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

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Veterans Air Express research continues in 2019

A map depicts destinatiions and route of a Veterans Air research trip in 2019.
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Amazing how 4,872 miles can roll by without boredom. Meeting special people and continuing Veterans Air research recently spread out over 33 days.

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Thomas Cowart dies December 20, 2016. Veterans Air Express Flight Engineer

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Thomas Cowart, our Veterans Air DC-4 Flight Engineer, died on December 20, 2016. He crewed during the 1946 United Nations post-war relief flights to Prague, Warsaw and Athens. Thomas and I shared many hours, many stories and much laughter in person and over the phone. Today I share the immediacy of my emotions at his passing.

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Prague Veterans Air crew arrives 1946

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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.

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Veterans Air Express Prague 1946

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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.

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Veterans Air Express Navigator Edward Martz

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Veterans Air Express Navigator Edward Martz regaled me with stories I have not heard before. In our face-to-face meeting last month in New Jersey, Ed Martz shared vivid memories from his 1946 flights behind the Iron Curtain. You don’t want to miss the full story!

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Meet Veterans Air Express Flight Engineer Thomas Cowart. I did!

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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.

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Broughton, Martz, Cowart: Veterans Air Express Breaking News

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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!

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

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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.

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Carole Landis christened Veterans DC-4 in 1946

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Hollywood star Carole Landis christened Veterans Air Line DC-4 on July 24, 1946. The aircraft and attending celebrity Mrs. Gloria Vanderbilt both got champagne-splashed. Still searching for press photo coverage of event.

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Contact Gaye Lyn

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