Reader comments generate new leads and information.

RE Post: About this site.
By Ken Skelton

Two survivors, Frank Ruffalo and Sam Vasquez, reunited at my home in Arizona today (May 11). Would you like a photo of them? [Editor’s Note: “Yes, certainly!”]

Vasquez and Ruffalo

Ditching survivors Samuel Vasquez of Phoenix, left, and Frank Ruffalo of Chicago, right,  do some “catching up” after 52 years on May 11 in Arizona.

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RE Post: Paul R. Stewart – Lifted off rescue ship at Antwerp, Belgium

My name is Erik Stewart. My father is Paul Stewart. [see post of May 27, 2014] My brother and I have told him about the site. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to get a hold of my father. [Editor’s Note: “We have gotten in contact. I’ve looked for him for nearly three years. Thanks for the info Erik.”]

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RE Post: Bonaventure: The invisible giant!
by Ken King Kincardine, Ontario Canada

I was a crew member of the Bonaventure at the time. I was a flight deck electrician on the Bonnie. I remember the situation quite well. I think the highlight was watching our two rescue helicopters, namely Pedro and Fallen Angel transferring survivors and deceased from the Celerina to the Bonnie The pilots had to align themselves between the masts of the Celerina and adjusting their machines to match the heaving seas which were quite rough at the time. Quite feat to say the least. After treating the injured survivors, we sailed for Shannon, Ireland and transferred the survivors and deceased to the Shannon airport for transfer back to the United States.

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RE Post: World Crises Build in September 1962
by Gregory James Smith

It’s eery to read about 1962 in the context of the new cold war, troubles with Russia, a plane down at sea, etc.

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RE Post: Robert Eldred: “The hand of God was at the controls of the plane.”
by Carol Hansen, surviving Stewardess

I remember Robert Elred and he is absolutely correct about Sam Nickolson. If it was not for Sam and God I would not be here today.

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RE post: Melvin Baney: Just trying to do the right thing…
by Dianne (Hauntsman) Sperre

Melvin was my uncle, my mother Shirley, was Marjorie’s sister. I was only 2 when this tragedy occurred, so obviously I don’t remember any of the details. My mother and aunt Marjorie were very close, so my family spent a lot of time with the Baney family. I commend Joan and Jim for being so open in their narrative. In reading this article I got my first view of my uncle Red. Wow, Jim and Gene really look like him.

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RE post: Richard M. Miskimen: Airman’s wife tells of tragic loss
by Mel Mushaney

Dick Miskimen was a very good friend of mine in So Georgia, he and went to New Philly for Xmas and I met his Mother, brother and sister, I still pictures of that trip. I send Xmas card to Dick’s Mother until one Dick’s sister told me she had died, if Dot or Karen read this hope they will contact me. Mel

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RE post: About this site.
by Gordon Williams

Hello Fred, I’ve just found your site; very good; at the time I was on HMCS Bonaventure. Here are a few notes from my diary. “Sept 17, 1962 HMCS Bonaventure leaves Halifax, Nova Scotia with destroyer escorts Athabasca, Cayuga, Micmac, Nooka, and Crescent enroute Rotterdam.
Sept 24 2154Z received report of Flying Tiger Constellation ditching 320 miles NW;
76 passengers, Bonnie heading there at full speed with Athabasca,
Sept 25 0330Z Swiss ship Celerina sights rafts, “many survivors”
0400Z Bonnie launched Tracker aircraft; MV Anadina rescued some;
1330Z planes search area, Bonnie has 12 bodies aboard, 3 from Celerina, and
9 from Anadina, also 3 injured survivors , rest are on Celerina
16 missing, 48 survived, 12 dead
Sept 27 at Shannon, Ireland; bodies flown ashore by helicopters;

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RE post: Richard M. Miskimen: Airman’s wife tells of tragic loss
by Patricia Leonard

How wonderful (and absolutely amazing) that Karen (former Mrs. Miskimen) found the website. Coincidence? I think not. The Lord works in mysterious ways. Perhaps Richard guided her to it. I like to think so, anyway.

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RE Post: Ditching of Flight 923 is an Atlantic ‘First’
by Henry Blake, Xenia, OH

I believe Karen nailed it. It’s amazing how anyone made it out alive from having to spend any time in such cold water. I filled a sink with water and added a few ice cubes to get the temp down to 40 degrees. My friend could only hold his hand in it for 5 minutes before pulling it out. I asked him if he thought he could swim in water that cold. He said, “Never”.

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RE post: Skip Davidson: I knew it was swim or die.
by Sgt. Joseph C Whittington

I was at Fort Benning in Skip Davidson’s class and we all did not get orders to Germany. I went to
Fort Campbell, KY 101st ABN. I watched the Connie’s take off from Fort Benning and was sad not to be going to Germany.

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About Fred Caruso

Survivor of the crash of Flying Tiger 923. at night, at sea, 500 miles off the west coast of Ireland, with 28 deaths and 48 survivors, September 23, 1962.
This entry was posted in flight crew, new combat troopers, passengers and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Reader comments generate new leads and information.

  1. Ellen Caruso says:

    Wow, what interesting comments and insight! It is fabulous how many people you have reached with your book and this web site. Keep up the good work gathering new information on Flying Tiger 923. I’m your biggest fan! Ellen Caruso (the behind the scenes loving wife)

  2. gkfields says:

    Is it possible that Carmen Figueroa thought she heard the man say “Toby” but he actually said “Bobby”? My uncle Bobby Dawkins survived the crash. He was a paratrooper. He hasn’t said much about the crash, but he did mention rescuing several people and I am just learning the details from reading on this post and various websites. He seems very sad that he was not able to save a buddy. He is the African American in the middle of the paratrooper photo and very back middle of the survivor photo. He lives in Atlanta now. I am going to call him tomorrow.

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