|Pilot W/Cdr William Keith Bolitho, 04401/407016 (survived) Adelaide, SA
Co-Pilot F/O Young (survived)
Navigator F/Lt Peter Broughton Cadell, 426039 (survived)
Wireless F/Lt Payne (survived)
Crew W/O Henry Angell Kirkhouse, O2112 (survived) Middlesborough, England
Crashed August 30, 1945
Built by Consolidated in San Diego. Constructor Number 27. Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number AH534. Originally, Catalina A24-1 was to be DP202 Model 28-5MA (Military Australia) VH-AFA under contract AUS-58. However this aircraft was not ready and was substituted by a Model 28-5ME per part of original forty aircraft the French contract F-210 which was taken over by the United Kingdom after the surrender of France.
Purchased by Qantas Empire Airways (QEA). On January 25, 1941 departed San Diego with a Consolidated aircrew on a flight to Oahu then handed over to a civilian crew from Qantas and flown across the Pacific as part of delivery flight "A" across the Pacific to Australia. Registered in Australia as VH-AFA.
On February 1, 1942 assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Catalina serial number A24-1. On February 2, 1942 arrived at Rose Bay.
On February 5, 1941 assigned to Seaplane Training Flight (STF). On March 19, 1941 assigned to 11 Squadron. On August 14, 1941 assigned to 20 Squadron. During November 1941, flown to Canada then returned to Australia then on December 13, 1941 returned to 11 Squadron.
On February 19, 1943 this Catalina was piloted by S/Ldr Hodgkinson, departing Cairns at 08:02 on a mission to bomb Ballale overnight. It safely returned at 00:03 on February 20, 1943.
On April 4, 1943 assigned to 3 Operational Training Unit (OTU).
On August 28, 1945 took off from Rathmines
and landed at Darwin for the evacuation of Allied Prisoners Of War (POW) liberated from Singapore.
On August 30, 1945 crashed during take off from Darwin Harbor.
The plane was a total loss, but the crew was uninjured. On October 18, 1945 it was officially converted to components.
At low tide, the wreckage of this Catalina is exposed on a muddy bank in the East
Arm of Darwin Harbor.
During the 1990s, the exhaust stacks were recovered from this wreckage by the RAAF and were used in the restoration of PBV-1A Canso CV369.
ADF Serials - Catalina A24-1
WW2 Nominal Roll - William Keith Bolitho
WW2 Nominal Roll - Peter Broughton Cadell
WW2 Nominal Roll - Henry Angell Kirkhouse
Thanks to Wynnum Graham, Dr. Silvano Jung and Daniel Leahy for information.
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April 12, 2019