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Overseas National Airways Crew Friendship Site

OVERSEAS NATIONAL AIRWAYS CREW WEB

UNITED AIR CARRIERS, INC - CREW REUNION WEBSITE


RON HONIG
GLEN VAN INGEN


UACI changed to
ONA then to
NATIONAL AIRLINES
from 1981 til Dec 1985

Boeing747-243B
OVERSEAS NATIONAL
Gatwick 1983

N902R DC-8-55F
OVERSEAS
NATIONAL
Gatwick 1982

UACI 747 in Saudi
colors crewed by
UACI June 1979
- Febr 1981


DENNIS O´CONNOR


Holder of the ONA Super Wings Gold Award for magnificent contributions to the ONA Crew Web


ONA UACI




US WORLDWIDE

DC-8 nose
from Horizons



UACI DC-10 used
for Hadj
October 1978






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UACI / ONA - JIM PEARSON

Jim Pearson was the bridge between Steedman Hinckley
and the hiring of Air America pilots who flew with
UACI / ONA, since they were well used to flying in
difficult environments.


In an attempt to show how I became involved with ONA, I will begin with a short Bio Sketch of my career in Aviation. My name is John D Pearson Jr, born 14 Dec 1933 under a Wandering Star. I picked up the Wandering star from Paint Your Wagon. Seems appropriate. Grew up and spent my entire life seeking the far horizons. Soloed an aircraft when I was 16 and still in High School. Enlisted in the US Marine Corps at 17 and was placed in Aviation. I wanted to see what made Aircraft Engines tick and volunteered to go to US Navy AD-A school in Memphis, Tennessee. Was interviewed and told I was to be sent to Pilots training at Pensacola, Florida. Now my complete childish impulses overwhelmed me. I wanted to charge up Mt Suribachi along side John Wayne with my United States Rifle caliber 30 M-1 defending this America. Flight training was 18 months. The war in Korea would be over!! To add insult to my gathering lunacy I was recalled and interviewed to be sent to Annapolis first then Flight School. Surely the war will be over after attending Annapolis 4 years flight school another one and half years. When I graduated from AD-A school I was told I was one of the highest in the class and could have my choice of bases: Kaneoe, Hawaii, El Toro, California, Cherry Point, NC or Korea ... Now to confirm my lunacy I volunteered to go to Korea. I had to Know . . . When I told the interviewing team I wanted to go to Korea they were in shock. I don’t know it they were going to kiss me or call up the funny farm to send the guys with the sleeveless over coats. I was sent to Pyong Taek, Korea about 60 miles south of the front lines and was disappointed. I was assigned to work on the new model of the Corsair fighter planes. I loved the Corsair, but have cussed many a blue streak when I lost my footing on the curved wings and fell to the deck. After three months, I went to see the Commanding Officer with my childish plea. Cpl Pearson requests transfer to the Marine Infantry at the front lines. After he firmly placed his right boon docker on my derriere I did not bother him for another month. After three attempts he gave me a fatherly talking too. You can do more damage to the enemy keeping these aircraft flying than you can do with the M-1 rifle blazing away! Fudge!!! Again, I was pulled in an interviewed for Flight School. This time I almost was in favor of going except I had not heard one shot fired in anger: I had to know . . . Finally a break came. The Squadron was going to be rotated back to the States as it had been in Korea since the beginning of the war. As I had not served one year in an overseas post with the Corps, I was told I could go anywhere in the World in the Corps. So I said send me to the Front lines. Finally they sent me up to Ascom City near Inchon and put me in a Helicopter Squadron. Being new to the Squadron and a brand new Marine Corps Sargent they said, Mess Duty or Guard Duty. Again my Alligator mouth over ran my IQ. I said who wants to sit in a nice warm mess hall eating sweet rolls and drinking coffee when they can be outside freezing you butt off. I’ll take guard duty up at the front lines. Finally, I got my wish except I was only up at the lines for about a month when the Armistice was signed. Nuts! On return to the US I was based at Quantico, Va. Here I saw an opportunity as I wanted to get onto flight duty. I volunteered to fly as crew chief on the R4D transports and again the flying fire began to surge up in my breast. As a student pilot I had logged about 40 hours and was again getting the bug. I was only at Quantico for about three months when I was called in and asked if I would like a transfer to Head Quarters Marine Corps and NAS Anacostia. I accepted and was assigned as a Crew Chief on the Commandants aircraft. We used to get to fly all over while the Commandant was on official business.








Proceed to Chapter II


CHAPTER III
TACHIKAWA JAPAN



A restored F4U-4 Corsair in Korean
War-era U.S. Marine Corps markings

I joined the NAS Anacostia Flying club and began to work on my Private Pilots license. A Navy Chief Petty officer was my instructor. He was one of the last enlisted pilots in the Navy and with the Head Quarters Flight Section one of the last Marine Corps enlisted pilots was flying there. When these guys found out I could fly I was flying all the time in the right seat with the pilots from the Pentagon getting in there four hours monthly for flight pay. Believe it or not I used to have Generals and other high ranking officer actually crying on my shoulder. I was going to see if the Corps would come up with a Chaplains set of Wings for me. One Marine Corps Office in particular: was shot down in November 1962 in Korea flying his Corsair fighter. He parachuted out of his fighter and was captured by the North Koreans. While we were flying together out of Anacostia one evening he turned the controls over to me and after a few seconds began telling me what the North Koreans did to him and others already in the imprisonment. He was a paria in the Corps and was accused of collaborating with the enemy and his career was devastated. I must confess; I also had a dim view of his response to the enemy. Then as his story began to unwind I had a complete change of heart. I came to the conclusion that unless you have undergone the same type of torture, you were not qualified to sit in judgement of some one that has suffered what this man went through. As it was November in Korea the outside air temp was 25 degrees and below. They stripped him of all clothing, threw him into a cave with other prisoners and frequently came in and threw buckets of cold water on them. Having flown under the same threat of possibly getting captured by the communist troops, what possible information could I have that would be suitable intelligence. Most intelligence is very volatile. As my time at Anacostia came to an end, so did my career in the US Marine Corps. I was called to be promoted to Staff Sargent USMC on my birthday and while I was in his office my commanding officer asked me what I planned on doing now that I was leaving the Corps. I told him I felt it was necessary for me to get a college degree and was going to use my GI Bill for that purpose. I told him that the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Fa had a course in conjunction with Embry Riddle School of Aviation called the Business Pilot course consisting of two years of Business Administration at the UM and you obtained your Commercal Pilot license with an Instrument rating and the last semester you received a Multi Engine rating. I was dumbfounded when he told me this: He said I am from Hattisburg, Mississippi and U of Mississippi is his alma mater. If I change my mind, he would pay my tuition. I tried to think for what reason he offered me this largesse. I know he was married as I had seen his wife, but I was unaware of any children at his home. I felt for some reason he seemed to be very friendly? My opinion of the LtCol USMC was he was one of the finest gentlemen I have ever known in my life. When I entered the U of M in February 1956 after 4 years in the USMC my professional career in Aviation began.






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Warranty - WEBSITE FIRST PUBLISHED AUGUST 30, 2003