During World War II, PBYs were used in anti-submarine warfare, patrol bombing, convoy escorts, search and rescue missions (especially air-sea rescue), and cargo transport. The PBY was the most successful aircraft of its kind; no other flying boat was produced in greater numbers. The last active military PBYs were not retired from service until the 1980's. A great number of the surplus PBYs were converted to waterbombers and continued to service Canada and other countries around the world fighting forest fires for decades. Today, over 70 years later, only a hand full of PBY-5A aircraft are airworthy and are able to continue the grand tradition in aviation history.
The initialism of PBY was determined in accordance with the US Navy aircraft designation of 1922; PB representing Parol Bomber and Y being the code used for the aircraft's manufacturer, Consolidated Aircraft.
In the U.S. this aircraft was called a Catalina and in Canada it was known as a Canso....
We are very fortunate to have been in contact with several individuals that served in the RCAF during World War II and in this website we want to try to tell their stories and share the photos of that time.