PBY Catalina was an American and Canadian-built flying boat of the 1930s and 1940s. PB is a Patrol Bomber and the Y was Consolidated Aircraft’s manufacturer identification. It could be equipped with depth charges, bombs, torpedoes and .50 caliber machine guns and was one of the most widely used multi-role aircraft of World War II. The PBY Catalina was the most successful flying boat ever produced. First flown in March 1935, they were in production for over ten years and were designed and built by the American aircraft manufacturers, Consolidated Aircraft of San Diego, California with numerous versions - PBY-1 to PBY-6A

The Catalina in RAAF service, despite its vulnerability due to lack of speed, was a front line aircraft effectively taking the fight to the Japanese through its long distance mine laying flights.  Famous were the "Black Cat" Catalina’s which, painted matt black, roamed the western Pacific from December 1942 finding Japanese ships by radar at night and picking Allied survivors from ships and aircraft in boats and dinghies. RAAF Catalinas were famous for their precision laying of mines in enemy water ways and harbors. In this role it performed a substantial contribution towards victory for the Allies in the Pacific War by blockading essential oil ports and closing the "back streets" to Japan.  View the AUS web site.