Marilyn Gries

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!!!???

Veterans Air Express first hostess. Found “Treasure!”

High school sweethearts. Marilyn and Robert Gries.

UPDATE 8/30/15: Mid-August, I spent hours with Marilyn Gries in Florida. First at breakfast and then in her home. She is vivacious and wonderful. Yesterday and today, I updated two Posts with photos of Marilyn & her husband Bob on the website. He was one of the Veterans co-founders, a navigator & manager. Yesterday Marilyn & I spoke on the phone. For now, come see the first of my photos of Marilyn. And read (or re-read) HER story — the Veterans Air Express first unofficial “hostess” and a new and now dearly cherished friend of mine! What a Treasure!

Veterans Air outfits DC-4 at Sebring FL ops base

Florida orange juice christening in June 1946 of the Veterans Air Line second DC-4. A 15-member company tech team outfitted and painted the ex-military aircraft to cargo configuration at the Veterans Air newly opened operations center at Sebring Airport.

Timing is everything. Veterans Air Express needed a major maintenance and repair facility. And Florida seemed a location ideally suited to their growing cargo and passenger business. Hendricks Field, an AAF Pilot School during WWII in Sebring, FL was being deactivated and transitioned into Sebring Air Terminal. Photos & news clips from archives unfold the story.