PBY Catalina International Association
1994 Volume 6, Number 1 (p.07)

I've made minor corrections. Click here to see the original Search

couver in Spring 1943...Ron Anstey was later commissioned as a Pilot Officer in RAF then served under Ken EMMOTT at Oban in 1944. This Ken Emmott flew the last airworthy Sunder- land in the UK to USA to join Kermit WEEK's collection in Florida.)
(ED: Mike HUGHES exemplifies that younger generations of Catalina enthusiasts are perpetuating the spirit of caring & sharing a sincere concern for this grand flying-boat and the veterans associated with it!...See included photo of Holley Hughes posing with evident remains of RAF Catalina she discovered on Vatersay during a cooling winter morning of December 1993. She must have contributed to the cheeriness of Mrs. Fred Bassett.)

8.--Brett FREEMAN (Researcher for "Lake Boga At War"; project concerning highly classified flying-boat repair facility in Australia 1942-47): I write to thank you for the newsletter coverage in my behalf. Please report that Paul STEVENS (VP-21/101) wrote me and identified those in picture of VOL.5, No.2 newsltr, pg.19. They are L to R; Wm.HARTMAN, Milton CHEVERTON, (?) MAYCHEK, Howard C. RANNEY, the 5th person remains unidentified. Some info suggests Ranney drowned in late 1943, would like specifics if known. Also I would like the current addresses of these men. Paul Stevens also informed me that Tom POLLOCK (VP-102, PATWING-10) confirmed names of those above. (PS: Would enjoy contact with U.S.Army Air Corp/Air Force PBY/OA-10A folks.) Thank you all for your generous support. s/Brett Freeman, P.O.Box 170 SWAN HILL 3585, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA (FAX: 050/32-9502)

9.--Patricia MITCHELL, wife of Donald E. MITCHELL (VP-102, PATWING-10): Please put DON on in-active list. Don has been in nursing home here in Idaho for the last 6 months. Now there is a problem with U.S.Veterans' Affairs (VA) as they bill our insurance for costs. These costs are in conflict with veteran's benefits, confusing and double Don's anxieties. Don had contracted poliomyelitis for which he was released from service and subsequently been compounded with congestive heart failure and chronic lung disease. He cannot walk and is confused a lot of times. So sad! He loves you guys. I'm glad he was able to get to some reunions. Thanks/Pat Mitchell
(ED: 1.--Sc'ty/Tr'sr, Jim THOMPSON will keep Don on active list...2.--Editor, Jim Morrison knows something of Don's background that was told in an earlier edition of this newsletter to the effect: Don was in hospital at Manila, P.I. with a most probable acute anterior poliomyelitis at the time that Japanese enemy forces invasion was imminent. At last moment possible, his attendant nurse, Dorothy STEEL unable to obtain normal transportation for Don to the last ship departing Manila; physically pushed Don in his wheelchair to the docks just in time to get him to the departing ship. (Dorothy by the way was a Japanese "Prisoner of War" for the duration!) From all subsequent reports, had Dorothy not acted, Don in his state of disability would be an impediment to the occupying forces with his most certain demise at that time taken place. Don was returned safely to the U.S.A. and following medical review on the West Coast he was sent to Warm Springs, Georgia where President F.D.ROOSEVELT received specialized care for his "polio". It was determined there that Don would be permanently afflicted and hence he was forwarded to Charlestown SC Naval Hospital for appropriate medical release from active service. Don's own determination to not be a burden on his family or society in general, perservered to first rid himself of wheel chair lifestyle, then crutches to some extent, but relied with more dignity to use of a cane. 'Pity' is not in Don's vocabulary, but the raising of prize horses as well as his daughters to pursue excellence in the equestrian community of rewarding competition, belies the character of Don...Many of you had served with Don flying with PatWing-

TEN PBY-4s & 5s in the Philippines; some of us have met him at reunions. In fact Don enjoyed a highlight a couple of years ago by having New Zealanders, Jack BARTLETT (NZAF #6 Sqd) and Walter "BILL" LEADLEY (NZAF #6 Sqd) at his home in Weiser, Idaho...From a phone conversation I had with Pat recently, Don does need caring & sharing from the Catalina community to avert the mundane. Contact Don through Pat at: [omitted for privacy]...AND NOW for the rest of the story concerning U.S.Navy Nurse, Dorothy Steel. Don had always wanted to thank Dorothy for really saving his life back in December 1941. He had tried through channels over the years to no avail. According to Don, since he became a member of PBY CIA, the grapevine system prevailed; Dorothy Steel of Monroe, Louisiana obtained Don's address/phone number and called Don. They have subsequently had their "nurse-patient" reunion also, ahem! and with Patricia./s-ijm)

10.--Donna FREDERICK (Spouse of late Charles FREDERICK, VP-14): How thoughtful of you to include us in your future plan for "1995 Reunion".--I like to think Charles is "UP THERE" doing what he loved...talking about his career and flying his beloved "PBY"!...I want to thank you all of the "Association" for your expressions of sympathy. Charles was so proud to be a member of "PBY CIA," looking forward to visiting with his "Crew-Mates"!...I hope I'll still hear from you via the "Newsletter, etc." PS: After the decease of a "Shipmate", is the spouse allowed to attend the "Reunions"? Keep Well; Donna. (ADDRESS: [omitted for privacy])...(Sc'ty: Charles & Donna have attended most reunions. When there is such expressed interest as shown in Donna's letter, by all means the membership roll is maintained and all reunions are most certainly welcomed!)

11.--Roy F. BALARIN (VP-23): Please be informed! A meeting was called at Santa Rosa by the so-called: Foundation...Three men who seemed to be running the operation and myself were the only ones that showed up!...I was not impressed with their operation...I would suggest a thorough investigation into any offer from there!...They are trying to get something going but as of now have nothing as far as I could see...s/Roy Balarin, American Valley, California. (ED: In respect Roy's right to expression, he has been quoted verbatim! Although Roy simply uses the identity, "Foundation", it suggests the complete identity, "PBY CATALINA FOUNDATION" especially since Roy lives in proximity of Santa Rosa where this foundation is located...The "PBY CIA Newsletter" will honor a response from the "Foundation" or any other inputs relative to Roy's observation.

12.--Art WEEKS (VP-84/VPB-63): Here's a check--I think it's a great chance to keep associated with a 'class organization'... s/Art Weeks...(Art WEEKS sent check of $150 for "Life Membership"! "PBY CIA", could say this is one more contributor toward appreciative gesture toward maintaining "Catalina" perpetuity. So in behalf of the Catalina community, the editor simply states, "Thank you Art Weeks!"

13.--Willis GRIZZELL (VP-43 & 72): Have been neglectful in keeping dues current, enclosed is a contribution. I enjoy the newsletter immensely and am amazed at up-beat interest and enthusiasm--shown from all corners of the globe. The old "P-Boat" will always be close to my heart, having taken me through many "williwaws" of the Aleutians with VP-43 as well as the tempestuous storms in the Central Pacific with VP-72...Keep up the good work--s/Willie Grezzell...(Sc'ty, Jim Thompson & Editor, Jim Morrison consider such lauds as our "Pay in Full"! But really the total satisfaction derived is to see our Catalina comaraderie not only being maintained, it is reinforced and growing into newer generations as well!)