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  PBY-5 Catalina Serial Number A24-6  
RAAF
No. 11 Squadron

Former Assignments
Qantas Empire Airways
No. 20 Squadron
STF (Seaplane Training Flight)

Click For Enlargement
February 28, 1942

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated as a Model 28-5MA at San Diego. Constructors Number 189. Purchased by Qantas Empire Airways (QEA). On June 8, 1941 took off form San Diego as part of delivery flight "G" on a Qantas delivery flight across the Pacific to Australia. On July 5, 1941 arrived at Rose Bay. On July 7, 1941 arrived at Rathmines. Registered as VH-AFG.

Delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as PBY-5 Catalina serial number A24-6. On August 7, 1941 assigned to No. 11 Squadron. Next, assigned to No. 20 Squadron August 14, 1941 then to Seaplane Training Flight (STF) on September 6, 1941. Reassigned to No. 11 Squadron on January 15, 1942.

Wartime History
On February 28, 1942 moored at Napa Napa in Fairfax Harbor. Attacked by strafing A6M2 Zeros of the 4th Kōkūtai, setting it on fire and sinking it. Also sunk was Catalina A24-3.

Wreckage
The presence of a wreck at this location has been known since the war on harbor survey maps. In early 2003, a PBY Catalina sunk off Napa Napa was rediscovered by the POMSAC (Port Moresby Sub-Aqua Club) during the construction of the InterOil Refinery and dock.

The known aircraft wreck, PBY Catalina sunk off Napa Napa has never been positively identified, but is either A24-3 or A24-6. Aboard the wreck were twelve 250kg bombs. MilSearch was contracted to remove the ordnance.  The bombs were taken 10 miles out to sea and dumped. Also, 7.7mm machine gun was removed from the nose, angering the local dive community.

In addition, divers also located fragments of another wreck, probably the other Catalina near where the InterOil dock was constructed. According to staff of the company, during the construction of the dock, this wreck was covered with fill, and was not further investigated.

References
11 Squadron Diary February 1942
ADF Serials - Catalina A24-6
Consolidated PBY Catalina by Michael McFadden

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Last Updated
February 23, 2020

 

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