Master Sergeant, USMC
The son of an Irish immigrant and his Honduran wife, Zadik Collier was born in
on January 7, 1898. After joining the
U.S. Army, Collier was sent to the Philippines and
then to Siberia in 1919. After completing his
army commitment, Collier became a
citizen and in 1926 joined the
USMC where he was trained as an aviation mechanic.
In 1939, he was chosen to serve as the chief aviation
mechanic at East Base, U.S. Antarctic Service.
Collierís skills, as well as those of Chief Pilot Ashley Snow, Jr.,
Radioman 1st Class Earle Perce, and Aviation Machinistís Mate
William Pullen were tested when, on January 19, 1941, Snow taxied the
Curtis-Wright Condor to the take-off area and the port ski broke through a
crevasse bridge, allowing the propeller to cut two feet from the end of the
ski. As it came to a stop much of the
weight of the aircraft lay on the trailing edge of the port lower wing. All aviation hands were aware the damage
might be irreparable. Led by Collier,
the skills of all aviation hands were utilized to repair the damage and to
hoist the Condor out of the crevasse. A
successful test flight was made on February 1st.
Upon the return home of all USAS personnel and the U.S.
the war, Collier served as a quartermaster in the Pacific. In 1943, accompanied by his wife and
daughter, Collier was sent to
to assist in the buildup of the Peruvian air defense in response to a possible
After the war, Collier was assigned to duty at Cherry Point, NC, and El Toro, CA, and was sent
at the outbreak of the conflict. Upon
his retirement in 1955, Lt Col Collier and his wife, Opal, lived in
. Zadik Collier died
on September 15, 1987, in Sonoma,
CA, having been predeceased by
his wife on July 4, 1977.
U.S. Antarctic Service Medal (gold): presented to Collier by his commanding
Job Description: Aviation
Responsible for the operational
readiness of the Curtiss-Wright Condor aircraft.
Full Photo/Films/Video Library: