Zadik Collier

Master Sergeant, USMC

Aviation Machinist

East Base

 

 

 

 

Biography:

 

 

The son of an Irish immigrant and his Honduran wife, Zadik Collier was born in Honduras 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 U.S. 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. entry into the war, Collier served as a quartermaster in the Pacific.  In 1943, accompanied by his wife and daughter, Collier was sent to Peru to assist in the buildup of the Peruvian air defense in response to a possible Nazi invasion. 

 

After the war, Collier was assigned to duty at Cherry Point, NC, and El Toro, CA, and was sent to Korea at the outbreak of the conflict.  Upon his retirement in 1955, Lt Col Collier and his wife, Opal, lived in California .  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 officer

 

Geographic Feature:    Cape Collier

                             

                                                                                                           

Job Description:      Aviation Machinist

 

Contributions:

Responsible for the operational readiness of the Curtiss-Wright Condor aircraft.

 

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