Crew Manifests for 5 of 6 UNRRA Contract Flights
The Veterans Air Express UNRRA Crew Manifest #3 is MIA (Missing In Action). It would have been for the first UNRRA flight to Warsaw. A history making flight because it was the first post-WWII non-military, commercial air transport flight into Warsaw. As such, overflight permission from the Russians was required. For added drama, both Warsaw and Prague were behind the “iron curtain.”
Not only are these Crew Manifests treasure for research efforts, but insight into how casual some international procedures were in 1946. Starting with the 1st manifest, note that the same document was used for going to and coming back from Prague. A few scratch outs and over-writing gives you both documents. True for two of these five Manifests. Then there is the inconsistency of the Company name and spelling. VETERANS AIRLINES, VETERANS’ AIR EXPRESS COMPANY, and VETERANS AIR EXPRESS CO., OPERATIONS DEPARTMENT, Overseas Division.
Belt and Suspenders
Another observation. A management strategy. This same Prague flight registered 10 Crew Members. Two Copilots, two Navigation Officers and three Flight Engineers. This Crew was prepared! Conjures up the expression “Belt and Suspenders.” Compare this to flight #6 with six Crew Members, four of whom were on Flight #1. The smaller number was undoubtedly influenced by experience, but also their destination – Athens.