Son-in-law Brian Tyhuis shot this video while I captured “stills” of the September 18, 2009 return of a PBY Catalina aircraft to Oak Harbor. The U.S. Navy flew such patrol aircraft out of NAS Whidbey in Oak Harbor during World War II. According to James Vannice (USN, retired), the amphibious aircraft played a critical role in the South Pacific and in turning the tide in the Battle of Midway. In a 2006 article Vannice said PBY crews “flew endless missions to the Aleutians, hunting for enemy ships and submarines.” Like many PBY’s, this aircraft was converted to use as a fire suppression plane. The crew flew in and out of the Seaplane Base near downtown Oak Harbor.
A fourth generation Skagit County native who was moved kicking and screaming from this island community in 1960. I finally reclaimed an Anacortes address in 1980, and I have been in constant celebration of my return since that time. Many of us who call Anacortes home love Fidalgo Island for its natural assets: among them are rugged beaches, pristine lakes, thousands of acres of forestland and some awesome views of the Skagit Valley and surrounding islands. Another element of my love affair with this community is its people, both natives and immigrants. They will “star” in many of my journal entries.
Photos are available for use as prints and online use. Please contact me for pricing.
$12 for 5 X 7 inch archival print, mailing included.