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RAYMOND E. BEYKE

Aircraft Manifest
shows T5 Beyke as passenger #15 of 18 total.  Two additional passengers were added at the refueling stop in Newfoundland.
   The flight must have been largely cargo as the aircraft could seat up to 86 passengers.

Crew List
has 5 civilian personnel and 3 military.

During that period Air Transport Command (ATC) typically used experienced civil airline pilots, radio operators, and other aircrew personnel to fly its aircraft.


Relegated To Civil Airlines

The C-54 [serial number 41-37310] that Beyke flew home on was just 9 months old at the time.
     After the war it was one of many aircraft deemed surplus and sold off to civilian airlines.  It changed hands at least seven times as the airlines either expanded, or perhaps folded. More than 2,700 airlines that started during 1945 and 1946, all with war-surplus aircraft, failed.
     Initially sold to an Argentina airline in 1946,  it was traded off to a Peruvian airline 4 years later.
     In 1951, U.S.-based Seaboard & Western Airlines became the next owner
     In 1954 the aircraft began a new life in the Middle East being flown by at least three different firms.

In October 1964 the aircraft was damaged beyond repair after overrunning the runway while landing at Damascus.  It is now on display next to a highway in Aleppo, Syria.


(courtesy of Joe Colby)

Grave marker for Raymond E. Beyke in the Veterans Garden of the Meadowbrook Memorial Gardens, Suffolk (Suffolk City independent county), Virginia.

Raymond enlisted in the Army on 6 July 1942 in at West Newton (Middlesex county), Massachusetts.

He was assigned to Hq Hq Company, 508th PIR at Camp Blanding, FL.

Tec/5 Beyke was hospitalized for an unknown illness or injury on 21 April 1944 in the 37th Gen Hospital, Lincolnshire, England.  Six weeks later he was transferred to the Parachute Replacement Regiment at Fort Benning, GA for treatment at the medical facility there.

On 21 June 1944 he was flown on a C-54, plane no. 137310, [i.e., 41-37310] of the Air Transport Command.  The flight went from Prestwick to Stephenville, Newfoundland where it refueled and took on two additional passengers.  The flight completed its last leg of the flight and landed at LaGuardia Airport in New York City.

It s not known how T/5 Beyke traveled to Fort Benning or how long he was hospitalized before being discharged.  He remained in the Army and served in Korea and Vietnam attaining the rank of Sergeant First Class. He died on 10 October 1971.

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