Bristol Bay, AK Plane Crashes On Takeoff, July 1957


Anchorage, July 11. (AP) -- Husbands of two Washington state women were in the crowd that witnessed the Bristol Bay plane crash that killed the women and four others yesterday.
HAAKON B. FRIELE, widely known Pacific Northwest cannery operator and chain store executive, and his son, HAROLD B. FRIELE had just bid goodbye to their wives at King Salmon airport after a two-week visit.
Then the twin-engined Lockheed Lodestar plane, owned by a wealthy New York businessman, crashed and burned on takeoff killing all aboard.
Those who died included the plane's owner, V. REDFIELD VOSE, about 60, New York insurance man with real estate and cattle interests in the Virgin Islands.
The others were:
MRS. H. B. FRIELE, about 55, Bellevue, Wash., wife of the widely known Pacific Northwest cannery operator and A. & P. (grocery chain) representative.
MRS. HAROLD B. FRIELE, whose husband is assistant superintendent of the Nakeen, Alaska, cannery.
POLLY EVANS, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Evans of Augusta, Ga.
EDWARD COLIGNY, the pilot, of 120 Clinton St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
RALPH HUTHES, co-pilot, same address.
The CAA said the plane reached an altitude of only about 500 feet when it nosed over, crashed and burned.
VOSE had been on a business trip to Alaska.
MRS. H. B. FRIELE and MRS. HAROLD B. FRIELE, her daughter-in-law, were returning with VOSE to Seattle after visiting their husbands in Alaska, friends in Seattle said.
VOSE owned Antilles Enterprises, a Virgin Island real estate and cattle outfit, and Bluebeard's Castle Hotel and other property at St. John's.
At Washington, D.C., the Civil Aeronautics Board reported two of its investigators flew from Anchorage to King Salmon to probe the accident. The CAB said their findings probably will not be made public for weeks until exhaustive studies are completed.

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Alaska 1957-07-11


Thank you

I was looking for information about my biological grandfathers, both of whom were pilots, for a Veterans Day project when I stumbled on this article and accompanying comments. It took me a few beats to realize that I was reading remarks written by my uncle!

Unfortunately, I don't have anything informative to add to the history and account recorded here. I know very little about the event- or even about the family. I have one photo of Edward and Reenie, which I posted on the web a number of years ago at .

I had what they call a "late-in-life miracle child" 6 years ago, and my mother (Jackie, of course) passed the following year, and I wasn't sure that I would ever have information about my grandfather to offer to my daughter.

As such, I'm very grateful to you for putting the information out here, Mike. Thank you- and all the best.

Nancy Coligny son

Hello Mike,
Hopefully my contacting you may be able to re-establish some of the missing "links" in Nancy Coligny (Garner) family tree. Nancy the sister of Edward Coligny was my mother and John Patrick and Paul were my brothers. I came across your info while looking for info on the plane crash that Edward Coligny (my uncle) was involved. Has any info on the cause of crash been determined? If so let me know as I am not fond of speculation and would like to know the truth. I know this contact may seem "out of the blue" but long in coming. I will give you further contact info upon your request.

Keith Hughes

I have not looked at this website in a long time and find one year after my comments Polly's niece Tara would like to get in touch with Keith. I can do that for you but do not think it proper to provide information on this website. Contact me at or 760.525.8811 and I can provide the information. I will also call him to see if you already contacted him.
Mike Coligny

Alaska Plane Crash

I am the niece of Polly Jo Evans who died in the 1957 plane crash. She worked for Mr. Vose and my family unexpectedly became the legatees of most of Mr. Vose's estate. I have tons of info related to this event and of course know intimately the facts of the Vose and Evans families.

I am interested in contacting Keith Hughes to connect with him. Could you advise on how to reach him? Thanks a ton.

new info

It is interesting with today's technology how enhanced communications are enabled. As the result of this Gen Disasters page and my comments, and through facebook, I received an email from Mr. Keith Hughes. Quite frankly I did not connect the facebook email to this story until I read in the body of the email that Keith Hughes was in fact the son of my fathers co-pilot Ralph Hughes. Until his email I never knew he existed. Keith, who is a couple of years older than me was able to correct some of my observations that were in error. To be fair I was only 12 and my father had just prior to the accident flown a Super 18 Twin Beech for another corporation, so the aircraft was actually a Lodestar as reported in the original article. Keith further corrected that the plane on order was an F-27 twin engine turbo-prop, and not a Gulfstream 1 as I remembered.

Further discussion with Keith has resulted in other areas of our lives where our paths crossed. An amazing set of events set in motion by today's technology, 54 years after the accident.

Mike Coligny - ATP/MCFI

Corrections to the story from 1957

The pilot Ed Coligny lived at 198 Edgewater Avenue, Bayport, New York, not Brooklyn, with his family and was survived by his wife Irene and two children Michael and Jacqueline. Our understanding is that the executive Mr. Voss was in fact the majority stock holder of A&P food chain. Polly was his secretary. The estate, the largest ever settled in NY at that time, left everything to his secretary. He had no living relatives, further as Polly was killed at the same time in the crash everything was left to her brothers.

Ed Coligny learned to fly at the age of 17 in 1925 and recieved his commercial training at Spartan Flight School Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1927. He was a mail and an airline pilot in Alaska late 20s early 30s, flew for Midway Airlines in the 30's and 40s. WWII he joined the Navy as a flight instructor at Pensacola, and mustered out in 1947 at NAS Floyd Benette Field as a full Commander. While in the Navy he spent several tours of duty in Alaska. After the Navy, he then set up the flight department and became the Corporate pilot for Doubleday Book Company which operated out of Roosevelt Field (1947), Long Isand. From there he went to Cities Service as a Corporate Pilot. After that he became the corporate pilot for Mr. Voss. The aircraft they were flying was a Super Beech 18, not a Lodestar and on order was a brand new Gulfstream 1. One of the aircraft flown at Cities Service was a Lodestar, I know I rode in it as a kid.

His son, Mike Coligny (that would be me) ultimately became a pilot as well. Interestingly enough I spent a bit of time in Alaska where I worked with the Medallion Foundation, Coastal Helicopters in Juneuau, ERA in Anchorage and Frontier in Fairbanks. My field, flight simulators.

There is a lot more that could be commented on but I only wanted to correct what I could on the inaccuracies of the original article.