“Pearl Harbor Honor Flight: One Last Goodbye” Book Launch May 8th, 2014

Turn the Page, Gifts & Books was the location of a book launch for “Pearl Harbor Honor Flight: One Last Goodbye,” on May 8, 2014. Friends and customers had an opportunity to meet the authors, Billie Nicholson and Robert Nicholson, hear stories behind the book production, and spend time with some of the Pearl Harbor Survivors whose stories were told in the book.

Survivors Jay Carraway, Bill Braddock, Cass Phillips and Frank Emond shared their experiences during the Pearl Harbor attack as well as through out the war.

Jay Carraway said, “When we were called to General Quarters by shouts because our alarm system didn’t work, our response was ‘We don’t drill on Sundays.’ When an explosion nearby rocked our ship, we knew they were serious.”

“We were getting ready to go to breakfast when we saw the planes flying overhead. We thought they were Army planes on a drill. I said, ‘They’re making this look realistic, with meatballs painted on the sides of their planes,’” recalled Cass Phillips, a radioman stationed at Kane’ohe.

 Frank Emond, a musician lined up on the stern of the USS Pennsylvania preparing to play morning colors, said, “I saw a line of planes coming in. The first one peeled off and dropped something. At first I thought the plane was falling apart. When it hit the ground and exploded, I knew we were in trouble.”

Marine Security Guard, Bill Braddock, remembered, “We were at breakfast in the chow hall when our side arms (cups and silverware) started bouncing on the table. We thought someone had crashed a plane and we’d need to go clean it up. When we stepped out of the barracks we saw a plane with a big red ball on the side flying by, shooting up the ground around our flag pole and the pilot smiled as he continued to drop the torpedo hanging beneath his plane.”

The rich tapestry of personal accounts detailed in the book came to life with a personal connection for both young and old.

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight: One Last Goodbye

This 80-page premium color 1st edition book tells the touching story of the Pensacola community coming together to make an elderly veteran’s dream come true to return to Pearl Harbor and say “one last goodbye” to his friends and comrades who served with him December 7, 1941, on that day so long ago.

The book is filled with photos by the Nicholsons of the survivors recent return to Pearl Harbor. It is brilliantly interspersed with historic pictures and eyewitness accounts of the attack and pays homage to these military veterans of our Greatest Generation for their extraordinary courage and personal sacrifice. Says author Robert Nicholson, “the book was designed as a keepsake and lets the reader visually experience the enduring triumph of the human spirit that made our country great during World War II.

Proceeds from all book sales of “Pearl Harbor Honor Flight: One Last Goodbye” go to benefit the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Chapter 138.

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight: One Last Goodbye

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight: One Last Goodbye – the Book

Proudly Announcing: Pearl Harbor Honor Flight: One Last Goodbye

We are delighted to announce the book is ready. This is the touching story of how a patriotic community worked together to make a veteran’s dream come true. Six Pearl Harbor survivors shared their experiences with schools, businesses and other organizations to raise awareness and refresh memories of a world altering event. Our hope has been to inspire renewed patriotism and respect for all our veterans.

As a result of their efforts, these veterans were able to attend the 70th and final commemoration ceremony in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and return to a place and time that changed their lives. Share the touching moments when these veterans transform into young service men as they return to the places they were that fateful day seventy years ago. They honored their fallen comrades and had an opportunity to find closure as they walked on hallowed ground.

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight: One Last Goodbye

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Order your copy of Pearl Harbor Honor Flight: One Last Goodbye today. Sales benefit PHSA, Chapter 138.



Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Pearl Harbor, One Last Goodbye – The Documentary

Pearl Harbor One Last Goodbye“Pearl Harbor One Last Goodbye”

Starting in June of 2011 Liz Watkins, along with founder Holly Shelton and co-organizer retired Lt. Colonel Bill Phillips worked tirelessly organizing and raising funds for 6 Pensacola Fl. area Pearl Harbor survivors to return to Pearl for the 70th anniversary of the attack. After funds for the trip were raised and donations were gathered this one time initiative was able to make the dream of these heros from the “greatest generation” to say one last goodbye to their fallen comrades come true. Along with 12 support personnel Watkins Productions accompanied these WW II veterans and documented the entire trip.

Over one year in the making and more than 40 hours of video – this documentary chronicles a few of the remaining Pensacola, Florida Pearl Harbor survivors on their emotional journey to Pearl Harbor for “One Last Goodbye.”

 “Pearl Harbor, One Last Goodbye”

Watch these previews to get a flavor for the story.


“Pearl Harbor, One Last Goodbye”

Own your copy of this piece of History. Order today.

Pearl harbor one last goodbye

Pearl Harbor One Last Goodbye thanks you for your support


Pearl Harbor Survivors Honored

World War II Rembrance

Pensacola Honors World War II Heroes.

Hundreds of patriots crowded into the atrium at the National Naval Air Museum on Friday, December 7th to pay their respects to Pensacola’s World War II survivors. Eight of our Pearl Harbor Survivors were among the heroes of that great conflict who were present.

George Mills, Bill Braddock, Frank Emond, Jacob Gallawa, Jay Carraway, Jim Landis, Dale Hendricks, Cass Phillips, as well as widows Angie Engel, Dottie Graziani and Mary Ann Glaeser waved and smiled when introduced.

“I’ve been coming to this memorial program for 19 years, first with my husband Fred and after his death, in his honor. This year’s presentation was the best ever,” said Mary Ann.

Tate High School’s Jazz Corale and Band provided 1940’s entertainment as MC CDR Robert Pisz led us down memory lane featuring photographs of local heroes and their families. Dr. Sydney Phillips, local author, and World War II hero gave the keynote address.

 Pensacola Honors our Pearl Harbor Survivors

Coming Soon! Pearl Harbor Honor Flight – One Last GoodBye



Pearl Harbor Honor Flight - One Last Goodbye

Seventy years ago several thousand young military men and women were enjoying a peaceful Hawaii Sunday morning. Out of the sky fell bombs and torpedoes in an attack that changed the world. We have worked with the Pearl Harbor Survivors Assn., Chapter 138 to document their return to that place in order to say “One Last Goodbye” and to honor their fallen friends and comrades. Get ready to read about the adventures of six nonagenarians as they relived December 7, 1941 in “Pearl Harbor Honor Flight – One Last Goodbye.” We are proud to share their story in this book.


Pearl Harbor Survivors Honor Flight in Photos

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight Adventure in Photos

Travel with us as we share the experience of six Pensacola, FL Pearl Harbor Survivors as they travel back to Pearl for the 70th commemoration of the Japanese attack on America. These are a selection of images created on this trip to capture the memories of a “dream come true.”

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight Thanks You for Your Support

Remember Pearl Harbor – Always Be alert!

Home Again – Heroes Welcomed

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight Returns Home

We departed Hawaii Friday evening, December 9th, landed Saturday morning in Dallas for a short layover and then travelled on to Pensacola arriving at 10AM. First thing we received on touch down was a fire truck “water arch” in honor of our veterans as we taxied toward the terminal. As soon as they stepped off the plane, our survivors were greeted by airport officials and Naval Air Museum volunteers. Walking down the corridor, travelers spontaneo
usly applauded. When they reached the non-restricted area, our survivors were greeted by a large group of people who came together to welcome and salute Pensacola’s own “Greatest Generation”. The group included a JROTC sabre salute, many Patriot Riders with their American flags and a Marine division from NAS, Pensacola. Family and friends waved “Welcome Home” signs and American flags. As we headed for the USO lounge, we heard the music of the Tate High School Jazz band. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, WOW, what a welcome!

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

American Airlines Pacific Flight Crew

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

American Eagle Pilots

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Our Survivors warmly welcomed

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Marine Unit, NAS Pensacola

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

George Mills and patriots

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Patriotic Flags and the younger generation

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

A Patriot Rider Welcome

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Welcome Home!

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

A Patriotic Welcome

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Frank Emond interviewed by WUWF radio


Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Jim Landis and friends

Pearl Harbor Honor flight

Braddock Family

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight Will Always Remember

The contagious atmosphere of patriotism swept from person to person sharing hugs and greeting our survivors. Families, friends and local media asked the question, “How was the trip?” The answer resounded from one and all, “GREAT!” Each survivor returned to the location where he had been on the morning of December 7, 1941, honoring and remembering comrades who had fallen during that day and throughout the war.

George Mills, the originator of the idea to return to Pearl Harbor to say “One Last Goodbye” to his fallen comrades, said, “I had a dream that Holly and her dedicated team helped to make a reality. My dream came true.”

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Salute at Mem. Cemetery of the Pacific

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Respects at USS Missouri

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Frank and George said, “My ship was over there.”

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

George Mills with Initiative Founder Holly Shelton and husband Don Snowden 


Two survivors’ daughters traveled with them sharing this adventure. All had a sense of closure. We had a safe journey as we honored these heroes.

Pearl Harbro Honor Flight

Bill Braddock and daughter Carol Ann Brediger

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Jay Carraway and daughter Tina Sutton 

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Jim Landis with Tex & Gloria Hill

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Frank Emond, companion Patricia Wertanen & Cass Phillips 


Pearl Harbor Honor Flight Sponsors

We have so many people to thank for their efforts to make this trip a success. A giant THANK YOU goes out to American Airlines – Air Compassion for Veterans for tickets, to POP’S Leather in Turkey for Navy flight jackets, to Naval Air Museum, Pensacola and to Pensacola International Airport, USO Dallas, Hawaii and Pensacola for their attention to details in accommodating the travel needs of our survivors; to the local businesses who provided cash and in-kind donations; to the local media for their assistance in raising awareness of this project: Mediacom, WSRE, WKRG, 1670AM, 1320AM, Fox 10 News, Channel 5 Mobile, Pensacola News Journal, Gulf Breeze News, Independent News; Santa Rosa Co. Schools system, Escambia Co. schools JROTC and many others.

Many thanks to Holly Shelton, founder for this initiative and Bill Phillips, co-organizer for their tireless efforts to make this a success; Kathy Phillips and Dick Weaver, our nurse and flight surgeon; and Dan Frisbie, Rob Carleen, Hunter and Betsy Echols, people handlers. We appreciate the efforts of Liz Watkins Productions video team (Liz, Robert Breland, Elisa Goad and David Heroux) and Billie and Robert Nicholson, RustyBuggy.com still photographers, as their work will continue to compile the history of this event.

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Billie & Robert Nicholson, RustyBuggy.com

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Watkins Productions Video Team, David Heroux, Eliza Goad, Dan Frisbie, Liz Watkins, and Robert Breland

Pearl Harbor Honor flight thanks you for your support


Pearl Harbor Honor Flight Members Explore Ford Island

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight Members Visit Pacific Aviation Museum

Ford Island is located in the center of Pearl Harbor surrounded by water deep enough for large ships to pass. Purchased in 1918 by the US War Department, it was understood that both the Army and the Navy could use Ford Island for the defense of Honolulu and Pearl Harbor. The Army Air Corp occupied Ford Island until Hickam Field, located across the bay, was completed in 1940. Ford Island then became exclusive property of the US Navy. This island was the epicenter of the December 7th, 1941 attack where the bulk of the Pacific Fleet was anchored. Ships were not the only things attacked that day, nearly all the airplanes in and around Ford Island were damaged or destroyed.

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Two World War II vintage airplane hangers (#37 & #79), located on Ford Island, and still bearing battle scars from the December 7th, 1941 attack, contain the Pacific Aviation Museum displays and the restoration shop. Our Pearl Harbor Survivors spent part of their time on Oahu going through this museum and recalling their experiences with similar planes. They had opportunities to meet with museum staff as well as other visitors and have a little “hangar talk,” (that’s pilot story telling).

Pacific Aviation Museum

Pacific Aviation MuseumPearl Harbor Honor Flight

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Pearl Harbor Pacific Aviation Museum Displays

Pacific Aviation MuseumPacific Aviation Museum

Pacific Aviation MuseumPacific Aviation Museum

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight Salutes USS Utah

The USS Utah, a World War I vintage ship, was being used as a bombing target while in Pearl Harbor in 1941. This ship took two torpedoes to the port side and listed severely. The crew were used to being “bombed” by the Army and Navy everyday, so when the alarm clanged a few strokes and stopped, they headed below deck to take cover. The most senior officer, sensing the ship would not last long, had the deck officer order all hands topside. In a matter of minutes the last mooring lines broke and the ship rolled over entombing 58 men. A memorial to honor the Crew of the Utah was dedicated in 1972 on Ford Island adjacent to the ship’s wreck. Since that time, the remains of a number of Pearl Harbor Survivors have been interred with their shipmates. One such ceremony occurred while we were in Pearl.

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pearl harbor honor flight members say one last goodbye to crew of the uss utah

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight Remembers Patrol Squadron, VP-11

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight Visits Kaneohe Bay

December 7, 2011 – Pearl Harbor Day was filled with memorial ceremonies commemorating the Japanese attack December 7, 1941. Following the 70th Ceremony at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, Pearl Harbor Survivors Cass Phillips and Bill Braddock travelled to Naval Air Station, Kane’ohe Bay to attend the Klipper Memorial Ceremony.

Seventy years ago, aircraft of the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked NAS Kane’ohe. At 0752, the quiet peace of a Sunday morning was torn asunder by strafing machine guns and bombs exploding. Service men and women as well as civilians grabbed weapons and scrambled to defend the air station. Among these was Pearl Harbor Survivor, Cass Phillips, at the time a radioman first class, in the barracks.

“I was up getting ready to go have breakfast, when we looked up and saw the planes flying by. We thought that they were Army planes. I said Look they are really making this look realistic, they’ve got meatballs painted on the side of the planes.” Cass Phillips recalled.

All the explosions and smoke soon brought him to understand that this was no drill.

“We saw lots of people running toward the hangars and we joined them. We ran inside as more planes flew over dropping bombs. My buddy and I ran to a corner room. On the way there we noticed a fellow sitting against the wall. When the bomb exploded, we saw him rise up and settle back down. He never moved after that. When we checked on him later we found that he was dead. The same thing happened to one of our squadron, VP-11, members who had been on guard duty in the plane over night. He was mortally wounded when the plane was strafed.”

A commemorative plaque hangs on the wall of Hangar 101 honoring the seven Patrol Squadron 11 servicemen killed that day. In addition, a plaque and a painting were presented in honor of Naval Ordnance Chief John Finn. His heroic actions included firing back at the Japanese planes with a machine gun set up on the plane ramp. He received 27 wounds that day but returned to the squadron area after first aid treatment, to supervise the rearming of returning planes.

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight Participates in Klipper Memorial Ceremony

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

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Pearl Harbor Honor Flight Tours Base

Following the ceremony, Cass and Bill Braddock walked around the hangar grounds noticing the bullet strafe marks and bomb damage still preserved as a daily reminder to “Remember.” They also were able to visit the building that was Cass’s barracks in 1941, now converted to offices. He recognized the theatre and chow hall, too.

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight


Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Bomb repair



Pearl Harbor Honor Flight – Personal Remembrance

From here our group travelled to Makapu’u Point for a personal remembrance ceremony. April 5, 1942, four months after the Pearl Harbor attack, Navy flight crews patrolled the waters off O’ahu. The weather was bad – rainy, windy, with zero visibility that night. The crew on board one of four Navy planes that flew out of Kane’ohe that day, part of Cass’ VP-11 Squadron, were returning to base after flying 12 hours and 20 minutes. They were dangerously off course.

The crew was on its second long-range patrol, flying without navigational aids, under a blackout situation as well as bad weather, mistook the Makapu’u Lighthouse for Barbers Point. As they were making standard pattern turns to land, they slammed into the hillside 200 yards south of the lighthouse. All nine men were killed instantly in a crash that has remained shrouded in obscurity. At the time, the Islands were under martial law and the military didn’t report such accidents to the local news. From 1942 to 1945, there were crashes almost daily on O’ahu accounting for about 800 aviation deaths on the island.

The Hawaiian Aviation Preservation Society located the crash site and after months working with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources obtained permission to erect a granite monument listing the crew’s names and ranks. This structure was dedicated on April 5, 2006.

Cass recognized three of the nine names. He could have been on that plane, too, if he had not left Hawaii earlier for flight school in Pensacola. He wanted to honor his comrades’ heroic efforts. We went to the Makapu’u State Shoreside Park where Cass placed a flower lei into a shallow pool along the rocky beach. “Their sacrifices will not be forgotten,” he said.

Pearl Harbor honor flight honors the crew of vp-11 lost on april 5, 1942Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight – Pearl Harbor Day Ceremony

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight Members Attend Ceremony

We were going over the bridge to the Pearl Harbor Visitor’s Center early Wednesday morning. The streets, parking lot and park grounds were already mobbed. This city takes December 7th ceremonies seriously. Our Pearl Harbor Survivors and support team made their way to seats under the tent. Our six Pensacola area survivors were a strong Florida representation among the 120 estimated survivors in attendance.

Jets flying over the site at seven fifty-five AM, breaking into a missing man formation marked the beginning of the memorial ceremony. The program included letters and speeches from government officials, military and national park leaders and a Pearl Harbor Survivor. A battleship passing in review, the placement of wreaths in memory of service men lost during the attack and the appearance of the daily rainbow were highlights. The events of December 7, 1941 were vivid in the minds of all survivors. Everyone attending was visibly moved by the service. We will ALWAYS REMEMBER Pearl Harbor.

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight Photos

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Pearl Harbor Honor Flight
Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight Members Appreciate the Opportunity to Say “One Last Goodbye” to Their Fallen Comrades