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  PBY-5 Catalina Serial Number A24-53  
43 Squadron

Former Assignments
11 Squadron
20 Squadron

AWM c1943

Crew  F/O Francis Kirby Robinson, RAAF 402544 (KIA / BR)
Crew  F/Sgt Donald George Abbey, RAAF 410135 (KIA / BR)
Crew  F/Sgt Douglas George Hoffman, RAAF 207799 (MIA / KIA)
Crew  F/Sgt Brian Kenneth Winterbon, RAAF 429254 (KIA / BR)
Crew  Sgt Arthur Maurice Belshaw, RAAF 67878 (KIA / BR)
Crew  W/O Robert Alfred Swan, RAAF 404221 (KIA / BR)
Crew  Sgt Norman Donald Woodhouse, RAAF 18994 (KIA / BR)
Crew  Sgt Kenneth Evenett Thompson, RAAF 9167 (KIA / BR)
Crew  Sgt William David Reece, RAAF 18984 (MIA / KIA)

Crashed  April 21, 1944

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated Aircraft Corporation as PBY-5 Constructor's Number 1258. Assigned US Navy (USN) Bureau Number 08334. Delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) where it served with 11 Squadron, 43 Squadron and 20 Squadron before returning to 43 Squadron on December 23, 1943.

Mission History
Aircraft was engaged on a minelaying operation. Other aircraft reported an explosion and fire near the entrance to Balikpapan Harbour.

A Dutch POW by the name of Van Kringlen reported the burial of 7 Australian airmen in the Dutch Civil Cemetery. The bodies were brought to him by the Japanese who stated they believed other bodies were still in the wreck when it sank.

Post-war, the seven bodies were positively identified and are now buried at the Labuan War Cemetery. F/Sgt Hoffman and Sgt Reece are believed to have gone down with the aircraft and are now commemorated on the Labuan Memorial.

RAAF Casualty Card - Catalina A24-53
ADF Serials - Catalina A24-53
RAAF DB - Catalina A24-53
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for his assistance with this profile

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018


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