Holder of the ONA Super Wings Award for magnificent contributions to the ONA Crew Web New Kid on the Block by Captain Dave Case New Kid on the Block by Captain Dave Case New Kid on the Block by Captain Dave Case New Kid on the Block by Captain Dave Case New Kid on the Block by Captain Dave Case New Kid on the Block by Captain Dave Case


1776 Independence, 
ONA’s DC-8-30 based 
on the design by 
F/A Sharon Duker.
The painting is by Captain Ron Hart, 1975.





















By Dave Case


by Captain Dave Case
This short story is part of Volume II of Maverick Pilot,
a novel published by Dave Case. This edition offers a somewhat
modified story adapted by the author specifically for
the ONA crew!

Practically all my familiarization and training in the ’8 was 
on the Atlantic/Europe routes. Therefore, it followed that 
Crew Scheduling assigned me to the Vietnam Airlift to do Guam/
Honolulu turn-arounds for my first command trips in the big 
jets. While I hadn’t flown the run before, I loved the Pacific, 
and Honolulu. 

I deadheaded out on a flight from San Francisco to replace a 
captain that had timed-out. According to the schedule my copilot 
was E. J. Howe whom I knew from the ‘9s. The engineer, Kozlosky, 
and a Senior flight attendant named, White, that I’d never met 
before. The Company booked the crews into the Americana, a 
first-class hotel next to the Ala Moana Shopping Center, and a 
short walk to Waikiki. There were plenty of places the flight 
attendants could shop, and scads of good, inexpensive 
restaurants for dining. (Remember, Don Ho at Dukes, The 
International Market Place, Coco’s, The Waikiki Broiler, 
Tahitian Lanai, Jolly Roger, and a host of others.)
After checking in I headed for the pool where several of the 
captains I’d known on the ‘9, that had now upgraded to the ‘8, 
were doing their best to burn their pink/pale skin.
John Truman greeted me with, “Hey Dave, good to see you man – 
how do you like the ‘8?” 
“Love it; how’s the flying out here?”
“A piece of cake; we ferry non-stop to Guam, pick-up a load of 
slopes and haul them back here. Another crew flies them over to 
Fort Smith, Arkansas for resettlement.”
Slopes? You mean Vietnamese, don’t you?” Having worked in-country 
for several years and being married to a Chinese, I took 
exception to Truman’s racist remark.
It didn’t faze him; he continued right on, “They’re all slopes 
to me except for the gooks. The only problem is you’ll have to 
stop at Wake Island for fuel, ‘cause the 30-series can’t carry 
enough fuel with the cabin load.”
“Thanks for the info; who else is here?”
“Andrechyn, but I don’t think he’s coming down. He hung-out in 
the Sun too long on the layover in Guam and fried himself 
lobster-red. Be careful down there, you’re closer to the 
equator, the Sun is much more intense than here in Honolulu.”

I could tell the pool was the central meeting place, it was 
like being in high school; the females occupied one section, 
while the guys lounged around another. Unspoken rules and 
etiquette were closely followed; the men never ventured onto 
the ladies area without an invitation, of course they never 
intruded on us without permission. The pilots were very 
protective of the female crews; not letting any non-flight 
person come close to them, unless it was by prior approval of 
the lady. 
There was casual back-and-forth chatting: “Does that stuff work?” 
asked an older captain.
“Sure, you want to try some – it’ll keep you from burning,” 
replied a Senior. Juniors, never addressed senior captains.
“Smells funny, you sure it will work?”
“Try it.”
“Anybody want to go to Chuck’s for dinner? They’ve got a 
four-ninety-five special tonight that includes salad and a 
baked potato,” this from a copilot.
“You buying?” a stew asks.
“Coco’s serves saimen for two bucks a bowl.”
“What about the roach-coach down by the marina? They’ve got a 
killer plate lunch for a buck and a half.”

It was the easy camaraderie between the cockpit and the cabin 
crews that made the three-week assignment pass with a minimum 
of the loneliness associated with the freight operation.
 I asked John, “You got any suntan lotion, I forgot to buy 
“Naw, I don’t believe in that stuff – it makes you smell like a 
fucking faggot.” The thing about John was, he was an equal-
opportunity offender – he insulted everybody.
An attractive blonde on my left said, “I’ve got some, if you 
don’t mind the smell.”
“I don’t mind, it will wash off in the shower, and I’d rather 
smell than get sunburned.”
As she passed the tube to my outstretched hand, I introduced 
myself as, Dave. Her name was Marilyn, she was from New York 
with a great gift of gab. She reminded me of a female Bill 
Gregory; in a fun way we started exchanging one-line zingers. 
New Yorkers are famous for their ability to give-and-take 
repartee; being a born BSer, I could pretty much, hold my own 
in the game of one-upsmanship. After about an hour when she 
excused herself to go to the restroom, the stewardess next to 
her leaned over to me, saying in a low voice, “You know you’re 
really pissing her off.”
“No I didn’t; I thought we’re just having fun.”
“You’ve really made her angry, she is a Senior. She can make 
life miserable for you in the cockpit. I think you’d better 
“Gee, thanks,” I truly hadn’t realized I was really getting 
under her skin, I made it a point to change to less 
challenging conversation before excusing myself using the 
pretext of worrying about a sunburn.

The next day we-three cockpit crewmembers were in our seats 
waiting for the fuelers and caterers to finish doing their 
thing; ONA carried catering from Honolulu to Guam because 
it was less expensive and more available. The door from the 
cabin opened, and who should step in but, Marilyn, the stew 
I was verbally sparring with by the pool. A look of shock 
came across her face as she saw me sitting in the left seat. 
“You! What are you doing there?”
I smiled and answered, “I’m gonna drive the plane to Guam. 
Is your last name, White?”
“Yes, I’m the Senior. What are you doing in that seat; 
I thought you were a copilot?”
Wanting to have some fun with her, I responded with a deadpan 
look, “I answered an ad in a paper; ONA was advertising for 
captains and copilots; the captains earned more money, and got 
to give orders, so I decided I wanted to be a captain.” 

I thought I’d keep it light. I didn’t know how she was going 
to take it.
Howe probably saved my life by explaining, “Dave came up from 
the ‘9s – he was a captain there.”
 Taking a moment to give me the once-over, she responded, 
“Wow, you sure don’t look like a captain. Anyone want anything 
before we leave?”
Howe and Kos asked for a coke and I requested a glass of water, 
which she brought back on a tray. I made eye-contact with her 
as she handed me my water, “Marilyn, I want to apologize about 
yesterday; if I said anything that offended you, I’m truly 
sorry – I thought we were just playing around.” 
She smiled back, “And I thought you were a new copilot and I 
was going to bust your chops today.”
“Friends?” I said, turning to extend my hand.
“Friends,” she countered, shaking my hand.

We did become good friends. She was a terrific person to have 
onboard as crew; competent, professional, a nice, fun, lady to 
enjoy a dinner, or the poolside sun. (I was very happy for her 
and Skip Doolittle, when wedding bells rang out for both of 
them – a great couple.) 

Seven hours and forty-six minutes later the ramp personnel 
chocked the wheels in Guam. After a short ride in the hotel 
bus we checked into the Travel Lodge. The cabin-crew changed 
into bikinis and headed for the pool. We-three from the ‘pit 
needed to replenish fluids lost from dehydration; bars and wing 
uniforms were replaced by loud aloha shirts as we bee-lined to 
the bar. 


Scotch and water is the nectar of the Gods; two were absorbed into my body before I heard someone call my name, “Case, is that you?” Turning to the sound, I saw an older man that took me a moment to recognize; it was Dick Grider. I’d flown as his copilot on DC-4s in the Congo in’62, “Dick? Dick Grider, what are you doing here?” “Same as you, I’m flying the Vietnam shuttle; who are you with?” “Overseas National.” “Really? I’m with T.I.A. flying the stretch-63 out there, which model are you on?” “I’m on a thirty series; we have to pit stop in Wake. How long have you been with T.I.A.?” “About five years; I got on right after InterOcean folded.” “The left seat of the ‘8 is a lot more fun than the ‘4, huh?” “I don’t know, with T.I.A. it’s all about whether-or-not the chief pilot likes you – and I guess he doesn’t like me, I’m still a copilot.” “Jeez, that’s awful, with O.N.A. it’s all about seniority, we’re ALPA (Air Line Pilots Association). Why don’t you come over with us?” “I’d like to, but I’ve got a lot of seniority with T.I.A. Our union sucks – my only hope is that the chief pilot will retire and maybe the next one will like me.” We had another drink and Dick brought me up to speed on some of the others I’d flown with in the Congo; Jack Loughran was flying with Dick’s brother, Bob on ‘3s out of the Virgin Islands, Mal Thompson was painting pictures in Paris, Jess Meade and Augie had bought the farm on approach on a dark night in Biafra. It was a bittersweet meeting that only lasted about an hour. I went away thinking how very lucky I was flying captain for a first-class outfit like Overseas National Airways.