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  PBY-5 Catalina Bureau Number 08253  
USN
VP-23

Click For Enlargement
via Wikipeda 1995

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) to squadron VP-23. No known nickname or nose art.

Wartime History
On October 15, 1943 commanded by Lt(jg) Plank on a routine mission, this Catalina was damaged after grounding on a coral reef at Lake Tegano on Rennell Island. The flyingboat was stripped of equipment then abandoned and sunk.

Wreckage
Postwar, the Rennell islandsers attempted to retrieve one of the radial engines of the aircraft to use as a generator using only man-power. First it was cut from the wing by diving with snorkels and using hand-tools. It was then dragged across the coralline rock lake floor by hand-winch. T They did manage to get it close to the shoreline before giving up, close enough that one of the propeller blades is exposed to the air. Very quickly however, the engine became unusable through corrosion, so further attempts to bring it ashore were abandoned.

References
Thanks to Jim Sawruk for additional information
Wikipedia - Rennel Island - Lake Tegano

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Last Updated
January 31, 2018

 

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