I have talked to James Oliver’s nephew. Gary found me in 2017 via this website and I put them together again.
I hate to bear bad news, but my uncle, James Oliver, VP-40 plank owner, passed away last Saturday August 6th. James and I have been in continuous communication since 2017 speaking by phone at least once a week and sometimes 2 or 3 times per. He had an amazing life and was a living history book of aviation stories. Most of my career was in aerospace, specifically the turbine engine business. Garrett, AlliedSignal, GE and James and I could speak quite fluently about aviation/aircraft (except for avionics … lol as a pilot he could talk circles around me with regard to cockpit things). James’ (I learned that he was never called “Jim”, for some reason my mother used that name but James would react quickly if “Jim” was used) memory was sharp as a tack until the end. Simply amazing the stories, names, and dates. In fact, a few weeks ago we were talking about North Sentinel Island and he wasn’t sure where it was. I had my computer open and told him the lat/long and he instantly told me what was around that island. Anyway, he was an amazing guy.
I have no other info yet with regard to any services. Also, James never disclosed his real age … best I can say is he was around 94-96. He will be dearly missed but I consider myself very fortunate to have known him for the years that I did.
Remember the PBM-5 model I have? The one James had hand made of his plane? Would VP-40 be interested in owning it and becoming caretaker? It is large (maybe 32 – 40″ wingspan) with functional elevators, completely handmade of wood with hand made stringers, skin, etc so it is fragile. Not to mention it is 72 years old. James had it made in Japan by a model maker while he was stationed there.
Gary will attend our reunion this year and bring the model with him to donate to our VP40 group.
THANK YOU GARY. I accepted the offer to take custody of the model plane for our group.
If you want to see this beautiful plane, you MUST attend the reunion. come on out and enjoy it. We will discuss the future of this group at our business meeting. WE have compiled quite a bit of “stuff” and we must decide what to do with it. As of now I have it in my procession, but that could change??