Filling In The Blanks
The Search for Clarification on Charlie’s Exciting Past
Throughout Iliff Preschool, Kindergarten and School-Age Summer Camp’s 36-year history, many have researched extensively to uncover Charlie’s history in its entirety – beyond the fragmented bits and pieces that was already known. Who were her pilots? What were her routes? Any noteworthy destinations? Did she haul any famous or important passengers?
To our dismay, we uncovered no flight log. We had no special stories to share about her journeys. Until…
In September of 2006, Paul Filmer, an aviation historian and photographer originally from England currently residing in Denver, surfaced with the answers we’ve been searching for. He heard from a friend, John Mulvey, airplane collector and restorer, that we owned a DC-7. Filmer quickly scheduled a visit that proved to be extremely fascinating, as he determined that Charlie had two names barely visible on the aluminum under her cockpit windows.
Filmer placed Charlie’s information on an Internet aircraft message board and received a reply from Doug Jackson in Wichita, Kansas. To our amazement, Doug remembered the identification numbers of the plane that his father, Bob Jackson, flew while with Dooley Land Sales Company. What’s more, Filmer set up a four-way conversation with Captain Frank Lang and Flight Engineer Bob Jackson. The exciting, reminiscent, 90-minute discussion covered Lang and Jackson’s flight experiences before, during and after the 1960’s era when they worked together for Dooley Land Sales. Slowly, the timeline of Charlie’s travels that had so frustratingly remained blank was starting to emerge into a tangible, workable form. We had our answers!
We were fortunate to finally prove that Charlie was certainly remarkable. We learned that she proudly carried Ronald Reagan during his bid for California governor. She transported the Los Angeles Lakers’ summer exhibition season. She also carried The Oakland Raiders to Super Bowl II, and finally, she made multiple trips transporting Native American fire fighters to National forest fires. Extraordinary? We think so!
We consider Filmer’s arrival a pivotal turning point in our investigation of Charlie’s past, and we were so grateful to have finally “landed” successfully on the missing information pertaining to our precious airplane.