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Series Warpaint Series No 79
Publisher/Brand Hall Park
Author Chris Stafrace
No. Pages 72
Version Soft cover
Category Books on aviation
Subcategory WW2 US Aircraft
Availability In stock
This product was added to our database on Tuesday 9 November 2010.
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The PBY Catalina was indisputably the best known flying boat of the Second World War. It will be remembered most for its ruggedness and resilience, and it is no wonder that, from its introduction in US Navy service in 1936 and throughout its continued use by other air forces into the 1980s, it distinguished itself as one of the most versatile American military aircraft ever built. Its main role, at inception, was that of patrol bomber, but during its military lifetime it has carried out such disparate duties as torpedo bomber, convoy escort, anti-submarine warfare, long-range reconnaissance, SAR, night bombing, level bombing and strafing. It has always been praised by its crews, who felt secure that it will always get them back home somehow. Its Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp engines must have contributed significantly to that reputation. The Catalina was flown in the most trying conditions in all theatres of war, from the Arctic by the Soviets and the US Coast Guard, to the tropics by the US Navy and RAAF. Mainly used by the US Navy and the RAF's Coastal Command for ocean patrol, it excelled in the night intruder raids carried out by the famous Black Cats in the Pacific. But perhaps its most essential role was that of the rescue at sea of downed airmen, which task Catalina crews often risked their own life to accomplish. It was built both as a flying boat and as an amphibian and, thanks to the continued use after the war by both military and civil operators, several Catalina warbirds can still be found gracing our skies.