He was a war hero pilot, she was an East Anglian beauty queen but there was no happy ever fairytale for Ole and Nanette.
The mid-air collision above Norfolk was more than 40 years ago but shockwaves from the tragedy which killed pilot Bill Olson, and helicopter winchman David Bullock who battled to save him, still reverberate.
Nanette Olson’s recollection of the moment she discovered that she was a widow and her two small children were fatherless is still heartbreaking. That morning the weather was stormy and as Bill, who was often known as Ole, got ready to leave their home in Hethersett, near Norwich, she said: “Surely you are not going to fly in this.”
His reply: “Honey, we fly above this. See you later.”
But when she arrived at his Suffolk airbase to meet him after work she was met by his boss and told he was dead.
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At 9.15am on November 18, 1980, two US Air Force A10 Tankbuster aircraft from RAF Bentwaters collided over Norfolk. Pilot Major Steve Kaatz ejected before his aeroplane smashed in flames near Itteringham, injuring an off-duty air traffic controller. Pilot Lt Col William Olson flew on and out to sea in an attempt to return to base without flying over populated areas, but was forced to eject into the sea off…