PBY CATALINA ASSOCIATION
FIRST ANNIVERSARY EDITION 1989
* JULY 1989 *
|The PBY Catalina International Association's News Letter
RECAPITULATION: A little over a year ago Jim Thompson, while reminiscing over his World War II experiences, focused on the PBY and those comrades he had maintained communication with. The reminiscing ceased and an entertaining thought came to him! Wouldn't it be nice if some of the old PBY veterans could get together for a reunion of some sort! After contacting those he still had addresses for, enthusiasm generated through the 'grapevine' system. One thing led to another until it was discovered several events were coming together at Jacksonville, Florida early in April 1988. Since the Naval Air Station Jacksonville had been primarily established as a training facility to include operational training for PBYs, and the association of Naval Aviators was holding its annual meeting there, it became perfectly fitting for the reunion to be scheduled there for the 6th through the 10th of April. The result was that PBY veterans came from all over the world and this reunion became an association that has strengthened and grown both in numbers and camaraderie. THANK YOU, Jim Thompson!
COMMEMORATIVE OCCASION DEVICE: Following this first reunion of PBY veterans, increasing desire has been expressed for something special to be devised for the occasion of that reunion. It would be an heirloom keepsake as well as being a call to camaraderie as the device would be worn on clothing. A replica of a PBY seemed quite appropriate. Realizing the cost of sterling silver was prohibitive, an alloy known as 'Queen's Metal' pewter was located. It is of a quality suitable for an heirloom item and is crafted by the Hampshire Pewter Company of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire exclusively under commission to Jim Morrison for the association. This replica PBY device in the form of a pin suitable for lapel/tie-tac etc. use is still available from Jim Morrison for $15.00.
ROSTER: The initiation of the roster was also something that Jim Thompson promulgated on his own prior to the first reunion in Jacksonville in 1988. This has been a terrific medium to let every prospective member know who is on the list. It also aligns the member to the PBY organization he had been with and his current address. There have been untold surprises, i.e. an old crewmate is alive and well despite previous rumors and even some authorized reports of M.I.A., etc. As a consequence, the post office and phone companies have had a boost in business! A new element has been added to the roster, thanks to the thoughtfulness and effort put forth by Bob Dunbar. Bob lists the PBY organizations, then applies the appropriate names to the organizations. Bob properly entitles this segment "Squadron Rosters".
TAPS: Several of our members joined the "Staff-of-the-Supreme Commander" since the formation of our PBY association. Walter Shinn, Johnny Todd, C.L. Haverly, Henry E. Robinson, and H.C. Sparks all passed away soon after our first reunion. Johnny, by the way, was the person who spoke up during our first business meeting in Jax to suggest that we be identified as an International Association and devote our energies to 'Camaraderie' throughout the entire PBY Catalina community of the world, excluding no individual or country. On a personal note, this writer had known Johnny since the day we both picked up a "PLANK" as we were among the first few to form PATROL SQUADRON 91 in October 1941. He is among those that I consider one of the most professional and decent people to have ever known.