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  Catalina I Serial Number A24-1  

Former Assignments
11 Squadron
20 Squadron

Click For Enlargement
Unknown c1970s

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Silvano Jung 2002
Pilot  W/Cdr William Keith Bolitho, 04401/407016 (survived) Adelaide, SA
Co-Pilot  F/O Young (survived)
Navigator  F/Lt Peter Broughton Cadell, 426039 (survived)
Wireless  F/Lt Payne (survived)
Crew  W/O Henry Angell Kirkhouse, O2112 (survived) Middlesborough, England
Crashed  August 30, 1945

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated in San Diego as Model 28-5ME. Constructor Number 27. Assigned to Royal Air Force (RAF) as Catalina Mark I serial number AH534. On January 25, 1941 took off from San Diego with a Consolidated aircrew on a flight to Oahu then handed over to a Qantas Empire Airways (QEA) civilian crew and ferried across the Pacific as part of delivery flight "A" to Australia and registered as VH-AFA.

Wartime History
On February 1, 1942 assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Catalina serial number A24-1. On February 2, 1942 arrived at Rose Bay.

On February 5, 1941 assigned to Seaplane Training Flight (STF). On March 19, 1941 assigned to 11 Squadron. On August 14, 1941 assigned to 20 Squadron. During November 1941, flown to Canada then returned to Australia. On December 13, 1941 returned to 11 Squadron.

On February 19, 1943 at 8:02 took off from Cairns piloted by S/Ldr Hodgkinson on a mission to bomb Ballale overnight and returned on February 20, 1943 at 12:03am.

On April 4, 1943 assigned to 3 Operational Training Unit (3 OTU).

On August 28, 1945 took off from Rathmines and landed at Darwin for the evacuation of Allied Prisoners Of War (POW) liberated from Singapore.

Mission History
On August 30, 1945 took off from Darwin Harbor piloted by W/Cdr William Keith Bolitho on a flight bound for Singapore. After take off, this Catalina crashed with the crew unhurt. On October 18, 1945 it was officially converted to components.

At low tide, the wreckage of this Catalina is exposed on a muddy bank in the East Arm of Darwin Harbor.

During the 1990s, the exhaust stacks were recovered from this wreckage by the RAAF and were used in the restoration of PBV-1A Canso CV369.

Originally, this Catalina was to be Model 28-5MA (Military Australia) VH-AFA under contract AUS-58 with RAF serial number DP202. However this aircraft was not ready and was substituted by a Model 28-5ME per part of original forty aircraft from French contract F-210 taken over by the United Kingdom after the surrender of France.
ADF Serials - Catalina A24-1
WW2 Nominal Roll - William Keith Bolitho
WW2 Nominal Roll - Peter Broughton Cadell
WW2 Nominal Roll - Henry Angell Kirkhouse
Thanks to Wynnum Graham, Silvano Jung and Daniel Leahy for information

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Last Updated
October 18, 2020

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