updated 2005 August 17 Home Page VS index

Alaska

Military History


VS-48 Dutch Harbor

VS-49, VS-56, and VS-70 were sent back to the states in December 1944. VS-48 relieved all three with detachments from Kodiak West.

With the help of my flight log book I can recount an incident that occurred at Kodiak on Jan 25,1945 as follows: I was a passenger in a PBY-5A under the command of Patrol Plane Commander (PPC) Charles J. Hellie inbound to Kodiak from Dutch Harbor (for whatever reason I don't know - probably a boondoggle of some kind). The weather was so bad and nearly everybody aboard was air sick. We made 4-5 unsuccessful attempts to find the runway. Through the skill of our PPC and a great radar operator we located Lake Chiniak and made an open water landing there - the PBY-5A was an amphibian, you know. We stayed there overnite and when the weather cleared the next day we took off for the airstrip. A HARROWING EXPERIENCE !!!!!!!!!!! which I shall always remember as one of the several brushes with the grim reaper that I have experienced.
Best regards, Frank Holmes

This photo was supplied by Frank Holmes, FHolmes101 (at) aol.com via Bill Alberts, liveoak (at) linkonline.net.

Left to right front row: Dave Bell, Ens Frank Holmes, Ens Chet Widman, Ens Leon Mathwick. Second row 2nd from left is ADD1 Dobbins, leading PO.


VS48 at VPNavy.org. Reunions, etc.