The Consolidated PBY Catalina

Operational Units

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Operational Units - Norwegian Squadrons, RAF

Operational Units - USN

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5th U.S. Army Air Force


Order: Patrol the south-west Pacific Ocean

2nd Emergency Rescue Squadron
1944   -   Consolidated OA-10A CATALINA

(44-33879) ''Snafu Snatchers''

Later to 13th Air Force


 Royal Australian Air Force

No. 11 Squadron
1939, September 25   -    RAAF Base Richmond
1941   -   Consolidated CATALINA   -   Port Moresby in New Guinea
The Squadron was re-equipped with Catalina aircraft in 1941.
Upon the outbreak of war with Japan, No. 11 Squadron began flying patrol missions across the South West Pacific area.
1942, February   -   Consolidated CATALINA   -   RAAF Base Rathmines on Lake Macquarie in New South Wales
While the Squadron was withdrawn to RAAF Base Rathmines on Lake Macquarie in New South Wales following the Japanese air attacks on Port Moresby in February 1942, it continued to carry out patrols in the waters around New Guinea.
In early March 1943 aircraft from No. 11 Squadron took part in the surveillance of the Japanese convoy which was destroyed in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea


In 1943 No. 11 Squadron began conducting offensive mine-laying operations, which it continued until the end of the war.
The Squadron's most notable achievement in this role was the mining of Manila harbour in late 1944,
which required three aircraft to fly over 14,500 kilometres in the RAAF's longest mission of the war.

BlackCat PBY-5 FJoA

BlackCat PBY-5 FJoA 
Doctor's Gully, Darwin in July 1945


No. 20 Squadron

1941, August 1   -    Port Moresby


1943, June   -   Consolidated CATALINA   -   Bowen, Queensland
In June 1943, No. 20 Squadron's role changed when it commenced mine laying operations over the Netherlands East Indies and Philippines.
- - -
1944, October   -   Consolidated CATALINA   -   Darwin
In October 1944 the Squadron moved to Darwin so that it could be closer to its area of operations.
Three aircraft from No. 20 Squadron flew the RAAF's last mine-laying mission on 30 July 1945.

Following the end of the war, No. 20 Squadron operated in the transport role and ferried Australian prisoners of war home from various locations in South East Asia. The Squadron was disbanded at RAAF Base Rathmines on 27 March 1946..

No. 42 Squadron
1944, June 1   -   Consolidated CATALINA   -   Darwin & Melville Island
No. 42 Squadron was formed at Darwin on 1 June 1944. Equipped with Catalina aircraft the Squadron moved to Melville Island in July and began flying operational patrols on 27 August.


1944, September   -   Consolidated CATALINA   -   Melville Island
While No. 42 Squadron initially flew reconnaissance and escort missions, the Squadron's main role from September 1944 was mine laying.
The Squadron began its mine laying campaign by flying missions in the eastern islands of the Netherlands East Indies.
The Squadron's operations around Celebes were particularly successful.
- - -
1944, November   -   Consolidated CATALINA   -   Melville Island, Morotai and later at Leyte
From November 1944 No. 42 Squadron maintained forward detachments closer to the battlefront, initially at Morotai and later at Leyte.
Flying from these bases and Melville Island mine laying aircraft from the Squadron ranged as far as Formosa, Borneo and Sumatra during 1945.
-   -
Following the end of the war No. 42 Squadron assisted in the repatriation of Australian Prisoners of War and other personnel. The Squadron was disbanded at Melville Island on 30 November 1945

No. 43 Squadron

1943, May 1   -   Consolidated PB2B-2 (Boeing built PBY-5) CATALINA   -   Bowen in Queensland

No. 43 Squadron was formed at Bowen in Queensland on 1 May 1943.
Equipped with Catalina aircraft the Squadron flew its first operational patrols from Karumba on 8 September.

While No. 43 Squadron was initially allocated a general reconnaissance role (like all the RAAF's Catalina squadrons),
the Squadron also operated in the mine laying and bombing roles.
In addition to flying convoy protection patrols along the Australian East Coast the Squadron conducted offensive operations against Japanese shipping in the Solomon Islands and the eastern islands of the Netherlands East Indies.

BlackCat PB2B-2 OXoH

BlackCat PB2B-2 OXoR


BlackCat PB2B-2 OXoV


1944, April   -   Consolidated PBY-5 CATALINA   -   Darwin

After moving to Darwin in April 1944 the Squadron operated almost exclusively in the mine laying role.
Operating alongside the other Catalina squadrons, No. 43 Squadron conducted mine laying operations throughout South East Asia, venturing as far as the Chinese coast.




Following the end of the war No. 43 Squadron performed routine patrol and transport flights until moving to RAAF Base Rathmines in November 1945. No 43 Squadron was disbanded at Rathmines on 10 April 1946.


Militaire Luchtvaart - Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger (ML-KNIL)
(Air Force of the Royal Dutch Indies Army)

Groep Vliegtuigen 16 (GVT-16)
Tandjong Priok
Consolidated PBY-5A CATALINA (Y-planes)


Groep Vliegtuigen 17 (GVT-17)
Consolidated PBY-5A CATALINA (Y-planes)


Groep Vliegtuigen 18 (GVT-18)
Consolidated PBY-5A CATALINA (Y-planes)

Consolidated PBY-5A CATALINA (Y-planes)
(Another 30 Aircraft in Reserve in the process of organizing into additional GVT)