Update on the Exhibit, Memorial and Book

Posted by Rebekah
Apr 05 2010

You know, you may wonder why, when the title of this blog is “USS Flier Project” I often seem to stray from the topic of the USS Flier and her story.  The answer is somewhat simple and complicated

Submarines are a fascinating lot to study, but as any submariner will tell you, submarine duty is long stretches of monotonous tedium punctuated periodically with times of sheer terror.  Take right now for example.  Redfin is on patrol, Robalo is in training for patrol, and Flier is still being finished and welcoming aboard her new crew.  That’s following three submarines, and nothing really exciting between them!

So to fill the quiet space, I wanted to tell stories of some of the other fabulous boats in history.

The other reason is the Flier Project has three components:  1.) The Exhibit 2.) The Memorial 3.) The Book

The Exhibit (and for more information, please see the “Exhibit” page), is proposed, and the museum I’m working for, Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum or GLNMM  (glnmm.org)  is looking for sponsors and grants to fund its creation.  The goal is to have it up by the memorial service this summer, but that’s something that will depend on the funds.  If you are interested in assisting this exhibit, please contact GLNMM’s director, Bryan Hughes at bhughes@glnmm.org.  Since GLNMM is a non-profit educational museum, all donations are tax deductible.

The Memorial has only been just announced.  The main thing that’s going on there is the Flier researchers, working with Charles Hinman of the USS Bowfin, are trying to track down the families of the Fliers.  Thus far, they’ve been able to find73 of the 79 families (including James Cahl who died after being swept overboard at Midway)  There are six families that we’re still trying to find.  If these names sound familiar, or you know where these families can be located, please contact Charles Hinman at info@ussflier.com

Harry Godfrey Ericson of Brooklyn NY

Melvin George Mitchell of San Francisco, CA

Kenneth Leroy Gwinn of New Castle IN

Sol Kantor of Brooklyn NY

Philip Stanley Mayer of Beverly Hills, CA

Charles William Parker of Philadelphia PA

To see the entire crew, click here

The Navy will be arranging for a speaker at the ceremony, and we are beginning to arrange the various ceremonies for the weekend: one will be private for the families only.  One will be open to the public, there may be others.  As details about this, and hotel arrangements, and more become solidified, I will announce it.  But for now, the Memorial is stalled in this position, as it has been for a few weeks now.

And finally the book.  It is written, and I am in the middle of editing and polishing it.  No one wants to hear me whine about that!  I will be posting excerpts from time to time, as well as illustrations and such as I finish them.  In fact, I have to re-post Chapter 1, since I’ve changed portions of it thanks to some information sent to me by various families of Fliers.  One of the nice things about self-publishing is I have a shorter time between finished manuscript and publication (like 6-8 weeks) than most larger publishers (8-12 months!).

So while all three pieces of the Flier Project are active, they’re all kind of stuck in a long-term step for the moment.  As August gets closer, I’ll be able to update about them more and more often.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the other content and stories!  Stories like the search for the Alligator in the Shipwreck Graveyard off the coast of Virginia, how a Japanese submarine was sunk with American Potatoes, which submarine killed three complete crews of her own, (totaling 21 people) and killed only five of the enemy yet earned a well-deserved place in history (and not as a bad-luck charm), which submarine was found nearly 5,000 miles from where she was supposed to have sunk.

In the end, that’s what history is about: the people, the stories, the way they survived usual and unusual circumstances.  Makes you wonder what people in one hundred years will say about us.

Trackback URL for this entry