Fatal plane crash near Moorhead, 1941

A random Duluth Herald front page from 80 years ago today, Oct. 30, 1941.

No one from Duluth was killed in the plane crash, but the co-pilot and stewardess had recently visited Duluth. First officer Alden Onsgard, 25, had served as co-pilot on a Twin Cities-to-Duluth Northwest Airlines flight nine days before the crash. Bernice Blowers of Welcome, Minn., had been in Duluth a few weeks prior, attending the Minnesota Nurses Association Convention with six other NWA stewardesses.

Onsgard had only been a pilot for five months, but the Herald notes he “frequently served as co-pilot on the Duluth run and was well known to Duluth flight patrons.” The paper also clarifies that Onsgard is “not to be confused with Transport Pilot Elden Onsgard, Duluth.” Eldin B. Onsgard Jr. later served as Gen. George S. Patton’s personal pilot during World War II and is, of course, the son of noted West Duluth businessman and Lake Superior Zoo founder Bert Onsgard.

Image of the Northwest Airlines crash near Moorhead on Oct. 30, 1941. Image via Digital Horizons.

For more on the plane crash, read the article “The Worst Plane Crash in Minnesota History” on page 7 of the September/October 2004 issue of the Clay County Historical Society Newsletter.

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