1st Warsaw UNRRA war relief flight makes history

Photo of Captain William Jakeman shaking hands during Prague arrival. Three stripes on left sleeve of his uniform indicate Captain rank.

First Warsaw flight, Russian-required permission and “dirty” weather

U.S. Immigrations Crew Manifest MIA

No U.S. Immigrations Crew Manifest has surfaced – though diligently pursued. The government Manifests discovered for the five other UNRRA flights were beyond valuable. They revealed crew members whose names had never shown up anywhere. Plus, the Manifests provided and/or corroborated dates of the trips.

Making history under some pretty tough conditions.

Riveting details of this flight come from The New York Times article by journalist Fred Graham on 20 May 1946. The headline and sub-headline alone beg for a full read…permission for which is in the wings (no pun intended).

Veterans Air Line Captain William Jakeman and First Officer Jack Stettner along with five other crew members completed the first non-military, commercial air transport flight requiring Russian overflight permission behind the “iron curtain.”

NOTE: while both Prague and Warsaw were behind the “iron curtain,” our research indicates that only Warsaw required the overflight permit.

New York Times coverage of VAE historic flight to Warsaw.

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