Historic flight

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!!!???

Meet Flight Engineer Thomas Cowart. I did!

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.

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!

Veterans Air flight to Warsaw

Veterans Air flight to Warsaw. 69 years ago today, May 20, 1946. Countless times, Dad told me about the Veterans Air flight to Warsaw – multiple flights actually to both Poland and Czechoslovakia.  The company had won a contract from UNRRA (United Nations Relief & Rehabilitation Administration) to fly relief-effort supplies to European nations devastated …

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Prague 1946 flight

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 that Prague flight, I am going to Prague.