THE MAN WHO CAME BACK FOR A BRIDE
Page 3 of manifest for American Export Airlines Flight 14-18
(aircraft NC99903) which departed Bedford, Massachusetts on December 18,
1945 bound for Hern, England.
The airfield at Hern was then more properly labeled as
RAF Hern was located 3.5 NM (6.5 km; 4.0 mi) north-northeast of
Bournemouth, in southern England. It underwent relabeling over the
years as Bournemouth Airport and Bournemouth International Airport.
It is used today by a variety of carriers serving eastern Europe, Spain
and North Africa.
American Export Airlines became
Airways and later was acquired by Pan American Airlines
built as a C-54E for the USAAF (#44-9110). Bought by AOA in 1945 and
named "Flagship Oslo". Seen being loaded at Stockholm - Bromma. Sold to
Olympic as SX-DAC in September 1950 it was later flown by National Greek
Airlines as well as Olympic Airways
Veteran Travels To England For Consent To Wed
Nottingham, England, Dec 20 (AP) --- Major objectives
fell quickly today to Dominick Casciari, 22-year-old former paratrooper
from New Canaan, Conn., whose first postwar mission was to fly to
England from the states with "purpose matrimony" on his passport.
Soon after landing Dominick won the consent of Ferdinand Blankly, a
public works employee, to marry Blankley's pretty, dark-haired daughter,
Rita, 17. And Rita was wearing the diamond engagement ring that
Dominick brought with him.
"Come all that way, I can't very well send him away empty-handed,
can I?" said Blankley, who had told the paratrooper to "come and see me
after the war" when Dominick asked for Rita's hand in 1944.
Rita's mother, Florence Blankley, cooked "Dom's favorite fruit ---
onions ---- for lunch.
The wedding was set for "some time after Christmas" in a Catholic
Flies Across Ocean
To Claim Girl, 18, as Bride
By United Press
NOTTINGHAM, England, Dec. 20. --- Papa Blankley will say "yes" this
time when Dominick Casciari, 22, former U.S. paratrooper, asks to marry
his pretty brunette daughter, Rita Blankley.
Casciari proposed to Rita two years ago while he was convalescing
at a hospital in Nottingham. Her father told him that Rita, then
only 16, was too young and said come back after the war."
"I never thought he would be back," Blankley said today when
informed that Casciari, recently discharged from the army, was en route
by plane from his home in New Canaan, Conn. to claim his bride.
"He used to call at our house often and I thought he was a very
fine type of man. Sure I'll say 'yes' if they still love each
Rita settled that point quickly. I certainly do still love
him," she said.
He was sent back to the United States and discharged last month.
Yank Weds Girl He Left Behind; Bride Is Composed
Nottingham, England --- (AP) --- Dominick
Casciari, 22, former parachute trooper who made a private air borne
invasion of Nottingham last month to keep his promise "to come back
after the war," Saturday married Miss Rita Blankley. She is the
girl he left behind.
The veteran from New Canaan, Conn., shook noticeably in the
ceremony at the altar in the Catholic chapel of Nottingham. He
admitted he was "very nervous."
Her father, who refused to consent to he wedding when
Casciari was stationed in England, grinned and said: "Come on.
let's get cracking and get this over with."
Casciari flew here from the United states a month after his
discharge from the Army, bearing a wedding ring and two air line tickets
The couple will spend a few days in London and will leave for the
United States as soon as Rita can get her passport.
The bride, who describes herself as "almost 18", and that in
addition to her clothing and wedding present including "a lot of
Nottingham lace," she would take wither her as a remembrance of home two
small porcelain dogs "I've had since I was a child."
Answers GI Brides
Rita has had dozens of letters, she says, from GI
brides and soldiers both in England and the United States asking how
they can get together as Rita and "Dom" did.
"I answered them all out of courtesy, but I couldn't tell them
anything," she said. "Dom just came, that's all."
The little chapel was packed with spectators and several hundred
others stood outside its doors and circled the bride's home to glimpse
her and the "Connecticut Yankee" bridegroom.
Who Came Back
Dominic Casciari of New Canaan, Conn., former U.S. Paratrooper, who
promised to "come back after the war," to Nottingham, England, to marry
Rita Blankley, leaves Our Lady of Perpetual Succor church in Nottingham
with his bride. Picture received in New York by radio from London.
NC-90906 carried the newlyweds home departing Hern on February 1,
1946 and arriving in New Bedford the following day.
Dominick probably never realized, nor cared, that he made the
return flight in the sister ship, to the one that had carried him to
The Douglas Model DC-4 was delivered to the USAAF on April 4, 1945
as a C-54E-5-DO Skymaster, #44-9084. Declared surplus, it was
transferred to the Reconstruction Finance Corp in 1945 and sold to AOA
(American Overseas Airlines) of New York, New York, registered NC90906
and named Flagship 'City of Copenhagen' and later 'City of Chicago'. AOA
was purchased by Pan American World Airways on September 25, 1950, was
painted in Pan Am livery and renamed 'Clipper Dusseldorf', later
'Clipper Munich', 'Clipper Golden Gate', 'Clipper Mermaid' and once
again 'Clipper Dusseldorf'.
In 1951, it was leased to APA (Aerobics Panama Airways) of Panama
until October while registered HP-297 when it returned to Pan Am as
N90906. It was withdrawn from service and placed in storage in Miami,
Florida until sold to the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands to
provide transportation services within Micronesia. It was withdrawn from
service and stored in 1966, was de-registered from FAA records on August
23, 1968 and subsequently scrapped.