Department of Environmental Protection

New Jersey State Park Service

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Carranza Memorial Historic Site Overview

Often compared to Charles Lindbergh, this Mexican aviator was honored by American dignitaries in the summer of 1928.

Mexican aviator Captain Emilio Carranza Rodríguez was selected to undertake a goodwill flight from Mexico City to New York City in response to the 1927 flight from New York City to Mexico City undertaken by American aviator Charles Lindbergh. He became an international hero when he accomplished this in June of 1928 to great acclaim. Tragically, while flying back to Mexico in July 1928 Carranza's plane got caught in a thunderstorm over the New Jersey Pinelands and crashed. He did not survive. A 12’ monument located in Wharton State Forest marks the site of his crash.

Tensions had grown between Mexico and the United States in the 1910s and 1920s due to war and business conflicts. Charles Lindbergh had made a goodwill flight from New York City to Mexico City in late 1927 and during a stop on the way had met the young Mexican aviator who idolized him. Captain Emilio Carranza Rodríguez, who was in his early twenties, wished to return the successful diplomatic gesture, which he did with wide public support. He began his American visit by landing in Washington, D.C. on June 12 where he was congratulated by President Calvin Coolidge. He then flew to New York City and was honored by the city’s mayor. Carranza departed New York on July 12. Shortly after taking off, he encountered thunderstorms while flying over the New Jersey Pinelands. His plane, named the Excelsior, came apart and he crashed into the woods. His body was recovered the next day.

The monument, installed with funds donated by Mexican schoolchildren, depicts a falling eagle of Aztec design. Every July on the Saturday nearest the anniversary of his crash (second Saturday in July) at 1:00 p.m., he is honored at the monument site by members of the American Legion Mount Holly Post 11 and an entourage from the Mexican consulates in New York City and Philadelphia.

Facilities for People with Disabilities
We encourage people with disabilities who require special considerations to contact the historic site / park at the phone number listed in the general information on the home page of the historic site / park. The staff will assist with arrangements. Text telephone (TT) users, please call the NJ Relay Services at (800) 852-7899.

For the Comfort and Enjoyment of All
This historic site / park is part of the NJ State Park system and your cooperation with the following will help ensure the survival of the museum collections, historic structures & features and surrounding property for the enjoyment and education of future generations!

  • Keep your historic site / park and surrounding property clean and green! Protect this site by taking your trash with you. Whatever you carry into the site, plan on carrying it out too. Bring a bag or two for trash, recycling and cleaning up after your pet. There are no trash receptacles at this site. Thank you!
  • No Smoking on NJ State Park Service Property. Pursuant to N.J.P.L.2005, c.383 (C.26:3D-56)
  • Alcoholic beverages are not permitted at state historic sites [ N.J.A.C. 7:2-2.6]
  • The collection or removal of any object from State Park property is prohibited without written permission from the Superintendent.
  • Use of metal detecting devices on or unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) on or over the property is not permitted without a special use permit (SUP) from the State historic site / park.
  • Commercial photography is not permitted on the property without a special use permit (SUP) from the historic site / park.
  • Interior photography, videotaping or audio taping are not permitted in the historic structure / visitor center / museum, except by prior written permission and for educational purposes only.
  • Non-commercial photography is permitted on the property (outside), but please help preserve the historic site / park and any surrounding property by not attaching anything to, climbing or sitting on historic structures and features or disturbing any plants, wild or cultivated. Photography may not interfere with other visitors to the historic site / park or impede site operations.
  • Food and beverages; pets/animals, except for service animals, are not permitted in the historic structure / visitor center / museum.
  • Please refrain from touching objects/furnishings in and building components of historic structures and museums, except where invited to do so by staff.

Please contact this historic site / park with specific inquiries about any of these restrictions, as there may be some variations at this specific historic site / park.

Related Links

Wharton State Forest


Phone Number

Carranza Rd, Tabernacle, NJ 08088

Mailing Address
Wharton State Forest, 31 Batsto Road, Hammonton, NJ 08037

Historic Site Hours

Grounds Hours Open daily sunrise to sunset

Historic Site Fees

Entrance Fee None

Other Related Fees
Map / Directions

GPS Coordinates
39.777789, -74.633068