En Espanol

The Story of
Captain Emilio Carranza Rodriguez

as told by Ismael Carranza
Second Cousin of Captain Emilio Carranza Rodriguez
2001 All rights reserved.

The Commander of American Legion Post 11 of Mount Holly, N.J. mobilized its members to cut their way through the underbrush and recover the body of the gallant Captain Emilio Carranza. Once the body was recovered in Chatsworth, N.J. arrangements were then made to move it to Mount Holly.

Post 11 used its own U.S. Flag to cover the hero's body, while members of American Legion Post 11 stood honor guard until the US Military and Government Officials arranged to take possession of the hero's body in order to return it to his mother country.

Captain Emilio Carranza's remains were taken to New York City where thousands of people paid their respect to the fallen hero. President Coolidge offered the use of the destroyer "USS Florida" to transport the body of Emilio to the port of Veracruz, Mexico.

The offer was denied by the Mexican government and chose to transport it by train crossing the border trough Laredo, Texas. Several cities requested the train to reroute through their cities so their citizens could pay their respect to the fallen eagle. San Antonio, Texas has never seen a bigger or more impressive funeral procession.

My father, Mr. Artemio Carranza, being Emilio's first cousin, met and accompanied Emilio's body into Mexico City. The friendship and good will that was demonstrated by all of the American and Mexican people and their governments gave Captain Emilio Carranza the title of "Ambassador of Goodwill".

The most amazing act came when Post 11 vowed to maintain and keep the memory of Capt. Emilio Carranza alive by observing through a yearly Memorial Service at the crash Site on the anniversary of his death.

By doing this, the members of Post 11 have maintained and nurtured the friendship and goodwill between the two nations which was the hope and aim for which Emilio Carranza died.

Post 11's yearly Memorial Services at the site of the crash have made Captain Emilio Carranza a legend in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey.

U.S. Senator Saxton of New Jersey, in his speech of 1991, called him the first Goodwill Ambassador of NAFTA.

I was honored to speak at the 63rd Memorial Service on behalf of the Carranza family, and I was amazed to see what Post 11 of the American Legion has done and is doing every year to maintain and keep alive the spirit of goodwill for which my second cousin died. In my speech, I mentioned that Captain Emilio Carranza was my mentor, and because of him I also became an aviator.

Even though I was born seven years after his death, I became a pilot and served in the United States Air Force as a veteran of the Korean war. After my military tenure, I entered the airline industry where after thirty two years, I retired as a Captain of the largest airliner, the Boeing 747 jumbo jet for Continental Airlines.

Immediately after my speech at the 1991 Memorial Service, I was handed an application for membership into Post 11 of the American Legion at Mount Holly. Now, I am proud to say that I am a lifetime member of American Legion Post 11 of Mount Holly, New Jersey and a member of the Captain Emilio Carranza Memorial Committee.

It is important for me to mention that the short life of Captain Emilio Carranza, the Lindbergh of Mexico, has impacted the lives of thousands of aviation enthusiasts, as well as children not associated with aviation.

A good example is the life of Dr. Juan R. Tapia who at the age of five witnessed Captain Emilio Carranza crash land an airplane in Ajo, Arizona. He grew up wanting to be as brave as Captain Carranza and he became the most decorated U.S. Army Officer of Mexican descent, having been awarded three Bronze Star Medals for Heroism and Meritorious Achivement, and seven Purple Heart medals for wounds, in combat against the enemy.

2001 All rights reserved. All text and images contained in this web page are the property of American Legion Post 11 and The Carranza Family. NO part of this site can be used without written authorization.
Page by Post 11 Member Bob Barney
Story By Ismael Carranza
Page Content by Tod Jonson
Spanish Translation by Ektor Carranza & Dr. John R. Tapia