Saunie Gravely

Veterans Air Express story at NJ Aviation Hall of Fame and more to come

Jammed ten pounds in a five-pound bag…and still had more to share. But I sure had fun telling the Veterans Air Express story at NJ Aviation Hall of Fame last November. I was delighted (and pleasantly stunned) by Executive Director Shea Oakley’s introduction. There’s a YouTube in this post that captures the evening…Dad’s concept, the WWII vets who joined him, a historic UNRRA flight, some conjectures why the airline folded…and more. Give it a look-see.

Broughton, Martz, Cowart: Veterans Air Express Breaking News

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!

Veterans Air Express contract with UNRRA 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.