In early 1945, a detached flight of two aircraft was sent to the Treasury Islands for two week tours. They were tasked to cover fighter strikes on Rabaul, and 'Dumbo' patrols to the south of New Ireland. The crews then returning to Havalo Bay and normal operations.



NZ4017 at Halavo Bay, Florida Island, December 12th 1944.  Note the Insignia Blue borders to the under wing roundels.


6 (FB) Squadron was disbanded in October 1945, soon after the war had ended.  It was reactivated as 6 (Maritime) Squadron of the Territorial Air Force (TAF) in 1952 and equipped with some of the PB2B-1's then in storage at Hobsonville. 

By the time the TAF scheme was abandoned in August 1957, and 6 Squadron was again disbanded, they were flying Short Sunderland MR.5's.  The last of the Catalinas having been pensioned off by the end of 1953, and all sold for scrap by the end of 1956.

5 Flying Boat Squadron

In July 1944, 5 (Flying Boat) Squadron was reactivated under the command of Wing Commander J.W.H.Bray, and equipped with Catalinas. These were mostly Boeing Canada built PB2B-1's.


PB2B-1 NZ4038 being launched at Segond Channel.  The detachable beaching gear is being dragged ashore.



After operational training at Lauthala Bay, the squadron moved forward to Segond Channel where it remained until the end of the war carrying out rescue missions, shipping escorts and anti-submarine patrols.

A detached flight of four aircraft and crews operated in the same role from Funafuti in the Ellice Islands.



Boeing built PB2B-1's of 5 (FB) Squadron at Segond Channel, 1944.



At the wars end, 5 (FB) Squadron withdrew to Lauthala Bay, where the PB2B-1's were re-equipped with the latest radar units mounted in a teardrop shaped pod mounted just behind the cockpit.

The squadron codes were changed post war to KN-x and operated until their replacement by the MR.5 Sunderlands in late 1953.


PB2B-1 NZ4053 of 5 Maritime Squadron, Lauthala Bay, Fiji, 1950.  Note the position of the under wing serials, 'D' type roundels, the wide fin flash, and the radar pod behind the cockpit.



Of the 56 Catalinas used by the RNZAF, not one remains in New Zealand.  The example in the RNZAF Museum had no RNZAF service history, and was obtained from Papua New Guinea.

Seven PBY-5's were lost in wartime accidents, and eight PB2B's were written off between 1945 and 1950.




Serial No. 

Const. No. 

Prev . ident. 

Serial No. 

Const. No. 

Prev. ident. 

     NZ4001                 1194                   Bu08280 

     NZ4029                  28119                  Bu73030

     NZ4002                 1334                   JX232 

     NZ4030                  28105                  Bu73016

     NZ4003                 1336                   JX234 

     NZ4031                  28120                  Bu73031

     NZ4004                 1297                   Bu08373 

     NZ4032                  28121                  Bu73032

     NZ4005                 1335                   JX233

     NZ4033                  28132                  Bu73043

     NZ4006                 1338                   JX236

     NZ4034                  28133                  Bu73044

     NZ4007                 1339                   JX237

     NZ4035                  28134                  Bu73045

     NZ4008                 1332                   JX230

     NZ4036                  28135                  Bu73046

     NZ4009                 1333                   J1231

     NZ4037                  28136                  Bu73047

     NZ4010                 1251                   JX228

     NZ4038                  28137                  Bu73048

     NZ4011                 1337                   JX235 

     NZ4039                  28144                  Bu73055

     NZ4012                 1384                   Bu08450

     NZ4040                  28146                  Bu73057

     NZ4013                 1402                   Bu08468

     NZ4041                  28147                  Bu73058

     NZ4014                 1398                   Bu08464

     NZ4042                  28118                  Bu73029

     NZ4015                 1387                   Bu08453

     N24043                  28103                  Bu73014

     NZ4016                 1400                   Bu08466

     NZ4044                  28148                  Bu73059

     NZ4017                 1401                   Bu08467

     NZ4045                  28149                  Bu73060

     NZ4018                 1432                   Bu08488

     NZ4046                  28145                  Bu73056

     NZ4019                 1372                   Bu08438 

     NZ4047                  60956                  Bu73095

     NZ4020                 1369                   Bu08435

     NZ4048                  60959                  Bu73098

     NZ4021                 1431                   Bu08487

     NZ4049                  60974                  Bu73113

     NZ4022                 1470                   Bu08516

     NZ4050                  60957                  Bu73096

     NZ4023                 28086                 Bu72997

     NZ4051                  60958                  Bu73O97

     NZ4024                 28088                 Bu72999

     NZ4052                  60976                  Bu73115

     NZ4025                 28089                 Bu73000

     NZ4053                  60977                  Bu73116

     NZ4026                 28102                 Bu73013

     NZ4054                  60975                  Bu73114

     NZ4027                 28087                 Bu72998

     NZ4055                  61108                  Bu44202

     NZ4028                 28104                 Bu73015

     NZ4056                  61109                  Bu44203


Note:   Consolidated built (PBY-5) NZ4001 - 4022   Boeing built (PB2B-1) NZ4023 - 4056



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