Aeroplane Monthly 1986-02
R.Nesbit - Arctic Venture (1)
An amphibian Catalina III, or PBY-5A, serving in the RAF. Note the under­carriage wheel. First deliveries to the RAF of the Catalina Mk I began early in 1941.
Catalina I W8424 in Icelandic waters. Only the Mk III, was amphibious, and only 11 of them were supplied to the RAF.
The cockpit of an RAF Catalina.
Pit Off Ronnie Martin, the copilot in Fit Lt Dennis Healy's crew, taking a spell at navigating the aircraft. The chair on the left could swivel round on an arm, but he is standing on the catwalk between the navigator’s desk and the radio desk.
Sgt. T. R. Thomas at the radio desk, which was situated behind the copilot and on the starboard side of the navigator’s compartment.
The bunk compartment, aft of the navigator’s compartment in an RAF Catalina. This shows the folding bunks and the watertight doors leading aft to the compartment housing the blister guns. Although someone is pretending to be asleep in this photograph, the bunks were rarely occupied on reconnaissance missions in Coastal Command. They were used, however, when evacuating the wounded from Spitsbergen.
Left, the twin Vickers 0-303 in K guns, in an early RAF Catalina, aimed through one of the open blister cupolas at the waist of the aircraft. These were later replaced by twin Browning 0-303 ins, belt fed. Right, the twin machine guns were replaced by a single 0-50 in Browning in some RAF Catalinas.
Sgt T. R. Thomas sighting a Vickers 0-303 in K gun through a ventral tunnel hatch in the tail compartment, towards the rear. This position was seldom used in RAF Catalinas of Coastal Command, however, since the aircraft normally flew at very low level over the sea.