Emilio Carranza Memorial Site
Wharton State Forest
Yummygal’s Top Places To See In The Philadelphia Area Before You Die.
The Emilio Carranza Site resides on the edge of the Pine Barrens. An incredible man crashed here in his plane. There’s also a great myth about the wreckage. And of course a little “Jersey” twist to his story.
Emilio Carranza was considered the Charles Lindbergh of Mexico. Captain Emilio at one point held the record in the world for the longest non-stop flight. Traveling from San Diego to Mexico City.
He was also only 22 years old when he beat Charles Lindbergh’s record.
His family was very well-to-do with distant relations to the President of Mexico. His uncle was the General of Mexico and father was an accountant with the consulate.
Carranza quicky earned the right to join an aviation school. He was a smart boy who enjoyed hanging out around a local airport. He graduated with honors. He eventually joined the Mexican Revolution. Carranza quickly became Captain in the Air Force. He beefed up some of the old dilapidated planes and customized them to become stronger and faster. This is when Carranza began his world record flights.
He became so popular that he befriended Lindbergh. Lindbergh even sponsored Carranza for one of his show-stopping flights.
While on one of his adventurous journeys, he was stuck in NYC due to severe weather. He received a telegram from his father to immediately return home. The stubborn Carranza left. However, he never made it to his destination. He crashed in the Pine Barrens.
His body was found behind a general store.
The myth is that around the crash site, hoof prints (Jersey Devil?) were found all around the area. Some have even said it looked as if a body was dragged from the site. This is the urban legend of the Jersey Devil involved in Carranza’s death. The fact is he was either injured and was able to get to the General Store or someone or something got him there.
The monument was donated by the children of Mexico. They saved their pennies to create this obelisk-looking statue. Each side representing a symbol of Carranza and his love of aviation.
Every year, Mexican diplomats and the local rotary club come together to commemorate this brave man.
Carrenza was married a few months before this flight and his wife became pregnant. She gave birth to a son, Emilio, JR. However, very sad. His son died at the age of 6 due to appendicitis.
It’s a very unique site to see here in South Jersey to commemorate this man.
Please check out this incredible link from a fellow South Jersey native. He has unearthed an incredible treasure with pictures on the construction of the Carranza Memorial.