[PBY] Catalina history!
- Gentlemen,My involvment with PBY Catalinas goes back to 1942 at which time I trained as a flight engineer in them at San Diego Naval Air Station, North Island. In i943 I transferred into VP-14 at Kaneohe Bay, TH.I was not involved in the Battle of Midway Island but we were stationed there two different times, for three weeks each time, flying patrols and getting our act together before moving the squadron down to Espiritu Santo, now Vanuatu. After a period there, we moved up into the Solomon Islands from where we did patrol duty and rescue (Dumbo) duty. We transferred back to Kaneohe after nine months an d the squadron was disbanded in June of '44.My one, almost claim to fame, came on January 3, 1944, when we were on Dumbo standby at Bouganville and were sent out to hunt for Gregory "Pappy" Boyington on the day he was shot down over Rabaul. It was the day in which he shot down his 25th and 26th Japenese plane. We were the only plane that went out that day to look for him and we were provided fighter cover by the squadron he had flown with that day. I was crew chief and flight engineer on that day but needless to say, we did not find him as the Japenese had picked him up in a submarine. By the way, we had never heard of him and only knew we were searching for a pilot named Boyington.I am a charter member of PBY Catalina International Association and a member of the Kaneohe Klippers.Ed Hearne
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