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Catalina Books

In association with Amazon, we have put together a number of titles which we feel may be of of interest to visitors. In the near future we will be adding other products which we hope will complement our site.

The reviews are by Catalina Society historian David Legg.

PBY Catalina William Scarborough / Paperback / Published 1983 Our Price: $7.95 + $1.35 special surcharge (Special Order).

PBY Catalina The In Action series of softback monographs is well established in the UK and quite easily available. Number 62 in the series is devoted to the Catalina and is the best 'budget' book to be found on the type. The book covers the history of the type from its early beginnings right through to the later PBY-6A and NAF PBN-1 Nomad. It gives good coverage to post war military and commercial usage as well as various conversions to the basic type.

It is profusely illustrated with excellent black and white photos and line drawings and also features full colour front and back covers and a centre spread of side views which will be of particular use to modellers. Beware however that the serial quoted for the 'Bismark Catalina' is shown incorrectly. Very good value for money and an excellent reference source.

Walk Around PBY Catalina : Pby Catalina (Walk Around, No 5) Joe Sewell(Illustrator), William Scarborough / Paperback / Published 1996 Our Price: $14.95 (Special Order)

Walk Around - PBY Catalina is published by Squadron/Signal Publications as number 5 in a series of similar books on military aircraft. Some years back, the same publishers issued `PBY Catalina In Action' and both books have come from the same respected author, William Scarborough. Whilst the earlier book was an illustrated history of the PBY series from the very first prototype up to more recent commercial variants, the latest offering concentrates on the PBY-5/5A variants together with the PBY-6A.

The book is entirely photographic with extended captions and there are plenty of colour photos and side view drawings. Fortunately, there is not too much duplication of photos between this and the earlier book so they are mutually compatible. Some of the colour photos are of surviving Catalinas, in particular the Confederate Air Force PBY-6A, N7179Y, and the San Diego Aerospace Museum PBY-5A, Bu48406. As the subject matter appears to be mainly aimed at the scale aircraft modeller, it should be borne in mind that the modern day close- ups must be treated with some caution because of the many individual modifications that surviving Cats have undergone over the years. One glaring error from the first book has been put right, this being the serial of the 209 Squadron Catalina which spotted the Bismark in May 1941 and which is now correctly recorded as AH545 on the colour side view that is included.

This large format 80 page softback is recommended to anyone seriously interested in the Catalina family although the bias is very much American with little to appeal to those solely interested in Commonwealth Air Force Cats. If you are looking for a brief but comprehensive history of the type from inception to (almost) present day, I would still recommend this book's predecessor though.

Black Cats and Dumbos : WWII's Fighting PBY's Mel Crocker / Published 1987

Black Cats and Dumbos WWII's Fightiing PBY's Author Mel Crocker has compiled first-hand narratives from dozens of former WWII PBY crewmen. Tracing the missions of Consolidated Aircraft's PBY Catalina form Pearl Harbor through virtually ever theatre of World War II. Black Cats and Dumbos is an excellent narrative history of the PBY Catalina during WWII.

PBY : The Catalina Flying Boat Roscoe Creed / Published 1986

PBY The Catalina Flying Boat advertised as the definitive work on the Catalina when originally published in 1986, Roscoe Creed's book is certainly the most comprehensive study of the type written so far, especially as far as the development history and use by the US forces is concerned, these accounting for 244 of the 302 pages of main text. This bias toward the types association with the US Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard is understandable, coming as it does from an American author but other users are not ignored even if they have fewer pages devoted to them.

For example, the wartime Royal Air Force only receives 9 pages of text and three photos. Australia and Canada fare little better and a surprising omission is the BOAC/QANTAS service between Perth and Ceylon, known as the Double Sunrise Flight which held the record for the longest flight time of any Catalina mission - well over 30 hours on some flights.

The book does not ignore the type's post-war history and short sections cover various air forces and commercial users including Jacques Cousteau and Avalon Aviation who used a large fleet of PBYs for water bombing in Canada. They even proposed a Dart turbine powered version which is covered in the text. The book ends with detailed appendices and lists of sources which are very useful to the researcher.

The book is fully illustrated in black and white. Despite its concentration on the American side of the story, this book lives up to its original claim overall and is essential for anyone who wants to know about the history of the type.

Search Find and Kill Norman Franks / Published November 1995 Hardcover usually ships in 2-3 days our price $34.95

Search Find and Kill Throughout World War Two the RAF waged a long and bitter battle aginst Germany's U boats. Thousands of sorties were flown around Britain's coast. Coastal Command lost about 750 aircraft to all causes but sank nearly 250 german and Italian submarines and damaged many more. This is the standard reference work listing the U boats damaged and destroyed, including a narrative of the action between aircraft and submarine.

This updated and extended edition contains new and unpublished material with help from many members of aircrew who came forward after the original book was published. A first class reference for the historian and an absorbing read for the enthusiast.

Flying Cats : The Catalina Aircraft in World War II Usually ships in 2-3 days Andrew Hendrie / Hardcover / Published 1988 Our Price: $39.95

Flying Cats The Catalina Aircraft in World War II From the same publishing house as Roscoe Creed's PBY: The Catalina Flying Boat, Andrew Hendrie's book is a more balanced study of the Catalina in wartime and as such gives a fair distribution of text to all Allied operators. Whilst giving good coverage to the US forces, it covers in some detail the work of the Commonwealth Air Forces who used the Catalina world wide, sometimes in very inhospitable areas indeed.

Hendrie's approach is to make maximum use of personal recollections and these make for a text that is less dry than some monographs. He clearly corresponded worldwide with surviving Catalina crews to bring together the strands of the story. There are also many photographs that have come from private sources and which have not been previously published.

The back of the book contains some detailed appendices on the use of the type by various countries and although a few gremlins have crept in, these tables are nonetheless most helpful to the researcher. Well worth having in your collection as it contains material not to be found elsewhere

On Hell's Perimeters: PBY Patrol Squadron 23 in WWII by Don Klotz $24.47 Usually ships in 11 to 12 days Hardcover

On Hell's Perimeters Based upon hundreds of interviews and his personal experience as a Radioman and Gunner for U.S. Navy VPB Patrol Squadron 23 in the Pacific during World War II, Don Klotz portrays in colorful fashion the heroism and sacrifices of the brave members of his PBY Squadron from a period prior to Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, to the time of surrender of the Japanese on the Battleship U.S.S. Missouri in 1945.

At the time of his entry in the U.S. Navy, Don Klotz was only 17 years old, and when he was discharged in 1945 he was 20 years old, still too young to have a farewell alcoholic beverage with some of his former shipmates in a San Diego bar. It took Mr. Klotz more than 8 years to develop and chronicle the interviews and log entries of hundreds of members of his PBY Squadron, many of whom are now deceased.

Mike Pinder
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