Another fun, improbable gathering of Veterans Air “kids.” Buffy Noll, Bob Chambers and their spouses Jack and Diana. In Texas. On the first official stop of Gaye Lyn’s June 2019 VAE research trip.
Takes no time to fall happily into laughter, banter and sweet reminiscences when I’m with the “daughters Cowart.” It’s day 16 and 2,822 miles into my Veterans Air family RV trip. I’ve arrived in South Carolina, home of Angie and Joy, daughters of 1946 Veterans Air DC-4 Flight Engineer Thomas E. Cowart. They are a hoot, don’tcha know!
A spectacular batch of 1946 Veterans Air Line images and press clippings ignited lively conversation. I was in Florida to meet Craig Broughton and his wife Carol. And to learn more about Craig’s dad, Richard Broughton, who was one of my Dad’s DC-4 pilots for the UNRRA. Dick flew four of our post-war relief deliveries to Warsaw, Prague and Athens in 1946. Don’t miss this story.
Research begins again for the1945 Veterans Air crews and non-flight personnel who helped Saunie Gravely, my Dad, establish the air line. While still in pursuit of undiscovered families, my current adventure takes me across the country to meet a few of the families I’ve located since April 2015. Come read about my new venture and meet Gracie, my magic “carpet.”
You know what? This is tough business, emotionally precarious – doing Veterans Air Express research. It’s full of adventure. But it’s also inextricably tied to passing of time and loosing “loves” that I find in the men who joined my Dad’s dream. They built an air line in 1945 that rattled the big boys – Pan Am, TWA, American. These were brave guys, full of bravado and determination. Like Michael Frome. Come read about him again, or for the first time.
Thomas Cowart, our Veterans Air DC-4 Flight Engineer, died on December 20, 2016. He crewed during the 1946 United Nations post-war relief flights to Prague, Warsaw and Athens. Thomas and I shared many hours, many stories and much laughter in person and over the phone. Today I share the immediacy of my emotions at his passing.
What an exquisite honor to introduce our newest Veterans family member. Our Veterans Air Express navigator Michael Frome presents his own story, in his own words. I’m beyond excited to share two of Michael’s articles written on location for The Washington Post from April 1946 in Prague with Veterans Air. How’s that for impressive!!!
A pride hard to verbalize shudders through me every time I see this film footage of my Dad’s crew members disembarking from the Veterans Air Line DC-4 in Prague. Saunie Gravely was 22 when he got the idea of an all-Veterans air service. And this amazing footage is proof of his dream-become-reality. Come watch. Sorry, no popcorn today.
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!!!???