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.
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.
Our Dads would have loved the role they played in friendships that have developed between their “kids.” Just three weeks ago today, Ellen Stettner and I met for a second time and had dinner. Like sisters, we talked and talked. So lovely. Her dad, Veterans Air pilot Jack Stettner, helped my Dad found the airline.
Join our dinner party in Texas hosted by John Noll’s daughter, Buffy, and her husband, Jack. Another guest is Will Frome, son of Michael Frome. My good fortune found this daughter and son of two Veteran Air essential crew members, a pilot/founder and a navigator/journalist, living within miles of each other.
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!
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!