Chief Pilot Robert Chambers

Veterans Air Express Chief Pilot Robert Chambers…

his photo and role.

Chief Pilot Robert Chambers in 1945 with the government surplus DC-3 just acquired by Veterans Air Express.

DC-3 Chief Pilot Robert Chambers stands under the “turned-up nose” of Veterans Air Express first aircraft.

Look at this.

THE BEFORE:  Our Chief Pilot Robert Chambers already hired on by Veterans Air Express – before our first DC-3 was even in livery.

I am excited to share this photo with you.  Robert’s son Bruce sent it to me today after our second phone conversation in four days.

Pilot Robert Montanarella waves from the Veterans Air Express DC-3 GAYE LYN.

Pilot Robert Montanarella in Veterans Air Express DC-3 GAYE LYN.

THE AFTER:  The same DC-3, “de-militarized” and sporting Veterans‘ livery – with my name GAYE LYN.  That’s Robert Montanarella waving from the left seat. He was Veterans’ first crew hire.

The two Roberts together.  Hooah!

1946 Veterans Air Express Group Photo

Montanarella and Chambers at cargo door. Standing (L-R) are five others I’ve identified: Stevenson, Greenleaf, Gravely, Stettner, and Noll. Six more to go!!! Photo Credit: Air Trails Pictorial, April 1946.

Bruce Chambers confirmed I correctly identified his Dad, Robert, in this group photo.  An article in the  Newark Evening News made me suspect it was Chambers standing at the open cargo door with another crewman named Robert — Robert Montanarella — because the two piloted the DC-3 together.

We’re closing in on this group.  Who do you know???


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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 the spirit and character of this organization that Jack obviously loved!