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The "Black Cats" PBY Catalina night bombers

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  • The "Black Cats" PBY Catalina night bombers

    Perhaps WWII's ugliest and slowest war plane that was highly successful in the PTO:

    Our world at Khe Sanh was blood, death, and filth with deafening gunfire and blinding explosions as a constant soundtrack...Barry Fixler
    http://sempercool.com/

  • #2
    Originally posted by Kurt Knispel View Post
    Perhaps WWII's ugliest and slowest war plane that was highly successful in the PTO:




    The RAF & RCAF put this aircraft, the Supermarine Stranraer, into service about the same time as the PBY; it served throughout most of WWII and makes the PBY look gorgeous.

    https://im3.freeforumzone.it/up/38/21/2283451548.jpg



    This is the British aircraft that was supposed to fill the medium maritime patrol recon. SAR/ASW role, the Saunders- Roe Lerwick. It proved to be a piece of junk, hence the need to retain types like the Stranraer, and acquire more PBYs via Lend Lease; Canada built some PBY's of their own as Catalinas & Cansos.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-fU1i3cGoNN...Lerwick-10.jpg

    Last edited by Marmat; 21 Oct 18, 18:03.
    "I am Groot"
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    • #3
      Hello Marmat its been a while. I could not access the images. Just a little black box with an X in it. Has to do with the new format for sure.
      Our world at Khe Sanh was blood, death, and filth with deafening gunfire and blinding explosions as a constant soundtrack...Barry Fixler
      http://sempercool.com/

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Kurt Knispel View Post
        Hello Marmat its been a while. I could not access the images. Just a little black box with an X in it. Has to do with the new format for sure.
        OK, I added the e-dresses for the photos.
        "I am Groot"
        - Groot

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Marmat View Post

          OK, I added the e-dresses for the photos.
          Holy crap! that one on the bottom could carry an AFV inside!

          The question now is which of the 3 is the ugliest!
          Our world at Khe Sanh was blood, death, and filth with deafening gunfire and blinding explosions as a constant soundtrack...Barry Fixler
          http://sempercool.com/

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Kurt Knispel View Post
            Perhaps WWII's ugliest and slowest war plane that was highly successful in the PTO:

            Ugly is relative. I actually like its unique appearance. It was also a damn fine plane.
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            • #7
              ...................
              Black Cats. A handful of PBY-5A Catalinas equipped with early ASV radar had reached the Pacific by August 1942 and participated in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons. In December 1942, the Americans deployed a full squadron of PBY-5As to operate at night in the Solomon Islands. This "Black Cat" squadron (VP-11) painted its aircraft black, except for a squadron insignia that started out as a basic cat outline. Eyes were added after the second mission, teeth and whiskers after the third, and, allegedly, "anatomical insignia of a more personal nature" after the fourth mission (Morison 1949). The Black Cats participated in search, strike, and gunfire spotting missions, taking off at about 2230 each night and returning after daybreak. Over time, other squadrons began flying Black Cat missions, and Creed (1985) claims most of the squadrons in the South and Southwest Pacific had rotated through Black Cat tours by the end of the war.

              The Catalinas proved well suited for these missions. The black paint and the flame dampers that were later installed over their exhaust ports made them all but invisible in the darkness. If a Japanese night fighter did locate a Black Cat, the Catalina would drop to very low altitude, where it was almost impossible for a night fighter to engage without crashing into the sea. This tactic was aided by radar altimeters installed on most of the Black Cats. The radar altimeters also allowed the Cats to fly the last 100 miles (160 km) to their targets at 50' (15 m) altitude to evade radar. The slow speed of the Cats was actually advantageous for night attacks at mast height.

              Initially, the Cats dropped illuminating flares before attacking, but this proved counterproductive. Torpedoes also proved ineffective because of their unreliability. Eventually the tactic that was settled on was to locate targets by radar, then visually, before attacking from the quarter with a salvo of four 500 lb (227 kg) bombs with 5-second-delay fusees dropped from 50 to 150 feet (15 to 45 meters) altitude. A flare was sometimes dropped with the bombs to blind enemy gunners, and some Cat crewmen tossed parafrag bombs from the blisters or ventral hatch to further suppress antiaircraft fire. The gunners held their fire until the bombs were released to further increase the element of surprise.

              Black Cat search missions in the Solomons included "Mike Search", a three-hour course up "The Slot" and through Indispensable Strait between Santa Isabel and Malaita. Three circuits could be flown in a single night. By August 1943 the Cats were flying "ferret" missions with electronic warfare technicians to locate Japanese radar installations for later air strikes.

              A number of Cats in the Southwest Pacific were field modified with four 0.50 machine guns in the nose, turning them into potent strafers and making them highly effective at night barge hunting.
              ...........
              http://pwencycl.kgbudge.com/P/b/PBY_Catalina.htm

              Images of "black cats" pby catalina

              Consolidated PBY Catalina
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consolidated_PBY_Catalina
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              TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
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              • #8
                BTW ~ FWIW ...

                The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia.

                U.S. Initial Order of Battle (@ c. Dec 7, 1941)
                http://pwencycl.kgbudge.com/oob/us.php?unit=VP-11#VP-11
                Whiskey for my men, and beer for my horses.
                TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
                Bock's First Law of History: The Past shapes the Present, which forms the Future. *

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by G David Bock View Post
                  BTW ~ FWIW ...

                  The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia.

                  U.S. Initial Order of Battle (@ c. Dec 7, 1941)
                  http://pwencycl.kgbudge.com/oob/us.php?unit=VP-11#VP-11
                  Great link thanks!
                  Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

                  "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

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                  • #10
                    If you want to know exactly what USN squadron had what and where it was, here's the place to start:

                    https://www.history.navy.mil/researc...ld-war-ii.html

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                    • #11
                      If you want ugly, slow but operational flying boats from WW2 look no further than France

                      http://www.airwar.ru/image/idop/flyb.../loire70-4.jpg
                      http://www.aviastar.org/pictures/france/loire_70.jpg
                      http://www.msacomputer.com/flyingboa...34Loire130.jpg
                      https://alchetron.com/cdn/loire-130-...esize-750.jpeg

                      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                      • #12
                        Ugly but slow describes virtually the entire French air force in 1939...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                          Ugly but slow describes virtually the entire French air force in 1939...
                          Nope

                          Whilst th French were capable of producing monstroseties they als did make some very good aircraft The Breguet 695 for example could be quite deadly against German armoured columns. It has been dubbed the Pint Sized Beaufighter the problem was too few too late.

                          https://i.pinimg.com/originals/42/b1...bdde7c60ca.jpg
                          https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/i...x7VQ-C8NzHWOcw
                          https://www.klassiker-der-luftfahrt....pg.7994714.jpg
                          https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/h1MAA...uf1/s-l300.jpg
                          http://www.wardrawings.be/WW2/Images.../Br-695/p1.jpg
                          Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                          Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                          • #14
                            1939













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                            • #15
                              Actually the flying boat never saw service, the Amiots and Bloches were being rerplaced and only saw service as night bombers
                              Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                              Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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