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No. 20 Squadron
Qantas Empire Airways
Built by Consolidated Aircraft Corporation at San Diego as model 28-5MA. Constructors Number 218. Purchased by Qantas Empire Airways (QEA) On July 12, 1941 departs San Diego on a flight across the Pacific as part of Qantas delivery flight "H" with call sign VH-AFM. On July 21, 1941 arrives at Rose Bay in Australia and registered in Australia as VH-AFH.
During September 1941 assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as PBY-5 Catalina serial number A24-7. On September 8, 1941 assigned to No. 20 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
On January 22, 1942 during take off from Fairfax Harbor off Port Moresby piloted by S/Ldr Thomas MacBride Price, 172 with 2nd pilot P/O Lawrence Arthur Kirk, 407439, this Catalina stuck a submerged object and damage on both sides of the hull and did not participate on a mission to attack a Japanese convoy off Watom Island off Rabaul.
On February 28, 1942 this Catalina might have been further damaged on February 28, 1942 during the Japanese air raid against Napa Napa. On March 1, 1942 officially written off at Port Moresby.
During 1942, the fuselage was stripped for usable parts at Napa Napa. Ultimate fate unknown, the remainder of this Catalina was scrapped sometime afterwards.
Note, some sources incorrectly list the date of loss as January 23, 1942 [sic]
ADF Serials - Catalina A24-7
RAAF 20 Squadron Diary - January 23, 1942
RAAF Aircraft Status Card A24-7
Thanks to Gordon Birkett and Daniel Leahy for additional information
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