Updated: Jul 3, 2019
Sketches of a Black Cat: Story of a night flying WWII pilot and artist
by Rae Richen
Ron Miner has done a great favor for readers interested in the Second World War or in flying.
His father, Howard Miner was an artist who joined the US Navy Air Corp.
Ron has given us his father’s collected journal accounts, photographs and drawings from his service in the Pacific theater of the war.
He kept the original straight-forward and fast-paced writing style, but interjected information that was missing with the same storytelling and immediate feel.
The second edition includes much more information from the other fliers who knew his father and flew the same and similar missions. We can imagine that the interviews were cathartic for both interviewer and interviewee...
Howard and his pilot buddies were members of VP-54, the Black Cat squadron of PBY amphibious aircraft. Their planes, painted black, flew at night without lights to scout enemy positions, rescue downed pilots and communicated Japanese fleet and air strip positions to US fighters and bombers.
Ron and Howard Miner’s history includes flight training, descriptions of the different airplanes used, learning about the Pacific island world, and harrowing accounts of battles and rescues aided by the Pacific Islanders.
The drawings and photographs add wonderful immediacy to the story of this harrowing experience.
A fine read. A treasure to historians. A must for libraries and universities as well as the home reader.
My review on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/9849125-rae-richen