Flight of the Resolution

Recent Connections

Fall 2011

The fall of 2011 was a "busy" period for activity related to RESOLUTION, in so far as folk that were directly or indirectly connected to that fateful flight.
 
The most unusual visitor to the memorial plaque was 80 year old Tayab Ali, a gentle man , originally from Fiji, accompanied by his son, Nesib and other family members. In 1948, as a teenager,he had climbed up into the very cramped nose wheel well of a BCPA airliner, he remembering it to be RESOLUTION, and hung on and flew from Nandi to Canton Island to Honolulu, with his goal being San Francisco. He was apprehended in Hawaii and flown back to Fiji, comfortably in first class and given a 'slap on the wrist' for his adventure. Much could be written about this stowaway but I will leave that to his son, who is planning a book on his father's life!
Another visitor, Stephen Downes, followed me all the way to the crash site, taking prolific notes to flesh out his upcoming book, based on the life of William Kapell. This author from Melbourne, Australia, was intrigued to discover that little has been written on this passenger aboard RESOLUTION and felt something should be done about that. He even took the time to fly back east to meet and interview  Kapell family members.

And finally, a most fascinating email was received from a Mr. John Meyer, informing me that his father had flown from Sydney to Hawaii, along with his wife, on Flight 304.  During their brief lay-over, he was enamored by Honolulu and decided that he and his wife would wait for another BCPA flight and spend a few days in this tropical paradise. Of course RESOLUTION flew on and crashed hours later. I spoke with the older Mr. Meyer by 'phone, now living in London and he confirmed this quirk of fate
 

June 15th, 2010

In mid June 2010, grandson of passenger Cyril McDonald, Phil Watt of Darwin, Australia, made the trek to Kings Mountain to visit the impact point of VH-BPE.   As he emerged from the deep canyon, he 'stumbled' upon the memorial plague placed in memory of the passengers and crew, not knowing of its existence beforehand.  He  felt that this was the time to place a small Australian flag in front of the sand stone & granite monument, a salute to his relative and all others aboard RESOLUTION, fifty seven  years  past . 'Twas  a fitting gesture'.
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"Resolution" Resolved - October 29th, 2009

thrickperrytmThe 56th anniversary of the disaster of VH-BPE, the crash of DC-6 " Resolution" on Kings Mountain in 1953,  was remembered  with a poignant visit to the plane's memorial  by Grant (Chips) Tischler, visiting from Australia, son of passenger Bernard Tischler,  representatives of MROSD, Rick Perry & David (Sango) Sanguinetti along with Christopher O'Donnell, founder of the " Flight of the Resolution Project."

Although this was a respectful & quiet gathering for those involved, the day was not a sad meeting but one of a sense of accomplishment and reverence with Mr. Tischler viewing his father's memorial  of the permanent granite plaque remembering souls  long forgotten no longer !
Leaving for home in Queensland, Australia, Grant announced plans  for overseeing a display recalling " RESOLUTION" at a museum near his home there, long overdue from the aircraft's origin.
 
 
 

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(L-R)

Rick Perry- Chose the local sandstone and mounted the plaque
David Sanguinetti- Chose the location
Grant Tischler
Christopher O'Donnell

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Hands across the ocean

Grant and Christopher in a symbolic gesture that marks the final chapter in the " Resolution" project, well maybe not!

The Resolution Project Resolved - June 27th, 2009

chrisnplaque20090627finalrest300...'twas a warm morning on Kings Mountain....sun dappling the trail leading to a gathering of persons brought together with  a common remembrance in mind...the crash of BCPA Flight 304, a DC6B nosing into the ridge, killing all 19 aboard on fog shrouded October 29, 1953.

Finally, a handsome granite plaque, laser etched with a photo of the Douglas craft, flags of USA and Australia, along with each individuals name, mounted on sandstone, was unveiled and ribbon cut ....a moment of high revere for those long forgotten  but no longer forgotten.

Christopher O'Donnell, for six years has been driven to produce this day and all it entailed, stepped to the podium and stood quietly..for many moments, intriguing the guests...and opened his comments with  " I like cats...I love cats !" ...puzzled faces and a chuckle or two from those gathered..." My cat Tim scratches to be let out at 3 am...not knowing it disrupts my peace...he meows to be let in...again not realizing for one moment that he wakes me again and 'upsets' me...he just knows that he get what he wants...and so I 'scratched at doors' and probably upset some folk, but I did not know any better and  eventually I got what I wanted...at all times  with due respect to those I approached with innocence....and thus the plaque was placed where it should have been all along...Kings Mountain!"   A noble deed, indeed! An accomplishment achieved by a simple 'tip of the hat ' from some, to a check of three figures from others.   All present, and some not, can be proud of this permanent marker now standing as a sentinel in the woods, silent in memory of the RESOLUTION."
 
Donors, relatives and others of interest to this catastrophe (the worst air disaster in the history of San Mateo County) now took the time to admire the memorial and chat amongst themselves of  their poignant connection to this event, while enjoying scrumptious food and  beverages supplied gratis by the organizers of the day, the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.  It was a day to remember ! Truly !!  You are invited to hike to the con-flux of the Fir and Resolution trails, just below the newly cleared Vista Point.  Park at CalTrans lot known as Skeggs Point on Skyline Blvd.  Click onto the web site of MROSD for more details or chat with Christopher at vhbpe@yahoo.com.  Soon to go dark, web site flightoftheresolution.org kept the project alive...do visit...and a Wikipedia listing at BCPA Flight 304, and William Kapell, world famous pianist of the day, a passenger.

The Resolution Project Gets the Nod from Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD)

A tireless 5  year effort is on final approach
 
The passengers on flight 304, a BCPA DC-6 bound for San Francisco in October 1953 had no inkling of their upcoming fate that foggy morning.   And for five years, the Resolution committee, lead by Christopher O'Donnell, has waged a quiet effort to commemorate this tragic event and give it the recognition it is due to honor the passengers and crew, also without a clear view of the final outcome.

History is once again coming to a resolution.   On Wednesday January 28th, at the regular meeting of the Board of Directors for MROSD, by a vote of 6-0, the final approval was obtained  to place the plaque donated by the Native Sons of the Golden West at the entrance to the Methuselah trail.   Christopher was joined by Linda Suffion and Mark Zborowski to sketch out the journey that started in 1953, thousands of miles away in the Southern Hemisphere and has now come to rest in peace.   The board was very supportive and we thank all the members for their vote that realizes a 'Noble Quest' that started with someone asking " why" and then acting on it

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2008 Flight of the Resolution Committee Activity

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2004-2003 Flight of the Resolution Committee Activity

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