S u m m a r y
||Osprey Combat Aircraft
US Navy PBY Catalina Units of the Pacific War
by Louis B Dorny
||Soft cover, 96 pages
GB£12.99 online from Osprey Publishing
Good coverage of the type in this theatre; logically and
chronologically laid out
Navy PBY Catalina Units of the Pacific War is available online from Squadron.com
New from Osprey Publishing and number
62 in their Combat Aircraft Series
is US Navy PBY Catalina Units of the Pacific War.
book is authored by Louis B. Dorney who is a retired US Navy Commander
and an acknowledged expert on Consolidated’s PBY (Patrol – Bomber -
Consolidated) Catalina and its operational use during WWII.
the title suggests, the book chronicles the employment of the US Navy’s
units that flew and fought in the Catalina in the long march across the
Pacific from Australia to Japan in World War II.
book comprises ten chapters, an appendix and an index. The chapters
Chapter 1 – Preparing for War
This chapter sets the scene and describes the
immediate pre-war era and details the various PBY units the colours worn
by the PBY and its employment during the run up to the disastrous Pearl
Harbour raid by the Japanese in December of 1941.
Chapter 2 – Pearl
The role played by the PBY in the opening shots of
the day in the early morning when a VP-141 machine spotted what turned
out to be a Japanese midget submarine. The attack itself and the losses
suffered by PBY units and the post-raid rebuilding of the PBY force.
Chapter 3 – Patwing 10’s Ordeal
This chapter covers the gruelling actions and
fighting withdrawal conducted by Patrol Wing 10’s squadrons from the
Philippines to Perth, Western Australia.
Chapter 4 – Coral Sea, Midway and the Aleutians
A vast area of the globe indeed and the many actions
are covered in this chapter including the PBY’s part in the pivotal
battles of Midway and the Coral Sea.
Chapter 5 – More Fighting in 1942
Guadalcanal, the Battle of the Eastern Solomons,
Rabaul, Bougainville, the battle of Santa Cruz, and the employment of
the PBY as a torpedo bomber, more fighting in the Aleutians and the
re-organisation and expansion of the PBY force feature in this chapter.
Chapter 6 – 1943
This chapter chronicles the PBY’s role in New Guinea,
the central pacific campaign and the North Pacific.
Chapter Seven – 1944
1944 found PBY units flying right across the Pacific
theatre from the Aleutians in the Northern Hemisphere to Exmouth,
Australia in the Southern Hemisphere and everywhere in between. This
chapter deals with the central pacific campaign, fighting in the South
Pacific and the re-taking of the Philippines.
Chapter Eight – The ‘Black Cats’
This chapter details the ‘Black Cat’ concept where
the PBY was flown at low level at night following the fitting of radio
altimeters and British ASV radar which saw the PBY range far and wide
across the whole expanse of the Pacific theatre.
Chapter Nine – DUMBO – Air Sea Rescue
Many a downed flyer owes his life to the PBY and this
chapter informs on the US Navy’s account of the DUMBO concept from its
early missions of December 1941 in the Celebes Sea to the seas off New
Guinea, Bougainville and Rabaul.
Chapter Ten - Victory in the Pacific
The end of a long war and the inevitable reductions
in units and production of the Catalina are discussed in this chapter.
books’ single appendix provides a description of the 32 colour plates
that features the artwork of Jim Laurier. The profiles illustrate well
the four basic schemes worn by US Navy PBYs, the early “yellow wing”
schemes, the blue grey over light grey scheme, the tri-colour scheme and
the overall matt black scheme. Further artwork appears on the front
cover, this time by Mark Postlethwaite and his painting depicts the
shoot down of a Tianan Koutai ‘Zero –Sen’ by a Patwing 10 PBY on 10
Click the thumbnails below to view larger
book itself comprises 96 pages printed on glossy paper between thin
dad grew up in Perth, Western Australia during WWII and lived in Shenton
Park just a short hop from where Pat Wing 10 operated their PBYs from
Crawley Bay. His reminiscences of the PBY operations left me with a
desire to find out more about both the PBY and Pat Wing 10. Through the
years I have managed to visit the remains of two of Pat Wing 10’s
machines here in Western Australia as well as amassing a collection of
books. This book too will go into that stash as it provides an easy to
read and comprehensive “big picture” view of the PBY’s role in the
Thanks to Osprey
Publishing for the sample.
Review Copyright © 2007 by Rodger Kelly
Page Created 26 November, 2007
24 December, 2007
HyperScale Main Page