Tragic military jet crash in Holly remembered by family
By David Trojan, email@example.com
On April 8th, 2017 the family of pilot, Lt. John Douglas Brown, who was killed in a 1954 military jet crash near Holly was remembered. Ms Suzanne Brown Ollry, daughter of Lt. Brown and her husband Kevin were present for the unveiling of a commemorative plaque located at the Holly Cloud Hoppers RC Plane Club field in Holly State Rec Area. After the unveiling, the RC Club did some fly overs in honor of Lt. Brown. The family had traveled all the way from Maryland to see the plaque and visit the crash site.
The crash site is located on private property about 2 miles away. Last August the crash site was located by Jeff Benya of Michigan Aviation Archaeology and Dave Trojan, an Air Crash Detective.
The F-86D Sabre jet serial #51-8437, crashed December 16, 1954. The pilot, Lt. John Douglas Brown was killed and he left behind a wife and two daughters, ages 1 and 3 years of age at the time of the crash. His service and sacrifice is still remembered by his family who still morns his loss to this day.
Suzanne said: "Though the flame burned bright for a short time, it left a glow in our hearts that will shine forever.”
Lt. Brown was assigned to the 4708th Air Defense Wing (ADW), 575th AD Group, 13th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (FIS) at Selfridge Air Force Base in Mt. Clemens. His jet aircraft just flew into the ground leaving behind many questions and few answers. The visit to the crash site helped to bring closure to the family and it was a very moving and inspirational day for all in attendance.
Jeff Benya said: “We were honored to welcome one of Captain Brown's daughters, Suzanne Ollry at the unveiling. She was a year old when her father passed away. After the ceremony, Dave and I guided Suzanne and her husband Kevin to the actual crash site where Suzanne found several new parts that we had not previously uncovered.”
Looking back on this tragic event can serve as a reminder of the past sacrifices made for our nation and for future generations.
The plaque is on display at the Holly Cloud Hopper flying field located in the Holly Recreation Area in Holly, Michigan. They are located on Mackey Road, about 1/2 mile south of Grange Hall Road.