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PBY's

Old 19th Aug 2002, 05:19
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PBY SAR role in USS Indianapolis Rescue

Thanks PBoat, I'll see if I can get a copy.

Do you know if Lt Marks & crew received any awards ??
They certainly deserved it.

In his book ( which I have not read yet ) Adm Morison describes the Indianapolis tragedy as " a tale of routine stupidity & unnecessary suffering ". Not the USN's finest hour I'm afraid, and once again the way the Administration & top brass ran for cover & hung the Indianapolis' Captain McVay out to dry made it even worse.
Critical intelligence was not passed on to the commander on the spot - an echo of Pearl Harbour. CINCPAC Intel knew Jap subs were on his route to Leyte,but nobody told Captain McVay.

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Old 28th Aug 2002, 10:04
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MIDWAY - PBY in Attack Role ?

I have read an account of the Midway battle in which an unsuccessful attack was made by B-17's on the Midway Occupation Force,which was spotted by a PBY from Midway. There was no aircraft carrier in this group, it consisted of two battleships, two light cruisers, a complement of destroyers & twelve troop transport ships. The following is a quote from the account:
" The attack was subsequently renewed by four Catalinas,which succeeded in torpedoeing an oiler but without inflicting serious damage."
Is this correct ? Could the PBY launch torpedoes ?
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Old 28th Aug 2002, 15:53
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If I can lift it, I can carry it:

The PBY could carry bombs, depth charges, extra fuel tanks and torpedoes. Our P-Boats operated in a peace time era and we could carry an 8-man lifeboat under the wing.

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Old 28th Aug 2002, 16:56
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Description of the action:

http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/e...way/mid-1m.htm
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Old 28th Aug 2002, 18:47
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Question HARS Black Cat

Any news ? Still stuck on that small field in France ?
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Old 29th Aug 2002, 00:45
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Unhappy

Yes, still sitting quietly outside the Airport Director's office.

Hopefully, a decision in September.

G'day
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Old 29th Aug 2002, 05:48
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PBY Midway

Thanks Lu, it sure was/is a versatile aircraft.
Looking at the high aspect ratio wing you can see it has good range, considering the low wing loading there was some very astute design work done with airfoil camber to give it a good payload & still have good range.

Thanks I.M.E. , Very interesting web site, I've marked it for future refernce.
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Old 30th Aug 2002, 08:07
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PBY & Pearl Harbour Attack

Midget Sub found
The midget sub sunk 07 Dec '41 in the Pearl Harbour approaches has been found by Hawaii Underseas Research Laboratory personnel on a submersible vehicle training dive.
As discussed previously on this topic there was some involvement of a PBY in this operation. The following is an expansion on Paper Tiger's post on this subject.
Although not mentioned in the report from USS Ward ( credited with the sinking ) the report from USS Antares which had sighted the sub at 0630 & signalled Ward , mentions that a Patrol acft dropped smoke markers on the sub's location at 0633. The Ward sped to the scene & at 0645 scored a hit on the conning tower with gunfire. Ward then depth charged the spot where it sank.
Antares reported that the patrol acft also dropped depth charges,which figures as there were three PBY's from VP14 on early morning patrol & armed with depth charges.
The sub had initially been spotted by USCG Condor a minesweeper, at 0350 & had signalled Ward of the sighting. Ward had been searching since that time & no doubt the PBY smoke markers had been of assistance in making the intercept.
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Old 30th Aug 2002, 15:12
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I just thought I would add another comment about the PBY to this thread.

In July of 2001 we flew a PBY in a movie for Mirimax and they had the depth charges mounted under the wings using the origional depth charge mounts and dummy depth charges made exactly as origional.

The loss of performance was very noticeable from lift off to every phase of flight. Having flown fifteen hours with these things on the wings trying to manouver the airplane at its maximum rete of turn, bank etc. I can only wonder how they flew them with such overloads of fuel and arrmament on board.

We will never really properly appreciate what these crews went through.

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Old 30th Aug 2002, 15:25
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Question USCG Minesweeper?

[QUOTE]The sub had initially been spotted by USCG Condor a minesweeper.

I won’t dispute this but to my knowledge the USCG did not operate minesweepers or any other fully combatant ships until war was officially declared and the Coast Guard was transferred from the Treasury Department to the US Navy. CG ships of that era had gun mounts but at that time they were employed in maritime patrol assignments.

Here is a list of coastal minesweepers based at Pearl harbor on 7-December 1941 along with the transfer of the ships after the war.
According to the list I got this information from they were listed as US Navy vessels. There is a possibility that the Condor was eventually manned by CG crews.

MINESWEEPERS, COASTAL (4)
Cockatoo, AMc-8: to Maritime Commission 9-46
Condor, AMc-14: to Maritime Commission 7-46
Crossbill, AMc-9: to Maritime Commission 3-47
Reedbird, AMc-30: to Maritime Commission 11-46


Last edited by Lu Zuckerman; 30th Aug 2002 at 15:37.
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Old 31st Aug 2002, 18:11
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PBY: Propeller leaving the engine during take-off.


About 50 years ago, an incident happened, where a propeller and the front part of the engine broke off during take off in bad weather on sea off the coast of Iceland.
The propellers blades “axed” throught the left front and side cockpit windows, inches from the nose of the captain and then onwards in the hull in front of the cockpit, cutting other 10 cuts in the hull “like a knive cutting butter” as described by the pilots who escaped miraclously, but with some injuries.
It would be interessant to hear if there are similar incidents on the PBY, where the prop, which normally was close to the cockpit came closer then acceptable.

Regards, pete
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Old 31st Aug 2002, 19:13
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Question Cut off your nose to spite your face.

Most likely as the aircraft ploughed through the water on takeoff the prop hit a wave. This has happened several times on PBYs as well as PBMs. A Coast guard PBM was lost during the Korean conflict when a Chinese ship which was in support of North Korea sent a few shells towards the PBM as it was taking off and one of the props hit a geyser from an exploding shell tearing off not only the prop but the entire engine.

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Old 31st Aug 2002, 19:27
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Capt. x-wind, here's the web address of HURL. Go take a look at the midget sub, they've got some stills and videos of the thing.
www.soest.hawaii.edu/HURL/hurl.html
I found no mention if the sub was discovered initially by a PBY. Also, in the book about the Indy, there's no mention (so far) whether or not Lt. Adrian Marks and his crew recieved any decorations for their efforts. I'm guessing that they did.

The open sea landing sprung a few seams and popped enough rivets that the aircraft was leaking at the rate of "ten to twelve buckets per hour," which would make it about twenty - twenty five gallons per hour. The crew started bailing immediately. The book also states that just before dark another PBY flown by Lt. Richard Alcorn also landed to pick up survivors. Unfortunately, he landed too far afield from most survivors, and only picked up one. He must have stayed on the water overnight, for the book states "..that he could be of use by operating his plane's lights as beacons to guide circling aircraft and rescue ships to the scene."
It also states, "He (Alcorn) would spend a total of more than fifty-one hours in the area, returning to Peleliu only to refuel."

Pete, I seem to remember an accident where a PBY shed a prop on a water landing once. I think it happened on the west coast, however I could be wrong abot that. I know of one DC-3 accident where a prop went through the cockpit and killed the guy in the jump seat.
(Chuck, that was Northern Wings - Moose was the Captain)
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Old 1st Sep 2002, 09:34
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PBY & Pearl Harbour Attack

Thanks for your comment Lou, the info I have on this action I obtained from archives and is copied below.

Extract from the Report by CINCPAC to the Secretary of the Navy 15 Feb 1942
"The first enemy contact of 7 December, 1941, is believed to have been made at 0350, when the U.S.C.G. Condor sighted the periscope of a submerged submarine. At that time the Condor was conducting sweeping operations approximately one and three-fourths miles southwest of the Pearl Harbor entrance buoys."

It is generally assumed that this is the submarine sunk by Ward at 0640, but I wonder if it could be
* the submarine engaged by USS Helm at 0817?
or
* the submarine hit by gunfire by USS Curtiss & USS Tangier at 0837, then rammed & depth charged by USS Monaghan at 0843 ?

Hollywood versions of the attack give a false picture of an off guard USN having made no preparation for an imminent war with Japan.
This is not the case when you look into the facts. The harbour approaches were being actively patrolled and as well PBY's armed with depth charges were on patrol in coastal waters.
The majority of anti aircraft weapons were in action within 5 minutes ,the heavy calibre machine guns were in action in very short time & 2 attacking aircraft were shot down in the first wave.
The fact that USS Ward instantly attacked the sub without reference back to CINCPAC shows that the Rules of Engagement were at a war footing.
PBY's were on patrol out of Midway as well as the Aleutions. The only criticism one can make in this regard is that there were no long range PBY patrols out of Hawaii. The only excuse I have ever seen in this regard is "there were not enough aircraft to give complete coverage." There were in fact 30 plus PBY's & the operation out of Midway, plus coverage from 200 nm to the WSW by Task force 8 would have filled in a lot of the area to be patrolled.

P/Boat ,thanks for the info, much appreciated. I have some more info on the PBY & midget sub to track down.
x/w

Last edited by Capt. Crosswind; 2nd Sep 2002 at 09:25.
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Old 1st Sep 2002, 13:24
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Regarding the US preparation for war with Japan, read this:

http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/6315/pearl.html
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Old 1st Sep 2002, 16:24
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Thumbs up A sale

Received word that a well-known UK Catalina operater has bought C-FNJF. This is one of the two which have languished at Cassidy B.C. for the past five years after the collapse of the African safari project.

A team will be coming over to get it airworthy for the ferry flight. It will be restored in the UK to full transport category CofA. Hope more details will be forthcoming - I'd sure like to see some air under its wings again.
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Old 1st Sep 2002, 16:59
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I seem to recall that some sort of celebrity type made a flying houseboat/motorhome of a PBY, and it was gorgeous. Jacque Cousteu, perhaps?
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Old 1st Sep 2002, 17:19
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Paper Tiger:

Any idea on when they plan to ferry it? winter is fast approaching in the northern hemisphere.

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Old 1st Sep 2002, 17:48
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Chuck:

I don't think there's any harm in identifying the purchasers as Plane Sailing. My correspondent quotes from a 'press release' but unfortunately didn't give a source or URL. Nothing on their website which doesn't seem to have ever been updated !

If they want it to be ready for next season in the UK (~April 2003), I would think its departure is imminent. There's a lot of work to be done.
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Old 1st Sep 2002, 20:00
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Paper Tiger:

Hi;

Yes it is Plain Sailing they have been dealing on these two airplanes for over a year.

As far as work on it goes, yes there will be a lot needed.

I ferried that airplane to Nanaimo about four years ago and then flew it for a photo shoot, they were both in very good condition at that time except for minor snags you will run into with any airplane.

However as I understand it they are planning on removing the engines to be opened and checked for condition, that of course is a time consuming job. By the time you remove, ship, open and reassemble the engines then ship and reinstall them there goes any hope of a ferry flight this year. Unless they spend a fortune to fly via S. America, Africa and up to the U.K.

Also the props will have to be re-certified, it all takes lots of time.

I still have not ferried the U.S. registered PBY from N. Weald to Virginia Beach Va, due to unforseen problems, and the longer we wait the slimmer the time frame to ferry it before winter ensures we can't. I was in London for a couple of weeks to install a new engine and re- do the props as they were calander timed out, I returned home about two weeks ago due to the delay in getting parts etc....... and on and on and onn....

These airplanes have no anti / de icing of any sort plus no heat for the crew. Another absolute guarantee you will not be able to ferry them is there are no fuel dilution systems in them so once the temperature gets in or below the freezing range trying to start them without pre heat is very, very risky.

I sure would not like to get the airplane stuck in Iceland or Greenland for the winter, the cost would really be something.

Oh well time will tell what happens.

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Last edited by Chuck Ellsworth; 1st Sep 2002 at 20:03.
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