Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve
Coast Guard Air Detachment Sangley Point was established after WWII to supply the LORAN Stations in the Philippines’ These Stations were part of the LORAN chains servicing the Philippines and the Southwest Pacific area. CGAD Sangley Point was 4500 miles from District Headquarters in Hawaii. On many occasions, it was a world unto itself. One looks back fondly and sometimes wistfully; forever grateful; and realizes it will never be again!
And so it was with Jack Webber and Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve. Throckmorton was a gibbon which is a small ape that lives in the trees and native to India and South China. It seems he got a little playful and bit an Admirals wife. This earned him an immediate Bad Conduct Discharge from the Navy. Throckmorton found asylum with the Coast Guard Detachment. It was decided that Throckmorton would be a crewmember. He was given the rank of AP1, had a service record and dog tags. Throckmorton would readily get in a PBY but when the plane took off he froze and didn’t move. He would literally stay exactly where you put him.
In addition to flying freight, they flew passengers in and out of the LORAN stations. This was a passenger flight and Throckmorton was up front. After level off Jack Weber turned the autopilot on and moved Throckmorton to the pilot’s seat and turned. Throckmorton sat there frozen with his hands on the yoke and moved only when the yoke moved. Jack moved nonchalantly back to the passenger compartment and ask a young gentleman to come forward. When the young man saw only Throckmorton in the cockpit he flipped. Once calmed down he enjoyed the joke but deep down he never trusted aviators again.
When Jack Transferred out of Sangley Point, Throckmorton got a Personal Change in Duty assignment to LORAN Station Talampulan. His service record was maintained and he was promoted to Chief AP. There he spent the rest of his days.