Book Spotlight: Sketches of a Black Cat – Expanded Edition by Ron Miner

Today, I wanted to share with you an emotional story of a WWII pilot and artist, the father of Ron Miner. I was privileged to edit this book’s expanded edition, which contains even more stories from Miner’s comrades and art!

What you’ll love about this book is that it is not all about the horrors of war. There are moments of levity and just palling around. It’s a great inside look into the life of pilots during WWII. I recommend the paperback so you can see Miner’s art in the flesh.

Sketches of a Black Cat – Expanded Edition: Story of a Night Flying WWII Pilot and Artist by Ron Miner includes even more from the seven Black Cats and PBY crew members interviewed by Miner, as well as black-and-white and full-color reproductions of his father’s artwork. (see below)


You can learn more about the artwork and an upcoming documentary at Diary of an Eccentric.

About the Book:

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 This memoir has been reconstructed from a small library of unpublished artwork, journal entries, and writing, providing an enjoyable behind the scenes look at the Navy Black Cats.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.

High praise:

“Howard Miner’s memoirs are a wonderful view into the world of a patrol squadron at war, showing not only the excitement and terror of war, but also what ordinary men in extraordinary situations did to find inventive ways to combat boredom and stress. Miner sees the war through the eyes of an artist, revealing details of day-to-day life that are often overlooked in war time narratives. A wholly enjoyable story!” — Stewart Bailey, Curator, Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum

“As a former flight engineer aboard a PBY in WWII… I can truly say I felt as though I was on Howard’s Catalina…so many similarities to my own experiences. I can almost hear the drone of the engines in synchronization. Many episodes were warm and compelling. 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

If you get a copy, I’d love to hear what you think.

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