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Rose Bay Flying Boats in WW2

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Rose Bay Flying Boats in WW2

Old 27th Sep 2010, 13:11
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Rose Bay Flying Boats in WW2

These photos have come to light - my mother worked there during WW2. I hope they may be of interest to someone.









That's her and two friends on Coriolanus



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Old 27th Sep 2010, 15:31
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Wow! These are fantastic, many thanks for sharing them.
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Old 27th Sep 2010, 22:37
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Picture 3 just has to be the ultimate Angler's tale.

"You'll never belive the one I caught today dear. It was thiiiiisssssss big"
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Old 27th Sep 2010, 23:34
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The story of VH-ABB 'Coolangatta' is that it crashed on landing on 11 October 1944. It was on final approach with one engine shut down, stalled 10 ft above the water and the hull ruptured on impact. Thirty people on board, unhappily one fatality.

Spectacular pictures, thank you!
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Old 1st Oct 2010, 13:27
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Wonderful photographs, thank you. I am always pleased to see photographs of the C Class boats and Sunderlands. The photos of Clifton are especially welcome as I have not seen that many .
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Old 1st Oct 2010, 13:30
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One last one



Looks like G-AGIO - anyone know anything about it?

All it had on the back was "PBY at Rose Bay, we put in extra fuel tanks to do the trip across the Indian Ocean, S Africa, to UK"

ps S'land: looks like Clifton had taken a wire strike on the port wing? Or is it just where the float was attached?
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Old 1st Oct 2010, 19:54
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It was G-AGID ('IO was a C-47A Dakota 3). From my excellent Aviation Hobby Shop publication, it was a "Catalina 4A, first registered 5 July 1943, returned to the RAF on 28 Nov 45 as JX575, and scuttled off Freemantle (sic) Australia on 15 December 1946." G-AGIE (JX577) suffered an identical fate.
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Old 2nd Oct 2010, 09:17
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Thanks D120A. A worthy diving project for the WA contingent?
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Old 2nd Oct 2010, 09:40
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G-AGID was one of the BOAC Catalinas loaned to QANTAS for the Ceylon to Perth service.
Flights lasted between 24 and 30 hours which must have been an ordeal for passengers and crew.
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Old 2nd Oct 2010, 14:12
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Double Sunrise Catalinas

This a link to another thread talking about G-AGID and her sister aircraft on their wartime flights.
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Old 2nd Oct 2010, 15:12
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Fantastic photos - many thanks for letting us all have a look.
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Old 2nd Oct 2010, 17:27
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Originally Posted by renfrew View Post
G-AGID was one of the BOAC Catalinas loaned to QANTAS for the Ceylon to Perth service.
Flights lasted between 24 and 30 hours which must have been an ordeal for passengers and crew.
There is an excellent and lengthy account of such a wave-skimming 24 hour Catalina flight, albeit on the other side of the world from Prestwick to Halifax, in the book "Croissants at Croydon", by Jack Bamford, published by Sutton Council Libraries. Done in the winter, that was just a single overnight, but still took 24 hours !
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Old 3rd Oct 2010, 14:01
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Cats were also active from the West and East coasts of South Africa. I used to fly with an old fellow who was ex Bomber - and later Coastal Command when the phenominal endurance of Cats came up - Apparantly he served on Catalinas operating out of Sth. Africa on anti Jap sumarine partrols - where if memory hasnt failed me - was able to locate via Radar surfaced subs etc from 100 miles distant


Also for flying boat buffs there is the amazing true story of the near tragic
transatlantic flight in 1946 told in the book entitled 'The Bermuda Sky Queen' - involving some 65 passengers forced to alight in rough seas in mid atlantic through crew havigational and fuel loading errors - or incompetence.

...
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Old 5th Oct 2010, 14:46
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bonajet:
Sorry not to reply sooner, but have only just got back on the 'net. VH-ACD Clifton crashed on landing in Rose Bay on 18 November 1944 - the last of the Empire Boats to be lost. I am not sure what the cause was, it could have been a wire strike.

VH-ABB Coolengata was lost in the same place on landing on 11 October 1944 - the penultimate Boat lost.

The other Boat you show is the longest serving VH-ABA Corialanus. Registered on 1 March 1937 and taken out of service in December 1937 after having flown for 1,500 hours.
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Old 5th Oct 2010, 15:51
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Clifton and Coriolanus were BOAC aircraft stranded south of Singapore when it fell to the Japanese.
Coriolanus,VH-ABG made it's last flight in December 1947.
Clifton crashed Sydney 18Jan44.
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Old 8th Oct 2010, 05:39
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Rose Bay, nice suberb although few can afford to live there. Still a float plane base there. Sped through it every day on bike (speeding) (they only ever caught me in Watson's Bay and Sydney Harbour bridge) and drove quite a few double deckers through at 21mph.

Sorry - limited aviation content.
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Old 26th Apr 2013, 14:30
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The photos of Clifton show her after the crash of 18 January 1944. The one of the starboard side shows the hole made during alighting - whether she hit something or whether it was just water pressure that made the hole has never been resolved definitively. What is known is that her Captain, Alf Ashley, in attempting to prevent her digging in after the nose was holed inadvertently hauled her into the air. Clifton stalled and impacted heavily on her nose and starboard wing, hence the extensive crushing damage to the nose.

Clifton sank but not until after being towed into the shallows near the Rose Bay Flying Boat Base. During the night, while Coriolanus was hurriedly being re-floated so that Clifton could be brought ashore, a naval launch rammed Clifton's port wing despite being told to keep away. This is the big 'cut' in the port wing leading edge that you can see.

Clifton was finally brought ashore but the damage, particularly to the port wing, plus the onset of corrosion, made repair impractical and she was broken up.

Last edited by Philthy; 26th Apr 2013 at 14:31.
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Old 26th Apr 2013, 14:52
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excellent pics there bonajet
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Old 26th Apr 2013, 16:52
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bonajet, the Lend Lease Catalina wrecks are off the West Coast of Rottnest, and probably too deep to dive on. There has been some study done by the W.A. Museum as regards recovery of a Black Cat wreck, but it has all come to naught.

They were blown up, a couple burnt as well - there's a large amount of info about them in the following document.

https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&r...45645796,d.aGc

Last edited by onetrack; 26th Apr 2013 at 16:54.
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Old 26th Apr 2013, 19:54
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They still had seaplanes operating from Rose Bay to Lord Howe in 1967 and for a few years after.
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