PBY Catalina International Association
1994 Volume 6, Number 1 (p.08)

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

14.--Ms. Dana HOLLAR-BLANCHARD (Daughter of late Phil S. HOLLAR, VP-31/32/33/34 & 54): It is with great sadness that I inform you of "PBY Catalina Association" that on 11 March 1994 PHIL S. HOLLAR passed away...The greatest joy of my father's life, from WW-II through his long career with TWA as a Flight Engineer/Pilot until his retirement. His love affair with the PBY never dwindled, although his professional career was centered around passenger aircraft, he always considered the Catalina his "baby" and the friends he made at the many functions, became part of his extended family...I would like to thank you all for the wonderful friendship and camaraderie he felt. Soon in behalf of his family, offer this thought: The next time you hear a prop-plane and you can't locate it, it may be my dad saying "Hi!"...Kindest Regards Ms. Dana Hollar-Blanchard, Mrs. Joyce A. HOLLAR (Phil's wife) and son, Phil L. HOLLAR. (Ed: Thank you Dana, so very much for sharing your intimate family concerns with Phil's "extended Catalina family"...Our Catalina Community is indeed a very special family! NOTE: For readers desiring to express personal communication with the Hollar family, address: [omitted for privacy].)

15.--Donald L. MAGNUM (VP-72): Lo! All Hands; Thanks for all the good news items etc. Enclosed is check for annual contribution. Note on back of this note is an interesting item about "Cat" people*...See you in St. Augustine, Florida! Take Care s/ Don & Bea Magnum, "PBY Dude"...PS: Saw U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington, DC, it's "Great"....(ED: Thank you Don to share your observation of AMVETS' Joe F. RAMSEY's most respectful identity of "Cat" people*. See scooped coverage from Andrew Serrell in "Mail Buoy Recovery" Item 2...)

16.--John B. "JB" BURNS (VP/VPB-71): To the Editor/"Houndawg"...(Re: PBY-5 discovery on Espiritu Santo of 14 Jan 94.)--Once you pick up a scent you run it to ground regardless of number of bramble bushes you have to go through and streams you have to swim. The newsletter (1994 SPECIAL) arrived Monday...So may be you are able to determine who was flying "51-P-7" on 19 Oct 1942 to pick up 6 survivors of Destroyer, "USS MEREDITH" (DD-434), dropped them off at the "USS CURRITUCK" (AV-7) then proceed to base. The VP-51 people that I talked to in Seattle were not in the squadron at that time. s/ "JB"...(ED: "JB" you may have me on that one, my inability to locate all of my reference material since moving from Gilmanton to Concord, New Hampshire is frustrating. But if my memory serves me right, Alan ROTHENBERG OF VP-51 made up as OinC of a ONE Plane Det. and of course "PPC" of that plane for about that period of time. Not being certain if his plane was "51-P-7", I would only offer 9 to 5 odds that Alan was pilot of that "Meredith" survivor pick-up PBY-5!--Now it is turn for the actual fact providers to act. In the meantime I recall my framed logo/slogan I kept behind me on the wall during my more daring management times; "Behold The Turtle, It Makes Headway With Its Neck Stuck Out"! /IJM).

17.--Warren D. WELLIVER (VP-81): Through the V.E.T.S. Reunions, I obtained the VP Catalina Assn. I am a retired who served in VP-81 at Key West Florida between May 1942 and January 1943. The squadron was then split in TWO with half, VP-81 went to the Pacific and the rest of us checked out in "Liberators" (B-24/PB4Y-1), VB-110. I have written to the Naval Aviation History Branch also for information that might be helpful in locating members of "VP-81" etc...I thought it possible that you may be a source of VP-81 members. Would appreciate any info or suggestions. s/Warren D. Welliver...Address: [omitted for privacy]

(ED: Both Sc'ty, Jim Thompson & I have responded to Warren's letter.)

18:--Carl W. SCHOENWEISS (VP/B-54): I enjoyed talking to you and hope I was of some assistance to you; re. discovery of PBY-5 on Espiritu Santo, 14 January 1994...By the way, "VP/B-54 Reunion" will conflict with dates of "PBY-CIA" reunion, so with mutual respect, any former "Cats" in vicinity of San Antonio Texas are welcome...s/ Carl (ED: See "REUNIONS" column for dates & details.)

19.--Don DEVERS (VPB-71): In rereading some of the old "PBY CIA Newsletters", one in particular, VOL. 2, NO. 4, I relived, with considerable nostalgia, of an article written by Bill Higgins, of visiting Bronson Field at Pensacola, Florida...I too had the same feelings as Bill expressed two years ago, living in a haze of remembrance of happenings at the PBY Training Sqdn., VN8D-8B and that same seaplane ramp...Bill ended his article with reference to the sad incident before Christmas 1943 in Perdido Bay, our practice area. I am enclosing a copy of the local (Pensacola) newspaper coverage that perhaps may provide details of interest to our readers...It was night flying ops-trng when the 1st PBY supposedly dug in its nose on landing. The 2nd PBY in an observing attempt, dug in a wing tip while circling and cartwheeled into the bay...I was a personal friend of Doug THOMPSON*, who was killed and of Jack ROWAN* only slightly injured, was awarded a commendation for repeatedly diving to rescue the injured and placing them on a floating wing section...Incidently, two others training at that time, Ensigns SARATH and NICHOLSON were later shot down and lost as their "Black Cat" was engaged by the enemy over Formosa in November 1944...The U.S. Navy now operates a very fine, picturesque "RV" park at the Bronson Field water-site with first-class amenities to include charter fishing etc....(ED: Thank you Don for the updating on Bill Higgins story, the inclusion of your retained newspaper clipping and the current "RV" park use of the old Bronson Field. The "Pensacola Journal" clipping is as follows: "Four Killed And Three Missing In Plane Crashes"...Four persons are dead and three are missing as the result of three crashes involving Pensacola Naval Air Training Center personnel. It was announced yesterday by the center's public relations office...Three fliers were killed and two are missing in the crash of a plane from Squadron 8-B of Bronson Field, five miles south of Bronson Field on Perdido Bay at 8:30 P.M. Wednesday...The dead are; Ensign Morton Van Cragg USNR, the pilot who is survived by his wife & mother of Kansas City, Kan. and Cadets Douglas A. Thompson* USNR, son of Mr. & Mrs. T.E. Thompson of Devils Lake, SD., and Charles Edward Sikora son of Mrs. T.M. Sikora, Sheridan Wyo. Missing are; Cadets Irving Spivak USNR son of Samual P. Spivak of Syracuse NY and Cadet Thomas G. Wolf USN, son of Mrs. Florence Rothering of St. Paul Minn....A search for the missing is being conducted. Bodies of Thompson & Sikora will be sent to their homes at 1:30 today with escorts...Cadet Richard D. Sanders Jr. son of R.D. Sanders Sr. of Portland Ore. & Mrs. A.D.H. Sanders of Salem Mass. is missing as the result of another plane from Squadron 8B of Bronson Field at 8:15 P.M. Wednesday on Perdido Bay near Tarklin bayou. It was on a routing training flight. Four other flyers, Ensign R. W. Higgins, Cadets J.E. Rowan*, L. Tomlin and Aviation Machinist Mate second class P.J. Carron were slightly hurt...(ED's NOTE: Significance to copy the above newspaper clip is to perhaps fulfill the many inquiries regarding this TWO PBY sequence of crashes!)

20.--David LEGG ("CATALINA SOCIETY's Editor, 'The Catalina News'): Received latest (PBY CIA) Newsletter which as usual packed with interest. With reference to your front