tion Administration in California, which in turn alerted the U.S. Coast Guard to the plight...A C-130 "Hercules" aircraft from Hawaii found the life raft and circled until the "Direct Kookaburra" could diverge from its route to pick up the crew...Ewing said the leap from the life raft to the 227 meter container ship's rope ladder had been rather awe-inspiring...The Catalina crew are resting on board the ship that left Auckland with a cargo of frozen meat on 9 January and due in San Francisco in a week...The other New Zealand Catalina crewmen were, Tom Neave who flew Catalinas during WW-II, Tony Butcher, a former NZAF engineer and Peta Carey, a television producer...The other Americans were John Strutman and Dean Foest, both pilots...The Catalina was once used by French explorer, Jacques Cousteau as well as took part in the ill-fated "Bay of Pigs" attack by the U.S. on Cuba in early 1960s./Staff reporter, NZPA...UNQUOTE/// Please also note that an identical copy of the "NZPA" release was also forwarded from WALES by Harry Hughes (WW-II RAF No. 209 Sqdn) Harry also included another news release, "CATALINA LOSS DOES NOT DENT ENTHUSIASM" by Grant Bradley (presumably another N.Z. source)...Grant cites some of what is stated above regarding the loss of PBY-5A, US FAA # N5404J then cites the following: Members of the 30-strong syndicate formed to buy the PBY Catalina said they would "regroup" and with the expected insurance payout buy a similar aircraft...A director of the Catalina Company, Mr. Chris Snelson, said consideration would again be given to buying a Zimbabwe-based Catalina being used for airbourne safaris in Africa...Syndicate members had put in $10,000 each for the aircraft that crashed. A group of 200 supporters had also contributed to $1000 each towards the Catalina that was bought for about $400,000 in the U.S. and was to be used for scenic flights in New Zealand...The Zimbabwe-based amphibian was believed to be the only other Catalina still registered to carry passengers. When the syndicate considered buying it last year the asking price was nearly double that of the one eventually bought...Mr. Snelson said an engineer's report on the Zimbabwe Cat showed it was in good working order..."Unfortunately this crashed Catalina has reduced the number of Catalinas flying and may push the price up, but we are keen", he said...Another of the three directors of the company, Dr. Ross Ewing, in the aircraft when it crashed told Chris that the Catalina bounced three times across the calm ocean before stopping...Its fuselage was holed and it sank nose first...Insurance for the Catalina was underwritten by a British firm with whom the third director, Brett Emeny, will meet the representatives while in England on other business...Before leaving for England he said the claim was straightforward and hoped the settlement would be within a month...The problems causing an earlier flight leg from Los Angeles to Hawaii to be aborted, they were unrelated to the engine loss and subsequent forced landing and loss of the aircraft. It was more of a shame that Murphy's Law got ahold of us at the wrong time...The company would consider freighting any replacement Cat to N.Z. by sea, but because of the wingspan of Catalinas this might not be praticable...Brett Emeny said he had received dozens of phone calls from enthusiasts since news of the aircraft loss, stating; "It's like there has been a death in the family".// I think that as editor of "PBY CIA", I may in behalf of this organization regret hearing of New Zealand's "Catalina Company" and associated enthusiasts loss and that perseverance will pay a deserved dividend.
23.--Kenneth L. SHOOK (Catalina Enthusiast): For your information (FYI), the 6th owner of the "Bird" 4 engine PBY-5a conversion died in 1993 and the aircraft is now at "CUTTER AVIATION",Albequerque, New Mexico. Make inquiries at 800/678-5382.
24.--Bill O'NEIL (VP-73/84 & F.A.W.-9 HEDRON) (Currently COMFAIR-FBARS = Head of the "Flying Boat Amateur Radio Society" operating from "AB4FK" at [withheld for
privacy]): Jim (Morrison)...It was a pleasure talking to you on the phone in reference to the PBY-5 discovered in Espiritu Santo. I placed the call to see if you were onto the story and as I expected you were. I learned a lot about the facts from you. We will be talking about this on the FBARS net for a while to come. If anything turns up on our end, you will be first to know. I looked up sqdn. assignments after talking to you and found we have FIVE ex-VP23 members. Will contact each for possible assistance...Am looking forward to next issue of PBY-CIA Newsltr...I am enclosing some misc. bits & pieces for your use. Included is a source for those that may be interested in specialized rubber-stamps such as the one on my envelope portraying "PBY" with my return address. Best regards Bill O'Neil
(ED: Bill O'NEIL is especially a model of "Flying Boat" camaraderie through his keen sense of caring and sharing via every mode of communication available to him. He keeps the amateur-radio networking alive more than could be expected of one paid to do so! Then for those who miss a net-connection, he provides the essential elements of communication via an accumulative newsletter entitled, "THE BUOY WATCH". His progressive upgrading with newer generation computers enables him to miraculously display everything from entertaining fonts of print to graphics from anything that will lay still for him. For this service he has not committed assessments for support, but within his ever increasing membership, the caliber of members are consciously aware of the needs for Bill to perform the cost-factor tasks his meager income could provide. "FBARS" is also international in scope on the amateur-radio net. So whether your interests are in "a-r" or flying-boats, chances are you will enjoy association with, "COMFAIR-FBARS"./ijm) (Catalog for rubber-stamps: Send $2.00 U.S. to: "IMAGINAIR DESIGNS", 1007 WOODLAND AVE. NW, ALBUQUERQUE NM 87107)
25.--Bidesh MANGRO (Catalina researcher; Re., British Guiana): I am looking for any information on PBY or other military aviation operations in British Guiana, before and during WW-II. To include: (1.--Type/s acft, (2.--Locations, (3.--Fields, (4.--Routes of ops., (5.--Purpose & (5.--Anything!...I will really appreciate any assistance or referrals. Thank You/ Bidesh Mangro, [withheld for privacy]. (ED: 2 Sep 1940 U.S.A. rc'vd a 90 yr. lease on bases in British Guiana along w/ several other locations with Caribbean area. However as independance was gained on 26 May 1966, the phonic pronouncement and spelling became known as "GUYANA" under the complete identity as "Co-operative Republic of Guyana" and I can find no more reference to where the U.S.A. has any more lease arrangements within the new proprietorship.--I also admit at this time to have misplaced my information concerning specific base operations of an extended period out of "British Guiana", except to have recalled that early in the 40s, VP-31/32/33/34 along with dets of VP-52, 63 & 81 as well as PatWing-9's VP-92 operating within the Caribbean Sea area as well as into the Pacific from various forms of operational facilities and locations. For those who wish to assist Mr. Mangro, it would be appreciated for a copy to be forwarded to the "PBY CIA Newsletter Office", 84 Branch Turnpike, Suite 37, Concord NH 03301-5715 as a means of sharing such "CATALINA" ops in the Caribbean area.)
26.--J.G. SANDERS (VP-14/52/53/73 & 83): Coincidental to Frank REEB's request in VOL. 5, NO. 2 newsletter, "Mail Bag Recovery" item #1, I offer the following:
- 23 Jan. 1942:
- At 0448, USN Bu.No. 2483 with LT(jg) H.H. GOTTSCHALL and eight crew members took off on routine patrol flight from East Field, Norfolk VA. At 0545 the USCG reported the crash of this plane off coast adjacent to Oregon Inlet. All hands lost. They were members of VP-81,