Minneapolis, MN Jet Crashes Into Houses, June 1956


Washington (INS) -- Sen. Edward J. THYE (R-Minn.) demanded Saturday an immediate Pentagon investigation of two military jet plane crashes in the Minneapolis area.

Minneapolis (INS) -- Six persons, including four children, were killed Saturday when a Navy jet plane crashed in flames and ploughed through six homes near Minneapolis.
Eleven children were hospitalized with injuries.
A man and his wife and two of their three sons were among the dead. The other son was away on a fishing trip.
A girl in a neighboring home was killed as she lay on a couch. A section of the plane's landing gear speared through the house and was found beside the girl's body.
The pilot, Marine Maj. GEORGE E. ARMSTRONG, 33, of the Minneapolis suburb of Edina, died in the plane.
The crash occurred at Weld-Chamberlain Field where last Tuesday an Air Force jet smashed into an auto and killed a woman and her daughter.
Saturday's tragedy came after ARMSTRONG took off in a formation of three Navy F-95 jet fighters.
The control tower said ARMSTRONG immediately radioed for permission to land. There was no explanation.
The plane plunged to the ground near the main gate at the north end of the field.
KENNETH LICHTY, who lives nearby, said:
"I heard an explosion. I didn't see the crash. All I saw was flames. The fire spread. I got my wife and two kids from the house and ran to a field across the street."
His next door neighbor's family was nearly wiped out. Killed were JOHN DONALD GARIES, 36, his wife JANE, 35, and two sons, MARK, 6, and BRYAN, 2.
The surviving son, 11-year-old JOEL, had left to go fishing with companions about an hour before the plane crashed. He said his parents were sleeping and his brothers were watching television.
The body of the sixth victim was identified as a neighbor, DEBORAH DE WOLFE, 5 years old.
Some 20 youngsters were playing in the yards of the residential strip of homes adjacent to Wold-Chamberlain field.
The whistling jet demolished one house and damaged at least five others in its flaming plunge.

Mansfield News Journal Ohio 1956-06-10


DeWolfe family in plane crash

My parents were friends of the DeWolfe's. I was nine at the time of the crash. We lived on 47th ave, about 15 blocks away toward Lake St. My mother received a call from someone there right after the crash and my parents, sister and I went there. I remember seeing the swath of destruction and fire. I seem to remember their home being one or two houses from the chainlink fence.
I remember that night hearing that Debbie had died and how it happened. Although I may have confused the details, I remember hearing that Debbie's mother had lifted the refrigerator that had fallen on Debbie's younger brother, thus saving him but, losing her life in the process. Do you know anything about this?
I think my parents stayed in contact with the father and the son for a while after the disaster, but I remember no further details.

Just left The De Wolfe house when plane crashed

I remember this day well, I had just been to see if my friend Debbie wanted to come out to play, but she wasn't feeling good and was laying on the couch. I left to return to my house directly across the alley when the plane hit. I felt the ground shake and a whoosh of heat behind me, I was so scared I just ran into my house...in the back door as my mom ran out the front door...she ran to the back looking for me, and when she couldn't find me thought I had died. I ended up across the street at another neighbors house. My brother was heading to his friend Joel Garries house from another friends house (Bubby) and they saw the plane hit the houses. My mom always said if the plane had hit a minute earlier I would have been killed; a minute later my brother would have been killed. It was a sad day, and I still think of Debbie and wish she had come outside with me.

After the crash my

After the crash my grandparents relocated to the West Metro and had another three children, my two aunts and my Dad.


Just curious, if your grandparents lost all three of their children, who were your parents?

My mom was six years old and

My mom was six years old and burned in this crash. She was one of two child survivors. Because of the extreme trauma and because of her age, her memories are very limited. My grandma has passed away, I would love a copy of any newspaper clippings or any other info you might have of the crash.

I was one of the children that survived the June 9th crash.

I was headed into the Kieffer back yard where the kids were playing when the plane hit. The Kieffer garage shielded me from the fuel and fire. My sister would have been with them but my mom made her go back to her bedroom and put her shoes on. I would be interested in talking to Paige Kieffer. (my number 612-889-7014, darrellgwatkins@gmail.com)

I'm the granddaughter of

I'm the granddaughter of Vince and Doris Kieffer who were on that block and lost their three children Jeff, Jennifer, and Cassandra. Let me know if you need any more information.

1956 Plane Crash

I'm the granddaughter of George Edgar Armstrong. I have an large book with all the clippings from his crash. I can help anyway you need.

thank you

No, I do not live in Minneapolis ... but if you would like to email a photo of the site as it appears today .. I would gladly add it to the article ...
Thank you very much

Crash Site

Stu, I don't know if you live in Minneapolis, but you can still identify the site of the crash on 46th Avenue between the 62 Crosstown and Military Highway. All of the houses destroyed/damaged in the crash were rebuilt as duplexes, and they stand out among the single-family homes in the rest of this little neighborhood.