RNoAF Catalina Mk.IB


TYPE: Long-range reconnaissance aircraft boat

2x 7.69mm Browning machineguns
2x 12.7mm Browning machineguns
8x 225 Kg bombs
8x 130 Kg Depth charges

Wingspan: 31.7m
Lenght: 19.5m
Eigne: 2x 1.200 Hp Prwtt & Whitney R-1830-82
Top speed: 320 Km/h
Cruise speed: 175 Km/h
Range: 3.000 Km

SERIAL NUMBERS - times in service and fates

The idea of utilizing the local knowledge of the Norwegian naval aviators on the Norwegian coast in connection with the transport of agents and equipment meant that in November 1941 preparations were made to develop a separate, small Norwegian department with CAtalina flying boats. The Canadian No 413 squadron, which was stationed at Sullom Voe in Shetland, was given the task of training two complete Norwegian crews. This quickly became problematic due to the weather conditions in Shetland in winter, so parts of the education were moved south to Scotland.

Woodhaven in Scotland had now been earmarked as a future station for the department and the command was lifted on 8 February 1942. The base was only 8 km from Leuchars airfield. On 19 February, the first Catalina machine, the QL-R, which had previously served with No 413 and No 210 squadrons, arrived. The aircraft was christened Vikingtor and was eventually to become one of the strugglers at the department. The NORWEGIAN department was at this time under the RAF’s No 210 squadron which flew the same type of aircraft

The first cruise towards Norway started on 14 April 1942 from Woodhaven, but they remained weatherproof in Sullom Voe until 17 April. The task was reconnaissance from Stad to VEga and attacking submarines and German ships. They found no vessels, but came into battle with a German Blohm & Voss Bv 138 flying boat west of the Trondheimsfjord. Shortly afterwards, on 1 May 1942, the first of many secret trips to the Norwegian coast was carried out. Two agents and a lot of equipment were put ashore at LEka, on the border between Trøndelag and Nordland. On 23 May, two agents and their helpers were picked up at Stavenes in Sunnfjord. during the summer and autumn there were several such trips in addition to pure reconnaissance missions.

The second Catalina aircraft, FP121 arrived in September and was painted with the Norwegian flag and the name Jøssing. Torpedo attacks were practiced a lot this autumn. on the night of Christmas Eve 1942, packages of goodies were dropped for people on the Helgeland coast. both planes were there, but Jøssing had engine problems and had to return. On 1 February 1943, the Norwegian division was separated from No 210 squadron and organized as a separate unit, 1477 Norwegian flight. On 13 February, one was assigned its third aircraft, FP115, but this was in such poor condition that it was surrendered after two weeks. As a replacement, an FP314 was given the name Viking. in the time that followed, hundreds of flying hours were spent over the North Atlantic and the Norwegian Sea in search of submarines. The planes barely stopped by Woodhaven and operated from Reykjavik, Shetland and the Faroe Islands

10 May 1943 was a new anniversary. Then the unit changed its name and became No 333 Norwegian squadron with the Catalina unit as A flight and a new Mosquito unit as B flight. This summer and autumn, a flight mainly flew secret missions towards Norway, and it was not until 3 May 1944 that it made contact with a German submarine again. however, it managed to dive before the aircraft could attack. On the night of 17 May, Jøssing attacked another submarine, but was so damaged in the skirmish that it sank in shallow water back in Woodhaven. On 17 June, Ulabrann sank a submarine in the northern part of the North Sea. The autumn of 1944 was quiet. at the end of October the Russians moved into Finnmark, and on 6 December Ulabrand was able to set course for Liinahamarii Nord for Petsamo with medicine for the Kirkenes area. At the turn of the year 1944/45, the aircraft were replaced with Catalina Mk.IV A/B equipped with radar





Catalina Mk.IB PBY-5B — ImgBB



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