I don’t have many regrets with my Missing Air Crew Project, however, one of the few is not keeping in closer contact with some of the amazing people have I met over the years. Once of them was Cecile Shultz, the brother of my uncle’s navigator, Martin B. Unger, http://www.missingaircrew.com/crew/unger/. We connected in 2004 and met for the first time in New York City while I was on business in 2005. Cecile shared an array of information with me including Martin’s letters from the last two years of his life, home movies, pictures and most importantly, her memories of her beloved brother. After meeting Cecile I connected with Martin’s widow, Pearl who was Cecile’s friend from the 1930’s. They had not spoken since 1944 when Martin was lost over Yap. On September 12, 2005 we had a wonderful dinner in New York City with Cecile, Pearl and Leona (Cecile sister). This was the first meeting between Pearl and the sisters since 1944. My family visited with them on another trip to New York City the following year but I became busy and I fell out of touch with the two of them. I found out today that they both passed away over the last two years. Today would have been Cecile’s 93rd birthday. I regret not staying in closer contact with the two of them. Here’s is the last letter I received from Cecile in 2007:
Cecile’s last letter to Patrick Ranfranz, February 2007: “I had a “big” birthday in January (85). Stuart and Ellen celebrated with me and 20 guests at a very elegant and enjoyable party which Stuart catered in his own home. I think that, although you did not find “our plane”, you can derive some satisfaction knowing that your efforts resulted in my finding Pearl. She was a guest at my party and I cannot express my feelings when I welcomed her that night. Everyone there was selected by me and they were all people whom I love and who love me. What a joy that she was among them! My friends present are my friends for 30, 40, or 50 years, but Pearl tops the list with 71 years-since 1936. We try not to think of the years we lost.”
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