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Flying Catalinas (Paperback)

The Consoldiated PBY Catalina in WWII


By Andrew Hendrie
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Pages: 256
Illustrations: 100 B&W Integrated Images
ISBN: 9781399013093
Published: 30th July 2021


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The Consolidated PBY Catalina was probably the most versatile and successful flying boat/amphibian ever built, serving not just with the US Army Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard during the Second World War, but also with the air forces of Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with the Danes, Free French and Norwegians as well as Brazil, Chile, Indonesia and elsewhere. With a remarkable lifting capacity and endurance, this long-range twin-engine aircraft could absorb a great deal of punishment and still return home after flights lasting an entire day and covering thousands of miles. It was employed as a maritime reconnaissance aircraft, as a bomber and torpedo-bomber, as an anti-submarine weapon, as a mine-layer, as a special operations machine and as a search and rescue craft by day and night. It ferried stores, mail and people – many of them sick and injured – across all the world’s oceans and is rightly held in the deepest respect by all who had anything to do with them, flying or being flown.

In this book, Andrew Hendrie tells the whole amazing story of the ‘Flying Cats’, of their exploits and achievements, of the heroism of many of their crews and the problems they had to endure.

With numerous photographs as well as appendices listing technical data and individual aircraft histories, this is the definitive history of the Catalina and its operations world-wide.

Pen and Sword have re-printed Flying Catalinas in hardback with a brand new cover. This is great news for anyone who didn't buy it the first time around. It is simply great that the book has been republished – congratulations to the publisher.

The Catalina News – The Catalina Society

The late Andrew Hendrie wrote the book for first publication in 1988, having logged over seventy flights in Sunderlands during WWII and then begun a second tour in Wellingtons, the author began writing books about maritime flying operations in 1980. He died in 2004 and this new edition of his work provides a fitting tribute to his experience and work.
The author has told the Catalina story comprehensively and the text is very ably supported by some fine photographs embedded within the text. There are also drawings and maps, with appendices proving a wealth of further information. This is a very informative book that reads well and covers an exceptional aircraft that has previously received much less coverage than it deserved. It is sad that the author will never see the first rate job that the publishers have done in this new edition of his carefully researched work.

Firetrench Reviews
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