Saunie Gravely

Founder, Pilot, Entrepreneur

EN ROUTE honors Veterans Air Line logo art

EN ROUTE, a book published in 1993 by authors Lynn Johnson and Michael O’Leary, is a lovely, fascinating and well researched noteworthy collection of “label art from the Golden Age of air travel.” Come read who recently gifted a copy of the book to me — and why. And how the authors have unexpectedly emboldened my own research into a significant factor that contributed to the Veterans Air short-lived existence.

New information invaluable to 2017 research as 1946 Veterans Air Line images and clippings surface

A spectacular batch of 1946 Veterans Air Line images and press clippings ignited lively conversation. I was in Florida to meet Craig Broughton and his wife Carol. And to learn more about Craig’s dad, Richard Broughton, who was one of my Dad’s DC-4 pilots for the UNRRA. Dick flew four of our post-war relief deliveries to Warsaw, Prague and Athens in 1946. Don’t miss this story.

Prague Veterans Air crew arrives 1946

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.

1945 Veterans Air Express crew list grows from 22 to 62

In April 2015, my list of men who flew, crewed and managed my Dad’s airline was 22. Today, it’s 62 and includes three women! I’ve added 12 families to my own family along the way, shedding tears of joy and amazement. And I am indescribably motivated to find other 90-somethings (aka Nonagenarians) to share with the three I’ve already met. Photos of a small cadre of the men and women I seek are captured in this story. Come see if you recognize any of them!!!???

Veterans Air Express Prague 1946

My Dad’s 1945 airline won a war-relief contract with the UNRRA. His crews flew five DC-4 trips, each loaded with 5 tons of hatching eggs to Prague and Warsaw. Seventy years later, to commemorate the Veterans Air Express Prague flight in May 1946, I am going to Prague.

1946 Veterans Air Express crew

(POST UPDATE 9/19/2016: Constantine J. Keloss (Kaless) just identified in 1946 Veterans Air photo.) On 10 November 2015, I launched my second-ever “road trip” to meet crew members. The result? Face-to-face meetings and first-hand details from 1946 Veterans Air Express crew: flight engineer Thomas Cowart and navigator Ed Martz. Plus I received grand old photos taken by VAE pilot Richard Broughton. Come see.

Veterans Air Express contract with UNRRA flown by Stettner, Jakeman, Noll, et al.

An “experimental” DC-4. A high-energy group of hardworking ex-servicemen. A Veterans Air Express UNRRA contract for cargo flights behind the iron curtain. And Newark/Miami winter passenger flights. By mid-1946, the all-veterans organization was becoming recognized and starting to thrive.