PBY Catalina International Association
1994 Volume 6, Number 1 (p.05)

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

forwarding his observation of the reverence concerning the Catalina community expressed by Mr.Ramsey. And a very special note of: Thank You, Joe F.Ramsey for your special tribute to perpetuate the deserved honor for the "Catalina Veterans"!)

3.--Paul RICHTER (VP-11, 21 & 83): (Ed: Rc'vd copy of Paul's ltr. to Frank REEB; re., Mail Buoy Recovery item #1; "Located remains of USN PBY-5A Bu.No. 7255")...I believe the aircraft in question belonged to my old squadron, VP-83. A surviving crew member, Bill Preston resides in Florida. s/Paul Richter.
(Ed: In respect to personal privilege, the address of Bill Preston is not related in this newsltr. coverage!-- Thank you Paul for the extended camaraderie and may we all enjoy, "The rest of the Story" as it progresses!)

4.--Harry A.COLLIER (RAF #240 Sqdn): It is always a pleasure to receive "PBY CIA News-ltr". and I send you greetings from England...The purpose of this ltr. is to advise you, I received a second cover sheet addressed to John E.WOOD of Nottingham and that John would not likely receive his!? Although John is unknown to me, I wrote to him explaining the situation and offer the loan of mine. But I am sure he would prefer his own copy, so I informed him I would write and request his own copy from you...With Best Wishes s/Harry Collier. (Ed: Correction rendered with due respect to the caring/sharing of Harry Collier in true form of camaraderie.)

5.--Herbert RUIZ (VP-12 Black Cat Sqdn.): I am interested in membership in the PBY Catalina International Ass'n. I served during WW-II in the South pacific. Thank you! s/Herbert Ruiz, Lemon Grove, California. ("Welcome Aboard" Herb to caring & sharing into expanded camaraderie. By seperate coverage you are provided details regarding membership from "PBY CIA" secretary, Jim Thompson at 1510 KABEL DRIVE, NEW ORLEANS LA 70131.)

6.--Harry HUGHES (RAF No.209 Sqdn.): I recently received a copy of your magazine. I was a member of 209 Squadron during 1941-45, serving much of the time in the Indian Ocean area. Anything to do with "Cats" is always "hot-news". Am enclosing some Cat material I am sure would interest you. Best Wishes / Harry Hughes, Skewen-Neath, West Glamorgan, Wales. (ED: Thank you kindly Harry for your promoting the "PBY CIA"s newsletter to magazine status. Your inferred interest in "PBY CIA" combined with your enclosed reading contribution, suggests that you are also interested in "PBY CIA" membership. Membership details are being forwarded to you "soonest". Your sharing interest will be related in part and somewhat condensed as follows:
An excerpt from "War Diary of German U-Boat 'U 862' ", (Translated by Margaret THIEMER, a newer generation doctor of German studies.)

Kriegtagebuch von U-862"

U-862 had sunk four ships within a week in the Mozambique Channel area and so chose to get away. However within this departure direction, another ship becomes an obvious target. Three torpedoes fired on the first run--all miss. During second run, two torpedoes fired-- striking 6000 tonne ship and sunk it (position--14°S. 43°E.)
13th day in Mozambique Channel, proceeding on departure course. Suddenly! a Catalina flying boat is sighted too late to submerge. Only one of the two deck guns is working. The little Matrose Mumms is firing very good and has hit the airplane. Suddenly a command from the tower is heard to say, repeatedly, "Hard Starboard! Hard Starboard"! There is a heavy detonation, the boat vibrates then rolls severely to one side causing water to come into the control room!

On deck are shouts, "A hit! A hit"! It is recognized that the plane's pilot wouldn't get out of it in one piece and that he might hit the U-boat.
The 'Cat' is flying only 10 meters above us then crashes into the sea 10 meters in front of us. Because of the planes explosion there is a fountain of water through which we travel seconds after.
Debris of the flying boat is burning for a long time. Then following the jubilation that "Mumms" saved our lives by hitting the flying boat before it released its depth charges, a dinghy was sent among the debris. The flying-boat's log-book, a lot of navigation cards, some uniforms and silk scarves were salvaged; were interesting and provided useful information. Where the Cat started and was based! All the crew are killed with no bodies seen.
Also from the plane's log-book, it was learned that they were looking for another ship which had previously been sunk.
It was getting dark so we departed the scene at high speed. The Grand Commores could be seen in distance. This was the first land sighting in three months.
During the night another flying boat came towards us...we have been seen and it stayed with us through the night. To be on guard was a matter of life or death. To get from the scene we made high speed on the surface.
In Mozambique Channel, 40 sea-miles west of Commore Islands, this 'Cat' made a low level attack on us! We reply by firing our two 3.7 guns and shooting it down with no survivors. (x Flying boat, Catalina FP104 with 2 pilots, 2 navigators and 9 crew = 13)
Eluded more planes, set course 60° in direction for Penang, Malaya...
(NOTE: Editor concludes "U-862" account at this point because nothing else is relevent Catalinas!...For those familiar with Catalina ops. from Pembroke Dock, Wales, Harry Hughes resides only a short distance away!)

7.--Mike HUGHES (Catalina Researcher, Oban Scotland): Thank you very much for response to my ltr. in Dec.'93 and sharing information with me. I am enclosing the results of a story line I am developing on an RAF Catalina "JX 273" that Ron ANSTEY informed me of that crashed on Vatersay, an island at the southern end of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, some 80 miles west of Oban. I will also endeavor to provide you with details on other Catalina operations from Scottish bases. At present, my information is almost entirely on Oban. Very Best Wishes/ Mike...(ED: Mike Hughes has submitted his application for "PBY CIA" membership along with another form of contribution forwarded to our Secretary/Treasurer, Jim Thompson. So in behalf of the PBY Catalina International Association, welcome to this international assemblage of Catalina Enthusiasts, Mike Hughes!...Mike's "THE CATALINA ON VATERSAY" is presented below with the editor's propensity to condense, while trying to avoid taking anything out of context.)


I have always been a fairly impetuous person so when I received Ron Anstey's letter on 25 November 1993 I could not rest until I had been to Vatersay in the Outer Hebrides. Mr.Anstey had written to me about the crash of a Catalina he was on that had flown out of Oban on 12 May 1944, while he was training with RAF No.302 FTU. The Catalina had hit high ground on Vatersay and Mr.Anstey recalled that large sections of the crashed flying boat may remain. I had never seen a physical Cat in any shape or form, so this was too good a chance to