1946 Greek War Relief flight makes history

Veterans Air Express 1946 Greek War Relief flight makes historyVeterans Air Express 1946 Greek War Relief flight makes aviation history

Veterans Air Express in September 1946 made aviation & animal husbandry history.  The Borden Company had donated a pure-bred American Jersey bull calf and two heifers to help restore Greece’s war-obliterated herds. The cattle were “loaded” into Veterans’ DC-4 and flown to Athens.  This was facilitated through the United Nations Relief & Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) which had contracted Veterans Air for other overseas deliveries which included Warsaw and Prague.

Up you go…

This photograph is worth more than a thousand words.  I wish it were better quality.  (I’m still learning about capturing old clippings…and giving proper media credit.)  I’m certain the Bordon Company are responsible for the publicity shot. Shown here, the calf and and heifers make their unconventional boarding with some assistance.  They are climbing up air-stairs inscribed with “Country Fair…Greek War Relief…Give An Animal.”

The story and the photo certainly captured a lot of attention.

A news wire must have picked up the photo (AP, perhaps), because it ran all over the country.  An hour’s worth of my research netted (and gives media credit to) this captioned image.  I’m certain more exist.

  • Green Country Examiner-Recorder, Catskill, NY. 12 Sept 1946, Page 1
  • Madison County Leader, Morrisville, NY.  12 Sept 1946, Page 4
  • The Crosbyton Review, Crosbyton, Texas. 13 Sept 1946
  • Waukesha Daily Freeman, Waukesha, Wisconsin. 18 Sept 1946, Page 10
  • Quad City Herald, Brewster, Washington.  19 Sept 1946, Page 4
  • The Mountain Eagle, Whitesburg, Kentucky.  19 Sept 1946, Page 3
  • The Boise City News, Boise City, Oklahoma.  19 Sept 1946, Page 5 (Society Page)
  • The Pilot, Southern Pines, North Carolina. 1 Nov 1946, Page 15
  • The Olney Enterprise, Olney, Texas. 21 Nov 1946, Page 1

The caption says:

PEDIGREED JERSEYS “FLY” TO GREECE-Three aristocrats of CBS’s “County Fair” program – two Jersey heifers and a Jersey bull – enter a Veterans Air Transport at Newark, N.J. Airport for their flight to Greece.  The prized stock, valued at more than $10,000 and donated by the Borden Company, are winging their way overseas as part of the Greek War Relief Association’s “Give An Animal” campaign, which calls for the re-stocking of Greece’s small farms now.  Until these animals can bring farm production back to pre-ware levels, the Greek War Relief is urging all Americans to send pennies or dollars to the Association that a $12.75 thirty-five pound food package may be “telegraphed” today to the heroic but starving people of Greece.

And I cannot resist giving you a better look at the photo – fuzziness & all!

Unconventional loading of cattle being flown to Greece by Veterans Air Express from Newark NJ to Athens.

Thanks to The Borden Co. for their generosity. And credit to all media for running this historic photograph.


 

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Then & There…

A RECOMMENDED READ and irreplaceable for me: "Memories of the Jing Bao & Beyond," Authors Choice Press, 2001. Written by our own JACK Z. STETTNER - Veterans Air Express Co-Founder, Investor, Pilot and Operations Manager. As well as his considerable WWII experiences, Jack's book revealed new details about Veterans Air Express...plus the spirit and character of this organization that Jack obviously loved!