Catalina A24-49

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Boba
2nd Lieutenant
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:53 am

Catalina A24-49

Post by Boba » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:27 pm

The Daily Updates area of this site provides a link for contributions of information. Over the past three years I have provided information via that link to update or correct information, however none have seen the light of day. One was regarding Val 3304 along with others.

In light of this, I provide the following information regarding the loss of A24-49 which appeared recently in the Daily Update area.

- A24-49 was a PBY-5 not a PBY-5A and was c/n 1199 BuNo. 8285. The squadron code/letter was assigned on 1 March 1944 and was FJ-A.
- The Mission History states it made a forced landing near Moegim village - this is wrong. The aircraft disappeared between Groote Eylandt and Manokwari and no trace of it or the crew have been found.
- There is no record of a RAAF Catalina crashing into the sea near Biak on that date.
- ADF Serial site states that the aircraft crashed near Horn Island as does the Ozatwar site. The information may have been extracted from RAAF records, however it is obviously wrong.
- In References it states a NEI SgtMaj saw the aircraft go down, however a later interview confirmed that he was some 60km away from Manokwari.
- Japanese A-A HQ confirmed they had fired on a Catalina however it was on the night 27 April 1944 and not the 28th. This is confirmed in the 11 and 20 Squadron Operational Records.
- The suggestion that a wheel from the Catalina was found clearly negates any argument that it may have been A24-49 as the PBY-5 model did not have an undercarriage.

The final report by Keith Rundle, CO of the RAAF Searcher Party confirms his belief that the aircraft failed to reach the target area and may have disappeared somewhere after taking off from Groote Eyelandt. The report by WOff Heywood of the RAAF Searcher Party also states that "there is no real evidence that this a/c ever reached the target."

In researching all the available information and material available for a book on the disappearance for the pilot's nephew, I could only conclude that the aircraft disappeared shortly after take off - no reports of any aircraft overflying the Aroe or Kai islands on which the Japanese were based along with 934 Ku floatplanes was uncovered suggesting the Catalina may not have reached that far north.

Trust this helps clarify the information available in the Daily Updates area.

Bob Alford
Lampang Thailand

GordyB2
1st Lieutenant
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:55 am

Re: Catalina A24-49

Post by GordyB2 » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:42 pm

Hi Bob,

Some extra details

The Code for A24-49 was FJ-L, circa August-September 1943 onwards (originally when flown by Sqn Ldr Coventry on his "special missions").

Served with 20 Sqn 05/05/43 Coded FJ-L. Served with 11 Sqn 24/06/43. Crashed 28/04/44 Horn Island QLD after a mission to Manokwari. Cat A24-49 FJ-L took off ex Groote Eylandt 1545 Hrs 28/04/44 to carry out a "special" mission. Designated lost after reaching its maximum endurance of possible flight at 1545hrs 29/04/44(24hours aloft).

A24-52 was FJ-A in Sept 1943 and was replaced by A24-69 as FJ-A (On 18/02/44 ex FJ-P))

Attached is the final RAAF view of loss

Best
Gordy
Attachments
A24-49 Final.jpg
A24-49 Final.jpg (110.65 KiB) Viewed 4338 times

GordyB2
1st Lieutenant
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:55 am

Re: Catalina A24-49

Post by GordyB2 » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:44 pm

List of A24 Serials and codes per 11Sqn

Best
Gordy
Attachments
11 Sqn Codes.jpg
11 Sqn Codes.jpg (29.59 KiB) Viewed 4338 times

GordyB2
1st Lieutenant
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:55 am

Re: Catalina A24-49

Post by GordyB2 » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:51 pm

However, Bob,..in final comment...its was coded FJ-A at one stage in between all of this. So, recoded and returned after overhaul,..when?

Puzzled. Have to check cards and more details.

Best
Gordy
Attachments
11Sqn Return of aircraft and crews P26.jpeg
11Sqn Return of aircraft and crews P26.jpeg (206.77 KiB) Viewed 4338 times

GordyB2
1st Lieutenant
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:55 am

Re: Catalina A24-49

Post by GordyB2 » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:01 pm

Around Jan 1944 FJ-L was A24-61, per a copy I hold per radio message with CallSign VM-ZPE L at Broome 29/01/44,.....so A24-49 would have been FJ-A at this point up to 17/04/44 before A24-69 became FJ-A, before being recoded to what?
FJ-L was A24-49 from May 1943 to September 43 at least as confirmed in NQ Northern Command docs

More puzzles then answers old mate caused by A24-69 18/02/44.

I'll be back

Gordy

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