DC-4

Carvair ATL-98 sister ships

The Carvair sort of resembles a Boeing 747 with propellers instead of jet engines, but not as sleek.

Unexpected connections and poignant moments mark two very different experiences on June’s Veterans Air research trip. Visit Texas and Georgia with me.

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.

Thomas E Cowart. International Flight Engineer. Cooper Walker recruit.

Thomas E. Cowart, man of many talents and gracious, loving spirit. Veterans Air Flight Engineer in 1946.

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.

Broughton, Martz, Cowart: Veterans Air Express Breaking News

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!

Veterans Air UNRRA contract 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.

1946 Greek War Relief flight makes history

Veterans Air Express in September 1946 made aviation & animal husbandry history. The Borden Company had donated a pure-bred American Jersey bull calf and two heifers to help restore Greece’s war-obliterated herds. The cattle were “loaded” into a DC-4 and flown to Athens. The press photo is worth more than a thousand words. Come take a look!