One gorgeous summer day at Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach campus, three students and I delved into a conversation about Veterans Air Express. The outcome? This 3-part video.
I am beyond honored to get better acquainted with the men and women who made my Dad’s 1945 airline “happen” by meeting their family members. Come meet these very special people in a photo review of my second 2017 trip visiting Veterans Air Express families. This extraordinary RV trek took 37 days and 4,874 miles to VA, MD, PA and NJ.
I am deeply sad to write this post. Veterans Air has lost a precious member. I have lost a cherished friend. Edward J. Martz, Jr. Veterans Air Express Navigator, died this week. He was 91. I’ll be forever grateful for having met him personally, known his smile, reveled in his stories about his role in my Dad’s airline. God speed, Ed Martz. Say hello to Saunie for me.
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 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!
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.
(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.
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!