PBY Catalina International Association
1990 Volume 2, Number 1 (p.06)

I've made minor corrections. Click here to see the original Search


It is noteworthy to include a comment from Helgi Agustsson, Minister Counselor at the Icelandic Embassy in Washington, D.C. "This Service Medal of the President is not given frequently and I would say that it is highly unusual for anybody to be so decorated after such a long time." He added that the highest decoration would be "Order of the Falcon Award" sometimes given to heads of state and visiting dignitaries.

In closing this feature on Joseph HIGBEE, he also received a letter from House of Armed Services Committee's Senator Sam NUNN, citing that Joseph's TWO Rescue Flights had a significant role in the United States relations preserving access to such a vital nation!

PS: More on Joseph Higbee will be included in the association's compilation of Catalina stories. Also please note the reference to Ragnar Ragnarsson's book to be published by the Naval Institute Press.

In regard to the last issue, Vol.1 No.2's feature about the "PBY Catalina African Safari". It is amazing what a reference to a number can bring about! It was mentioned that Pierre Jaunet's aircraft serial number to his Catalina was 11054. Well, lo-and-behold, our "member", Ronald McCLYMONT's memory-bank clicked a bit, then he got out his old "Flight Log". What he saw, he wasn't sure would be believed, so he photo copied the appropriate page and sent it in with an arrow pointing to Sept. 25, 1944 / Type A-C, "CANSO-A" / No.11054 / Flight Officer, "SELF" / Type Flight, "TEST". Ron further stated that this flight took place while serving in RCAF Squadron #5, based at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Ron also stated that #11054 aircraft was equipped "Leigh Light" illumination equipment for attacking submarines at night. Then as Ron thumbed through his log-book, he was another entry where he had flown #11054 earlier on 29 June of 44 practicing "radio range" for an hour and twenty five minutes. Now "Ron" is so hyped he has written for information about Pierre's use of the plane that he had flown! Now, some more on the "Catalina African Safari" of Pierre Jaunet's. The British Broad Casting (BBC), according to a report in the London Daily Mail dated 6-12 January 1990 in an article written by Anne MILLER, chartered Pierre's Catalina to do a television documentary entitled "THE LAST AFRICAN FLYING BOAT". It was stated that the flying was done by Pierre and two American pilots. The flight follows the adventures of the present day Catalina African Safari and blends in the nostalgia of the 1930s "Empire Flying Boat Service" (that was briefly touched on in the last newsletter where Pierre utilizes: quote - "The Catalina delivers guests to a landing on the Zambezi River and taxi to an old established flying boat jetty -- where the principal attraction is the famous Victoria Water Falls." - unquote). BBC2 is to premier its documentary to its English viewers "shortly". Yes! members, inquiries will be made with regard to this 75 minute film being made available on video for our chance viewing at some opportune occasion. Thanks goes to KEN FIELD, RAF (Ret.), U.K. (Member: The Flying Boat Amateur Radio Society; Call letters are G3BKG.) for providing "London Daily Mail" newspaper article and to Bill O'Neil, our association member who is also a member of "The Flying Boat Amateur Radio Society"; Call Letters "AB4FK" who actually forwarded a copy of the London Daily Mail article.

By the way, there is an artist, Frederick Dodge SMITH, residing at Virginia Beach, VA that we would like to "Hail" to the attention of the seaplane/airboat community. Frederick was with the Royal Flying Corp as an American volunteer in World War-I - flying a "CURTISS HS- Open Cockpit Three Place Model" bi-wing flying boat. In lieu of radio then, they carried along "carrier pigeons", that were released with messages of submarine or zeppelin etc. sightings. NOTE: these aircraft could not