I am tickled to show you the Saunie Gravely weds Lydia Amadio announcement in my Mom's hometown newspaper, the Carteret (NJ) Press, September 3, 1943. What a giggle!!! I added their wonderful wedding photo here.
This September 1945 clipping from Newark Evening News takes the reader behind the scenes from bright idea to Board of Directors to the "mechanics" of a start-up express cargo airline owned and operated by WWII vets and the businessmen who saw great merit in their dream.
The first stock offering was issued 9 November 1945. The certificate was printed even before the decision that "Veterans" should be part of the official company name. Pride in who they were and in hopes of bettering their chances for attracting business seems to have prompted the idea.
Newspaper clippings and DC-3 Chief Pilot Robert Chambers' "Pilots Running Log" record the first Veterans Air DC-3 cargo revenue flight on 3 December 1945. Iced, dressed turkeys from Louisville KY to Teterboro NJ were primary cargo destined for Newark and New York City.
Saunie Gravely founded an all-veterans commercial air service in 1945 that flew freight and passengers out of Newark Air Depot and Teterboro. Meet my favorite DC-3 named GAYE LYN...that's me. Read about some of the GIs who helped form & flew for Veterans Air Express and Veterans Air Line.
DC-3 "Snowbird" flights from Newark to Miami via "The Veterans' Air Line." (New York Times classified 18th and 21st January, 1946). And summer vacationers in Cape Cod are lured to relax and fly to the Cape via the "modern" Veterans airliner. (Newark NJ paper display ad, date unknown.)
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 A
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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!