Posts Tagged Historic flight

1945 Veterans Air Express crew list grows from 22 to 62

Historic flight

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!!!???

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Veterans Air Express Prague 1946

Historic 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 the Veterans Air Express Prague flight in May 1946, I am going to Prague.

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

Historic flight

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

Historic flight

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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1946 Greek War Relief flight makes history

Historic flight

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!

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Film Footage of Veterans Air Express

Historic flight

Rare 1945 film footage of Veterans Air Express DC-3 & DC-4. Taken & narrated by one of the founding pilots, John Noll. Listen to his story of Veterans Air first aircraft and all-important contract with United Nations. See these grand aircraft. Watch christening of the DC-4 by Metropolitan Opera diva. Do you recognize her? We need her name.

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Veterans Air flight to Warsaw

Historic flight

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)

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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!