Catalina boats in the RNZAF

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Re: Catalina boats in the RNZAF

Postby flyernzl » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:35 am

OK boys and girls, intermission over. I've done with buzzing Bantam microlights for now.
Time to put away your Jaffas and Topsys* and attend the screen once more.

Boeing PB2B-1 Catalina NZ4053 arrived Fiji 09 October 1944.
Served post-war with 5Sdn at Lauthala Bay as KN-K
Damaged when taxiied onto reef Lauthala Bay 25Nov45, restored.
Declared surplus 1956, Disposal #42/56. SOC and sold for scrap to NZ Metal Smelters for 175 pounds ex Hobsonville.

At Mechanics Bay, I've no idea which TEAL Solent is also edging into the photo.


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and the groundies goofing off

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* = For those unlucky enough not to be born Kiwi, the vernacular:
- Jaffas are small balls of chocolate, about the size of a schoolboy's marble, coated with a hard exterior layer of orange confectionery. You buy a box of these at the movie theatre and after eating a few you wait until the movie reaches a quiet part (the hero is kissing the heroine, or the detective is tailing the baddie) and roll the rest of your Jaffas down the sloping wooden floor of the movie house so that they go rumble rumble rumble and disturb all the other patrons. Great fun.
- A Topsy is a vanilla ice-cream on a stick, coated with a hard dark chocolate shell. The ice cream boy comes down the theatre aisle during the intermission selling these treats.
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Re: Catalina boats in the RNZAF

Postby flyernzl » Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:42 am

Boeing PB2B-1 Catalina NZ4054 arrived Fiji 11 October 1944.
Appears to never have carried squadron code letters, possibly kept as a reserve aircraft.
Declared surplus 1954, Disposal #76/54. SOC & scrapped at Hobsonville.

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Re: Catalina boats in the RNZAF

Postby flyernzl » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:13 am

Boeing PB2B-1 Catalina NZ4055 arrived Fiji 27 November 1944.
Served post-war with 5Sdn at Lauthala Bay as KN-L, then with 6Sdn Hobsonville 23 March 1953-02 April 1954.
WFU Apr54, declared surplus 1956, Disposal #42/56. SOC at Hobsonville.
Sold £250 J Sellars, Northland. To Wellsford 1958, scrapped mid 1960s

NZ4055 at Mechanics Bay

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The Catalina was towed overwater to Whangateau where the wings were removed.

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The Catalina was then taken by road to Wellsford and parked on owners property on the main road through Wellsford. Local garage proprietor Jack Sellars intended to convert NZ4055 to a houseboat. This did not proceed, and the Catalina sat alongside his house for some years clearly visible from the road. It was the first Catalina I ever saw. On family trips I used to spot it as we drove past, but was too young to do more than look.

This is the house, at Wellsford. To the right of the building is an extension (with the large windows), built at a later date than the main house. The Catalina sat in this area prior to the extension being constructed, nose towards the road.

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The Catalina was shifted to the rear of the property some time in the 1960s to allow for the building work. The following photos show the fuselage at that stage. By the mid 1960s it had been sold for scrap.

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I have spent many years looking for photos of NZ4055, haunted by my childhood memories. Thanks to Jim Mungall for sourcing these photos by Don Subritzky.
Last edited by flyernzl on Tue Feb 16, 2021 7:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Catalina boats in the RNZAF

Postby MrWidgeon » Fri Oct 29, 2010 6:21 am

Keep 'em coming Peter, this is great !
I know what you mean about long fruitless searches.
Thanks to Skimmerone I have a picture that I had been looking for for ages too.
In water flying attitude is everything
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Re: Catalina boats in the RNZAF

Postby flyernzl » Fri Oct 29, 2010 6:45 am

The final Cat . . .

Boeing PB2B-1 Catalina NZ4056 arrived Fiji 29 November 1944.
Saw postwar service with 5Sdn Lauthala Bay as KN-F, returned to Hobsonville from Lauthala Bay on 12 November 1952 for storage but was declared unfit for flying.
SOC 29Jan1953, Disposal #174. RTS at Hobsonville.

NZ4056 at Hobsonville

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Re: Catalina boats in the RNZAF

Postby flyernzl » Fri Oct 29, 2010 6:46 am

MrWidgeon wrote:I know what you mean about long fruitless searches.


Work on the basis that out there - somewhere - someone has what you seek.
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Re: Catalina boats in the RNZAF

Postby AlexNortonesq » Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:43 pm

Thank you very much, fly (may I call you fly?). The whole series has been of tremendous interest. I am glad you persevered to find pictures of each aircraft. The complete set is a model of "what can be done!"

Well done.

Alex
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Re: Catalina boats in the RNZAF

Postby flyernzl » Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:04 am

Thank you for your appreciation of the effort.

There are some photos which are of interest, but cannot be fitted into the sequence.

An overview of rotten row at Hobsonville, circa 1950

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Three Catalinas, probably in available reserve storage, 1947 or thereabouts. I can identify these as PA-M NZ4041, PA-G NZ4035 (which became ZK-AMI)and PA-N NZ4042

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Unidentifiable Catalina on taxii at Hobsonville

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RNZAF Catalina and Dakota up on the field at Hobsonville. Looks like the occasion is a public open day. There are no squadron markings on the Cat, so it might well be NZ4054?

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Catalina during a display. As the location looks very like the aero club airfield at Mangere (now the site of Auckland International Airport), it would seem highly likely that the date is 20Mar1949 and the Catalina is NZ4050 (a match to the date logged image under the entry for that aircraft as seen earlier in this sequence).
This is my favorite photo of an RNZAF Catalina - very evocative of those post-war days.

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Re: Catalina boats in the RNZAF

Postby MrWidgeon » Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:05 pm

Thanks Peter for the effort and for the new NZ PBY folder I now have that's just chock a block with shiny new pictures.
Well Done !
In water flying attitude is everything
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Re: Catalina boats in the RNZAF

Postby flyernzl » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:12 am

seawings wrote:
What's the chances of including them as a series set in my Catalina Archive I'm slowly building and adding to on the main site?? ;)


Permission has been given to archive the photos, credit to Marcus Bridle, Peter Lewis and Don Subritzky.

For anyone wondering why the listing was so slow to arrive, I do point out that it takes me a while to get from this

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to this

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