DC-3 Captain Robert Montanarello, left seat, is first hire of the Veterans Air Flight Crews.
Research project of 1945 history gets huge boost with face-to-face visit in August 2015 with 92-year old Jack Stettner. His logbook contains the "missing" third DC-3.
A pride hard to verbalize shudders through me every time I see this film footage of my Dad’s crew members disembarking from the Veterans Air Line DC-4 in Prague. Saunie Gravely was 22 when he got the idea of an all-Veterans air service. And this amazing footage is proof of his dream-become-reality. Come watch. Sorry, no popcorn today.
Dirty weather, dangerous runway conditions and Russian overflight permission define Jakeman and Stettner’s UNRRA flight to Warsaw behind the "iron curtain."
Radio problems force Captain W. C. Jakeman’s Crew to land in Portland Maine en route to Prague. Local press photo identified six Crew members previously known by name only.
Great fun recently meeting sons of Richard Broughton…Craig and his wife Carol in Florida and Bob and his wife Mary in Kentucky. Plus the visit unveiled an unexpected story about their dad and mom. Come read about the Veterans Air Line romance that surprised us all.
This handsome young man is Bernard Francis Shmanske wearing his U.S. Army Air Forces uniform. Bernard entered service when he was 21 years old on 2 September 1942. He completed Flight School Pilot Training in December 1943, served on the pilot training staff, and then flew Martin B26 Maurader twin engine attack bombers.
Look who I found!! Two sons, Craig & Robert, of 1945 1st Officer Richard Broughton. And two original crew members, Edward Martz, navigator, living in NJ and Thomas Cowart, flight engineer, living in SC. They ALL flew multiple trips for the Veterans Air Express United Nations war relief contract to Prague, Warsaw and Athens. It’s intriguing! And I am psyched!
In 1942 & ’43 the Army Air Corps turned Thomas E. Cowart from a farm boy into an aircraft mechanic and later a flight engineer. He flew the world as part of an Air Transport group led by Captain Cooper Walker. And after the war, Walker encouraged Cowart to join him at Veterans Air Express and fly the world again. Thomas tells me his vivid-memory story. Come meet him.