RNoAF Catlaina Mk.IVA


TYPE: Long-range reconnaissance aircraft boat

2x 7.69mm Browning machineguns
2x 12.7mm Browning machineguns
8x 225 kg bombs
8x 130kg deep water bombs

Length: 19.6m
Wingspan: 31.7m
Eigne: 2x 1.200 Hp Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92
Top-speed: 300 Km/h
Cruise speed: 165 Km/h
Range: 4.300 Km

SERIAL NUMBERS - times in service and fates

No 333 squadron’s A-flight got new planes at the turn of the year 1944-1945. These planes were equipped with a Radar, and all of January was spent training on the new equipment. The planes also had to be grounded for a week due to the ice conditions in Woodhaven. In February/March, several special flights were flown, especially in connection with supplies to the southern island of Finnmark, where the population refused to be forcibly evacuated by the Germans

A-flight’s last special mission was to fly parts of the Allied Peace Commission to Oslo on 8 May 1945 together with a Sunderland from No 330 squadron. It was Catalina A/Viking II that received the assignment. Three days later, another Catalina landed in Bergen and then in Trondheim with Allied officers who were to take over command from the German authorities.

On 26 May 1945, the Mosquito division was separated as its own squadron, No 334 squadron, and now No 333 squadron became a pure Catalina division. On 11 June, the squadron returned to Norway for good and was relocated to the seaplane harbor at Fornebu. Gressholmen became the technical base. The planes were put into scheduled traffic between Oslo and Tromsø two or three times a week, a trip which without stopovers took 6 hours each way. If the weather was good on Sundays, the route was extended to Kirkenes. In June 1945, General Hansteen and his entourage were flown along the coast all the way to Tromsø to inspect military installations and infrastructure, and in July Crown Prince Olav was given a tour from Kristiansand to Kirkenes. Two aircraft, KK-B and KK-C, were equipped with large Norwegian flags on their bodies for the occasion. On 19 July, the entourage departed from the seaplane harbor at Fornebu, the Crown Prince in one plane and selected journalists in the other. A total of 22 places were visited, they read in northern Norway, by the time the group was back in Oslo on 1 August

The maritime planes could take advantage of a large network of seaplane ports in addition to the fact that they could go down almost anywhere if the sea was calm enough. They were therefore given transport tasks over large parts of the country. No 333 squadron’s machines were also put into escort service and given sea rescue duties when many German aircraft requested the ferry between Oslo and Copenhagen in 1945. Two German Dornier Do 24 flying boats were also used for this, with German crews and an armed Norwegian officer on board

21 November 1945 No 333 squadron was transferred to the Air Force and at the turn of the year Sola became the new home base. A short time later, the last of the old aircraft was returned to the RAF. 333 squadron eventually received new Catalina machines and would fly such aircraft for many years to come






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