At barely 22 years of age, Captain Emilio Carranza Rodriguez had become an accomplished aviator. He held the record for the third longest non-stop solo flight which he established on May 24-25, 1928 by flying 1,875 miles in 18.5 hrs. from San Diego, California to Mexico City. At the time, the records for the first and second longest non-stop flights were held by Col. Charles Lindbergh for his earlier flights from New York to Paris, and from New York to Mexico City.
On the night of July 12th 1928, Captain Carranza was killed near Mt. Holly New Jersey while returning to Mexico after a successful goodwill flight from Mexico City to Washington DC in June of 1928. After a short flight, the fuel laden aircraft went down in a severe thunderstorm, prematurely ending the promising career of this great flier.
Captain Carranza was flying the 'Mexico-Excelsior' aircraft, a Ryan Brougham Monoplane type B-1 built in San Diego, California by the B. F. Mahoney Aircraft Corporation, and which was essentially identical to the famed 'Spirit of St. Louis'.
Captain Emilio Carranza was posthumously promoted to the rank of General and an aviation award was established in his honor, the Emilio Carranza Medal of Merit.