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

Shea Oakley, Executive Director, introduces 1945 air line founder's daughter, Gaye Lyn, who presents the Veterans Air Express story at NJ Aviation Hall of Fame.

Shea Oakley, Executive Director of the Museum, introducing Gaye Lyn. Photo Credit: A clip from the presentation captured on YouTube.

Veterans Air Express story at NJ Aviation Hall of Fame

A Facebook announcement on December 1 talked about the unfolding Veterans Air Express story at NJ Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum. That was on November 15 (2017). I was greatly honored to have been the Museum’s guest speaker.

The Veterans Air unfolding story as-it stands end of 2017.

The Museum talk gave me a grand opportunity to capture the story as it currently stands.  Hope you enjoy this full-length YouTube.


Quite candidly, more research results exist than I could comfortably jam into the Hall of Fame talk.  I found myself leaving full stories out — like the maintenance base at Sebring, FL  And greater details and more photos of the people I’m still searching for.

So, while I’m very pleased with the above YouTube, there are three huge hunks of major segments yet to cover:

  • what I know that wouldn’t fit in the November presentation.
  • all that remains to be researched — known topics and yet-to-be-discovered rabbit holes to dig down.
  • more details and disclosure of what ultimately did happen to the air line.

Hopefully telling the Veterans Air Express story at NJ Aviation Hall of Fame is the opening to a salvo!

A slide features Saunie Gravely as a young man, Lydia and Saunie on their wedding day, Saunie in the cockpit of his Gullwing Stinson Reliant, Gaye Lyn (age 6) with her Daddy, and Gaye Lyn and Saunie the day she took him flying.

A childhood story Saunie told Gaye Lyn prompted her research. This slide from the Hall of Fame presentation shows Saunie, Lydia, Gaye Lyn, a Gullwing Stinson Reliant (Saunie’s first aircraft), and the Cherokee 140 Gaye Lyn piloted when she first took Saunie flying.

I hope that the November 2017 presentation is only the first of many chances to share my research results as they progress.  I intend to continue my research into an unknown future.  My determination comes, in part, from the questions asked by my Museum audience afterward.  They actually wanted more – which was music to my ears.

Actually, before my talk, I was a little afraid to go into too much detail.  It seemed in the beginning to be Dad’s story that slowly grew into the story of the men and women involved in the air line.

I thought the Veterans Air families were my greatest audience.  I found out last night that my assumption may be false.

An aviation researcher.”  Really????

First, in his introduction, Shea Oakley, Executive Director of the Museum, called me “an aviation researcher.”  I was startled.  I certainly had not looked at myself as such.  Given Shea’s background, I was, and remain, complimented by the moniker.

Photos of aircraft crews and mechanics and newspaper headlines presented in the Veterans Air Express story at NJ Aviation Hall of Fame last November.

From Saunie Gravely’s dream, the story of Veterans Air grew into the dreams of each of of the Vets who joined him and “made it happen.”

I also had not looked at my project as Shea next described it. “…going after her father’s legacy.” Only when several Veterans Air families thanked me for helping preserve their dads’ legacies had that occurred to me.

My biggest surprise was yet to come in what Shea tells our audience next

“…Gaye Lyn promotes a part of aviation history that, until she really began to search it out, was neglected…which is extremely important to the history of commercial aviation in particular, and to Teterboro Airport.

Shea continues…

…Many don’t realized that after the Second World War many of the greatest generation, the pilots, came home and started airlines like Veterans Air…and that our airport (Teterboro) was one of the busiest air carrier airports…particularly for cargo East of the Mississippi…so we’re always glad when people are interested in that aspect of it…”

Dear Reader, please watch the YouTube to hear the rest of Shea Oakley’s introduction – and to see the Unfolding History of Veterans Air Express.  My best, Gaye Lyn.


 

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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!