shows T5 Beyke as passenger #15 of 18 total. Two
additional passengers were added at the refueling stop in
The flight must have been largely cargo as the aircraft could seat
up to 86 passengers.
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
Relegated To Civil Airlines
The C-54 [serial
number 41-37310] that Beyke flew home on was just 9 months old at
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
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),
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.