Beside being the home of Lake Agape, did you know that Tabernacle Township’s claim to fame is that nearly 81 years ago the “Charles Limburgh of Mexico” died here in a plane crash?

His name was Emilio Carranza and at age 22 he wasn’t that much older than many of the permanent staff members we have working at camp in the summer when he set off on a goodwill flight from New York City to Mexico.

There was no Lake Agape on July 13, 1928 – Delanco Camp was still in Delanco – but Mr. Carranza likely flew over our property before crashing in the woods about 4.5 miles away.

A memorial funded by Mexican school children was erected on the site that in pictures doesn’t look that different than our soccer field. Every July since the crash, folks have gathered at the memorial to pay tribute to the aviation hero.

The spirit of the annual gathering and the story of Carranza’s heroism is captured in a recent 30-minute documentary called Flying With Emilio.

You can watch the trailer at www.flyingwithemilio.com and if you live in the area and are so inclined can catch a noon screening of the film at the Mount Holly Library on May 30 and another showing at the Tabernacle Township Municipal Building at 7 p.m. on June 11.

Since I can’t make either screening, I think I’ll be hard at work brainstorming ideas for a hypothetical Captain Carranza night game.

2 thoughts on “Flying With Emilio

  1. Faith, Ella, and I actually visited the memorial yesterday. The memorial is located along the Batona trail. The trail is about 50 miles long. We walked about 4 miles (and 4 miles back) on the trail to Apple Pie Hill, which is the highest peak in South Jersey, and the only place where you can see the skylines of Philadelphia and Atlantic City at the same time. You can reach the hill by car if you are not inclined to walk, but it was a nice day hike for us and a great place for Ella’s first hike.

  2. Nice to read this article, im studying history of Mexico by my own and its nice to see this kind of details in other citys where our mexican heroes are good remembered, im gonna travel to U.S(i live on Monterrey City, and exactly in the street called Capitan Aviador Emilio Carranza in the center of the city), dont know if gonna go to NJ, but would be nice if i have the opportunity.

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