Searchlights catch “Charlie” Guadalcanal 1943

Page on Semaphore signals from Howard’s flight notebook


Natives bring crewman out to a PBY Catalina


Howard’s PBY as seen from the air


Howard and buddy Pete Maravich unwind during shore leave. Pete went on to coach his son, “Pistol” Pete, in college.

Book cover shows Howard’s sketch of a Corsair fighter escort above B-24 formation. Howard is pictured in front of his Biplane trainer in 1942.

Howard Miner was a student at a small Midwestern college when the War broke out. His journey through training and tours of duty as a PBY pilot in the South Pacific are skillfully captured in his art and narratives, framing a wartime drama with a personal coming of age story. This memoir has been reconstructed from a small library of unpublished artwork, journal entries, and writing, providing an enjoyable behind the scenes look at the Navy Black Cats.  The descriptive verse from the artist’s viewpoint gives us a creatively told and intriguing portrayal of WWII’s Pacific Theater.

The Book and/or artwork have been featured at the National Museum of the Pacific War, Evergreen Aviation Museum, and PBY Memorial Foundation Museum.  Contacts about future exhibits are in progress at WWII museums across the country.

November 15th Presentation TBA Salem
December 4th ~ at Oregon Historical Society, Portland. “Holiday Cheer” book event.  85 Authors ~ 12-4, admission free.


“From boxes of notes and drawings comes a book illuminating a WWII pilot’s experiences as part of the Black Cat Squadron…accounts of support missions, rescues of airmen and interactions with indigenous island peoples told in vivid but unembellished detail…a handsome volume that reads breezily and is punctuated with photos and drawings from Howard’s war years.
MIKE FRANCIS,  the Oregonian

“…A refreshing and insightful look at what it took to be a Navy pilot in the Pacific during WWII…a delightful and easy read… It should be noted that Howard Miner was an excellent artist…Fortunately, Ron Miner has brought forth a least one gem for us to follow and cherish.
RICHARD C. GESCHKE, Vine Voice and Military Writers Society of America

“As a former flight engineer aboard a PBY in WWII…I can almost hear the drone of the engines in synchronization. I highly recommend this book to vets, historians, and students. You won’t put down Sketches of a Black Cat till you’ve read it cover-to-cover!”
WIN STITES, VP-91, VP2-1 served in both Atlantic and Pacific regions during WWII, Former President PBY Memorial Foundation and Museum

“Wonderful and beautifully real stories such as this are dying every day as we lose our WWII veterans. Kudos to Ron Miner for preserving and sharing with the rest of us the gold of his father’s journals, photos, and drawings to bring us such a compelling look at life during the war. This is not only a valuable and insightful historical document but a dramatic and warm personal story.”
DON KEITH, author of Undersea Warrior

“Sketches of a Black Cat is a worthy addition to the fascinating true story of the Navy’s black painted, night-flying Catalinas and the courageous men who flew them into the darkness.”
RICHARD KNOTT, author Black Cat Raiders of WWII

“Miner combines his father’s writings and interviews with WWII veterans to craft a loving tribute to the young men who fought in WWII…He does his father and other WWII veterans proud.” PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY