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  PB2B-1 Catalina VI Serial Number A24-206  
RAAF

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing of Canada. Assigned US Navy with Bureau Number 44217. Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number JX611. Then, to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) with serial number A24-206. On March 9, 1945 assigned to 43 Squadron.

Wartime History
On June 20, 1945 after a test flight by F/Lt F Jensen, this Catalina was moored onto a bouy in the southern anchorage at East Arm in Darwin Harbor. While refueled and armed loaded with 250lbs depth charges. One was accidentally released, fell through the timber barge and sank to its fused depth and exploded cauaing the Catalina to sink and the other wing mounted depth charges exploded. The explosions killed LAC Walter A. Strang and LAC Richard L. Graham.

Wreckage
The wreck site was identified by a process of elimination. Since there were only three RAAF Catalinas lost in Darwin Harbor during the war, and since A24-69 is identified, this third site must be of A24-206.

Wing Damage
Sometimes refereed to as "Catalina 3".  Dive inspections have revealed that the explosion occurred on the starboard wing. The starboard wing was blown off and lies some sixty meters away from the main wreck site. However, identification plates have not been located for this aircraft, perhaps taken by divers many years ago.

Another Possible Identity?
There is a possibility that this site could be a PBY Catalina from US Navy Patrol Wing 10 (PatWing-10) destroyed February 19, 1942 during the first Japanese air raid against Darwin Harbor. However, the wreck site is unlikely to this aircraft because its location does not fit with historical accounts of the air raid.
Three PBYs were lost during the Darwin raid.
#4 USN PBY-4, BuNo. 1214 - ex-101-P-27, ex-102-P-27
#8 USN PBY-4, BuNo. 1233 - ex-101-P-8
#41 28-5MNE, ex-Y 41, Marineluchtvaartdienst (RNNAS)

References
ADF Serials A24-206
Thanks to Wynnum Graham for aircraft information

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Last Updated
January 1, 2014

 

Technical InfoPB2B

SCUBA
16m

 

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