Consairway

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Consairway
Consairway logo.png
Parent company Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation
Employees 800 (1943)

Consairway (also Consairway Division or Consolidated Airway) was an American civilian wartime airline created in late-1941 as a subsidiary of the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation.[1][2] The airline worked under contract to the United States Air Corps Ferrying Command, primarily for supplying the South West Pacific theatre of World War II. Its very first flights, starting April 23, 1942, however, were Lend-Lease deliveries of American-built aircraft to Great Britain and the Netherlands.[1][2]

The airline performed hundreds of missions delivering munitions and personnel; and supporting USO activities from 1942 to 1945, including transporting passengers such as Bob Hope, Joe E. Brown and Eleanor Roosevelt.[1] Consairway originally operated out of San Diego but then moved to Fairfield-Suisun Army Air Base in 1943.[2] The airline operated land-based aircraft, as opposed to similar airlines operating flying boats, out of Hickam Field, Guam, Guadalcanal, Australia and New Guinea.[1]

During its peak in 1943, the airline had 800 employees and operated twice-weekly flights to the South West Pacific.[3] Consairway was reported to have flown more than 101 million ton-miles of cargo and 299 million passenger miles by its closing in 1945.[4]

The airline flew the LB-30 Liberator II, Consolidated C-87 Liberator Express and Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber, as well as a converted XB-24B that was used as a luxury airliner for the United States Army Air Forces.[5]

In 1992, the civilian employees who had worked overseas for Consairway between December 14, 1941 and August 14, 1945 received status and benefits as military veterans under the Veterans Benefits Administration.[1][2][6]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Kraul, Chris (November 2, 1992). "Intrepid Airmen Become Veterans, 47 Years After WWII : Aviation: Consairway employees, who ferried B-24s and PBYs overseas, realize long-sought goal in receiving the status". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Thompson, Ian (January 31, 2014). "Consairway provides non-military support in Pacific". Daily Republic. Fairfield, California. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  3. ^ Delaplane Conti, Kristin (February 5, 1995). "Air Base originally meant to house bombers". Historic Articles of Solano County Online Database. Vacaville Heritage Council. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  4. ^ Pescador, Katrina; Aldrich, Mark; San Diego Air and Space Museum (2008). Consolidated Aircraft Corporation. Arcadia Publishing. p. 73. ISBN 9781439620854.
  5. ^ Simons, Graham (August 19, 2012). Liberator: The Consolidated B-24. Castemate Publishers. p. 119. ISBN 9781783035915. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  6. ^ "Individuals and groups considered to have performed active military, naval, or air service" (MS Word). Veterans Benefits Administration. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
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