk uninjured, went directly to a telephone and called his wife. "Weekend warrior" is the Navy's term for reservists who fly on weekends, but are not on full time active duty.
A helicopter pilot, strewing poppies over Sunset Memorial Cemetery said the planes collided as they started to roll out of a right echelon formation.

Montana Standard Butte 1957-05-31


Memorial Day crash

Your story is almost identical to mine, I also was 7 and at the Hillside service with my Mother, Aunt, and two sisters. I still remember one of the wings spinning through the air. We left the cemetery right away but couldn't get through the traffic and had to leave our car and walk, we lived right next to the park where one of the planes crashed and walking home I remember the adults being worried that the plane hit our house but it crashed in what was then just a vacant lot, across the street from a large park with hundreds of baseball and softball players on a beautiful holiday. It could have been so much worse. I again live back in N.E. Just a few blocks from the crash site.

I remember seeing this crash

I was only 7 years old. My dad was the Commander of an American Legion Post, there was a Memorial Day service at Hillside Cemetary. During the service it had been arranged that Navy jets from the local Naval Air Station would fly over. I can remember my Grandpa holding me while everyone looked towards the sky and then the planes collided in the sky. Although I was only 7, I still can visualize the scene. Later that day, our family drove by Northeast Athletic Field to see some on the debri and then went to the home of my father's co-worker that lived across the street from the homes that were hit. I remember the story about the piolt that ejected, landed & called his wife. Recently I was at Hillside Cemetary with friends, we were visiting our fathers graves and I was telling them about that Memorial Day. I am glad I found this article.

article | by Dr. Radut