Historic ‘Cat’ leaves Netherlands

Catalina PH-PBY leaves the Netherlands for the last time, escorted by DC-3 PH-PBA and AT-6A Texan PH-TXN. BEN ULLINGS

Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina BuNo 2459/ PH-PBY left Lelystad on 29 May, heading for a new home with the Collings Foundation at Stow, Massachusetts. The combat veteran had been operated in the Netherlands for 24 years, having arrived for the Cat-Air Foundation in March 1996. Over recent years it had been in the ownership of the Stichting Neptune Association. The historic machine, which commemorated the 78 PBYs that served with the Dutch Marine Luchtvaart Dienst (Naval Air Service), received an escort from Douglas DC-3 PH-PBA and North American AT-6A Texan PH-TXN.

Originally delivered to the US Navy at Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia, as BuNo 2459 on 23 December 1941, while being operated by VP-73 out of Reykjavík on 20 August 1942 it caused suffi cient damage to U-boat tender U-464 that it had to be scuttled by its crew. Another victory came on 5 October 1942, while fl ying cover for convoy HX-209, when U-582 was spotted 400 miles south of Iceland and despatched. On 24 June 1943, with Lt Joseph W. Beach at the controls, U-200 was attacked with a Fidol homing torpedo and sunk.