List of PBY Catalina operators

List of PBY Catalina operators

The List of PBY Catalina operators lists the counties and their air force units that have operated the aircraft:

Military operators



The Royal Australian Air Force ordered its first 18 PBY-5s (named Catalina) in 1940, around the same time as French purchase. Some of which would be used to re-establish the British-Australian airlink through Asia (see Order of the Double Sunrise). By the end of the war the RAAF had taken delivery of 168 Catalinas. The RAAF used Catalinas in a wide range of roles including reconnaissance and anti-submarine patrols, offensive mine-laying and air-sea rescue as well as psychological warfare. In addition, RAAF PBYs were used to transport Australian personnel home at the end of the war. The RAAF retired its last Catalina in 1952. [ [ A24 Consolidated PBY Catalina] , RAAF Museum]

;Royal Australian Air Force
*No. 11 Squadron RAAF
*No. 20 Squadron RAAF
*No. 40 Squadron RAAF had aircraft placed on establishment, but not actually issued.
*No. 42 Squadron RAAF
*No. 43 Squadron RAAF
*No. 6 Communication Unit RAAF
*No. 8 Communication Unit RAAF
*No. 111 Air-Sea Rescue Flight RAAF
*No. 112 Air-Sea Rescue Flight RAAF
*No. 113 Air-Sea Rescue Flight RAAF
*Seaplane Training Flight RAAF
*No. 3 Operational Training Unit RAAF



Canada had its own close associations with the PBY, both as a manufacturer and customer. Under an agreement reached between the Canadian and U.S. governments, production lines were laid down in Canada, by Boeing Aircraft of Canada (as the PB2B-1) in Vancouver, and by Canadian Vickers (PBV-1) at the Canadair plant in Cartierville. Canadian aircraft were known as Cansos. Canadian squadrons flew Cansos on both sides of the North Atlantic, as well as in the Indian Ocean.

;Royal Canadian Air Force
*No. 413 Squadron RCAF
*No. 422 Squadron RCAF


China as ROC


;Colombian Air Force;SATENA;Avianca


;Royal Danish Air Force
*No. 721 Squadron RDAF received aircraft from No. 722 Squadron RDAF in 1965.
*No. 722 Squadron RDAF transferred aircraft to No. 721 Squadron RDAF in 1965.




Soon after the receipt of Britain's first order for production aircraft, a French purchasing mission ordered 30 aircraft in early 1940. Allocated the Consolidated identification Model 28-5MF, none of these were delivered before the Battle of France.


;Icelandic Coast Guard
*ICG Aeronautical Division



;Israeli Air Force



Netherlands ordered 48 planes for use in the Dutch East Indies.;Royal Netherlands Air Force
* No. 321 (Dutch) Squadron RAF


From 1942 New Zealand used 56 Catalinas in the South Pacific, to replace the Short Singapore with the Royal New Zealand Air Force's 5 Squadron and 6 Squadron, initially operating out of Hobsonville and Fiji on maritime patrol and air-sea rescue roles. Additional aircraft were used by 490 (NZ) Squadron in the anti submarine role during the battle of the Atlantic. 490 squadron operated Catalinas out of Jui, East Africa, from 1943 until they were superseded by Short Sunderlands in 1944. The last RNZAF Catalinas were retired in 1953 and all had been sold or scrapped by the end of 1956. [] [] An airworthy Catalina in 6 Squadron markings is privately owned. [ [ "Consolidated PBY5a Catalina" article at the "Kiwi Aircraft Images" website] ] The Royal New Zealand Air Force Museum is restoring a former fire training Catalina.

;Royal New Zealand Air Force
*No. 5 Squadron RNZAF
*No. 6 Squadron RNZAF
*No. 490 Squadron RNZAF


;Royal Norwegian Air Force
* No. 330 (Norwegian) Squadron RAF
* No. 333 (Norwegian) Squadron RAF




flag|South Africa|1928

;South African Air Force


Three Canso amphibians, built by Canadian-Vickers, were bought by the Swedish Air Force in 1947. The Swedish designation was Tp 47. After modifications for their new post-war missions, they were based at Wing F2 at Hägernäs near Stockholm and were used mainly for air and sea rescue service. Also reconnaissance missions were flown.

The Tp 47 was equipped with PS-19/A radar. The aircraft had a crew of five and had also room for six stretchers. It was powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92 Twin Wasp 14-cylinder radial engines of 1.200 hp each. It was unarmed. ;Swedish Royal Air Force


The Soviet Union had shown an interest, resulting in an order for three aircraft and the negotiation of a licence to build the type in USSR. When these three machines were delivered they were accompanied by a team of Consolidated engineers who assisted in establishment of the Soviet production facilities. This aircraft model, designated GST, was powered by two Shvetsov M-62 or ASh-62IRRef Jane's|GST Catalina|453|1993] radial engines of 900 to 1,000 hp (671 to 746 kW). The first GST entered service towards the end of 1939. It is estimated hundreds more served with the Soviet Navy. Soviet Union also received 138 PBN-1 Nomad variant of the Catalina built by the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia along with 48 PBY-6As under the Lend-Lease Act.;Soviet Naval Aviation


The British Air Ministry purchased a single aircraft for evaluation purposes, the Model 28-5. This was flown across the Atlantic Ocean to the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment, Felixstowe, in July 1939. With the outbreak of war anticipated, the trials were terminated prematurely, and an initial 50 aircraft were ordered under as "Catalina I"s. These aircraft were similar to the PBY-5, except for installation of British armament. The name Catalina had been used by Consolidated for their commercial sales prior to the British order, and was eventually adopted by the US Navy on October 1 1941.

Initial deliveries of the Royal Air Force's Catalinas began in early 1941 and these entered service with No. 209 and No. 240 squadrons of Coastal Command. In all, nine squadrons of Coastal Command were equipped with the Catalina, as were an additional 12 squadrons overseas. The total acquisition was approximately 700 spread over the following designations: Catalina Mk I, Mk IA (PBY-5A amphibian in RCAF service only), Mk IB, Mk II, Mk III, Mk IVB (Canadian built PBY-5, the PB2B-1), Mk IV, and Mk VI (a PBN-1 style tall tail version built in Canada). The Catalina Mk Vs, which would have been PBN-1s, were cancelled.

In British service, the Catalina was fitted with .303 machineguns, typically a Vickers K in the bow and [Browning Model 1919 in the waist. Some received the Leigh light to aid anti-submarine warfare by night.

;Royal Air Force
* No. 119 Squadron RAF
* No. 190 Squadron RAF
* No. 191 Squadron RAF
* No. 202 Squadron RAF
* No. 205 Squadron RAF
* No. 209 Squadron RAF
* No. 210 Squadron RAF
* No. 212 Squadron RAF
* No. 240 Squadron RAF
* No. 259 Squadron RAF
* No. 262 Squadron RAF
* No. 265 Squadron RAF
* No. 270 Squadron RAF
* No. 357 Squadron RAF
* No. 628 Squadron RAF

flag|United States|1912

;United States Navy


Civilian operators


;QantasBetween 1940 and 1945, five ex-RAF aircraft were used by Qantas for a Ceylon to Perth service.




When Sunderland MR.5s replaced the New Zealand-based Catalinas, two of the ex-RNZAF machines was transferred to TEAL for crew training - one (ZK- AMP) made pioneering air survey flights throughout the Pacific.;TEAL


;BOACBetween 1940 and 1945, two ex-RAF aircraft were used by BOAC for a Poole to Lagos service.


* Creed, Roscoe. "PBY: The Catalina Flying Boat". Annapolis, MD: US Naval Institute Press, 1986. ISBN 0-87021-526-4.
* Crocker, Mel. "Black Cats and Dumbos: WW II's Fighting PBYs". Crocker Media Expressions, 2002. ISBN 0-97129-010-5.
* Dorney, Louis B. "US Navy PBY Catalina Units of the Pacific War". Botley, Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 2007. ISBN 1-84176-911-8.
* Hendrie, Andrew. "Flying Cats: The Catalina Aircraft in World War II". Annapolis, MD: US Naval Institute Press, 1988. ISBN 0-87021-213-3.
* Kinzey, Bert. "PBY Catalina in Detail & Scale". Carrollton, TX: Squadron/Signal Publications, Inc., 2000. ISBN 1-88897-419-2.
* Knott, Richard C. "Black Cat Raiders of World War II". Annapolis, MD: US Naval Institute Press, 2000. ISBN 1-55750-471-7.
* Legg, David. "Consolidated PBY Catalina: The Peacetime Record". Annapolis, MD: US Naval Institute Press, 2002. ISBN 1-55750-245-5.
* Ragnarsson, Ragnar. "US Navy PBY Catalina Units of the Atlantic War". Botley, Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 2006. ISBN 1-84176-910-X.
* Scarborough, William E. "PBY Catalina in Action (Aircraft number 62)". Carrollton, TX: Squadron/Signal Publications, Inc., 1983. ISBN 0-89747-149-0.
* Scarborough, William E. "PBY Catalina - Walk Around". Carrollton, TX: Squadron/Signal Publications, Inc., 1996. ISBN 0-89747-357-4.
* Wagner, Ray. "The Story of the PBY Catalina (Aero Biographies Volume 1)". San Diego, CA: Flight Classics, 1972.

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*PBY Catalina

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