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  PBY  Catalina    

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated.

Wartime History
This Catalina was assigned to either the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), United States Navy (USN) or United States Army Air Force (USAAF) as an OA-10 Catalina. Wartime history unknown.

Mission History
Reportedly, this Catalina crashed at roughly Lat 9° 25' 60S Long 147° 28' 0E east of Sogeri, to the northeast of Port Moresby. After the crash, the crash site area was named Catalina.

Justin Taylan adds:
"This Catalina is a mystery to me. It is unclear if this is wartime Catalina or postwar civilian Catalina crash. Possibly, it was a non-fatal, non-combat loss with no obvious wartime record. No Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Catalina loss matches this loss. Nor any United States Navy (USN) Catalina loss either. Possibly, it was a U. S. Army OA-10 Catalina or some other unit."

The wreckage of this Catalina remained in situ near the entrance to Catalina under a clump of trees. During 1991, the wreckage was scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

Bob Piper recalls:
"[In the 1960s] I briefly looked at it one day and from memory it was beside the road to Sirinumu Dam on the
right heading out to that dam, and quite close to the road - perhaps in a garden at a plantation."

Snake Road page 225-226
"The plantation [Catalina Estate] got its name from a Catalina flying boat that crashed near the road during the war. Until it disappeared half way through 1991, the wreck could be seen under a clump of trees near the plantation entrance. It is likely it has become another victim in the illegal removal of wartime relics.
... There are various theories about the Catalina that was here, but the most likely one is that it was a United States Air Force [sic] plane that crashed while returning from a long-range reconnaissance flight along the north coast of the island sometime in 1943.
Ted Johnson, formerly of Sogeri plantation, recalls that this Catalina came down during a heavy storm over the plateau: The pilot was off course and made a perfect approach and landing to what he thought was Port Moresby harbour. This is verified by the pilot's circle and gradual descent through the clouds on the exact compass bearing of the Port Moresby harbour landing zone. The aircraft cut quite a swath through the tree-tops."
Thanks Bob Piper for additional information

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Last Updated
January 31, 2018


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