A brave young Mexican air force captain whose final solo flight ended in death 85 years ago still inspires veterans, and civilians, in South Jersey and beyond.
Emilio Carranza’s story has everything: An idealistic hero, a daring adventure, a tragic ending. It’s about a gutsy aviator of 22 piloting a tiny Ryan B1 named “Excelsior” into the stormy darkness of July 12, 1928. On that return leg of a goodwill round-trip from Mexico City to New York, “he had an altimeter, a compass, and a map,” unofficial Carranza historian Bob Barney says. “The rest was dead reckoning.”
Barney, 60, lives in Browns Mills, N.J., and is a member of American Legion Post 11. That Mount Holly group will host a memorial service at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Carranza monument in Chatsworth, Burlington County.
For the complete story by Kevin Riordan of The Philadelphia Inquirer, click here.