Deadly in its primary role as a submarine hunter, the PBY Catalina was the scourge of the Imperial Japanese Navy's submarine force. Its amphibious traits also made the aircraft well suited to air-sea rescue, and thousands of Allied airmen were saved from a watery grave by PBY crews. Using personal interviews, war diaries and combat reports combined with original Japanese records and books, Louis B Dorny provides a view on the role of the Catalina from both side of the war. Illustrated with over 80 photographs and colour profiles detailing aircraft markings, this is the definitive history of an insight into the PBY's use by the US Navy and Allied forces in the Pacific during World War 2.
The northern Sydney suburb of Mosman, a verdant peninsula between Port Jackson and Middle Harbour, has historically been known for its whaling and careening, pleasure grounds, artists’ and bohemians’ camps, and army fortifications. To the present day it is distinguished from other communities by a continuing military presence, the world famous Taronga Zoo, its scenic bush beaches, ferry travel and sailing. Acclaimed historian Gavin Souter traces a two-centuries’ course of change from Aboriginal habitation to convict farming, wharfage, residential subdivision, quarrying, and eventually what Henry Lawson called Mosman’s ‘red-tiled roofs of comfort’. The story begins with the Borogegal, a clan first encountered by Europeans in 1788, and ends with the centenary of Mosman Council, controversies about environmental planning, and the rampage of a serial murderer. Mosman deals with all the essentials of its subject (politics, schools, churches, sports, crime rates, garbage and sewerage), but more importantly it offers an illuminating case study from the wide-spread but sparsely documented social class of which Mosman is a microcosm. This life story of a remarkable suburb is notable for its extensive research, vivid detail and engrossing narrative – a combination not always encountered in the genre of local history. First published in 1994, Xoum is proud to release for the first time digitally the definitive history of the Sydney suburb of Mosman.
Twenty Five Years with Flight Lieutenant Thomas Buchanan Clark, RAF
Author: Chris Clark
Publisher: Pen and Sword
This book tells the tale of the illustrious Royal Air Force career of Tom Clark, a World War Two gunner and post-war signaller in action during some of the most pivotal events of the twentieth century. Lovingly penned by his son, it provides an authentic insight into this dynamic period of world history.??From work as an air gunner, involved in the daunting task of taking on the might of Hitler's U-boat fleet, to post-war involvement in an Intelligence capacity during the dramatic events surrounding Khrushchev and the atomic threat of the late 1950s, Clark's career was dramatic and varied to say the least. ??Having joined the RAF as an aircraft man just before the Second World War, Clark was destined to take part in a whole range of wartime operational engagements. His career featured involvement in the famous 1941 hunt for the elusive Bismarck, the dangers of life as part of an Air Sea Rescue squadron in conflicted waters, and the experience of training as a gunnery leader (later an instructor), training air gunners for the famed Desert Air Force. His career also took in a fraught period behind enemy lines, when his crew of four were shot down in enemy territory in Northern Italy. Seven weeks in a safe house in Florence are relayed in engaging and dramatic style, as are a raft of other personal and professional achievements, set within the context of the wider conflict. ??Here is a career that deserves to be recorded and celebrated, and there is perhaps no-one better placed than the subject's son to act as custodian to his thrilling story.
Originally published to much acclaim in 1980, this is the story of the legendary German battleship that sunk the pride of the Royal Navy, HMS Hood, on May 24, 1941, and three days later was hunted down and sunk by the British during one of the most dramatic pursuits in naval history. Told by a German naval officer who witnessed both sinkings, the book chronicles the brief but sensational career of what was thought to be the grandest weapon of the Third Reich. Burkard Baron von Müllenheim-Rechberg, the Bismarck's top-ranking survivor, tells the battleship's story from commissioning to the moment when the captain gave a final salute and went down with his ship. The epic battle between the two great enemy ships captured the imagination of an entire generation and became a popular subject for movies and songs. With the discovery a few years ago of the Bismarck's sunken hull off the coast of France, worldwide attention has focused again on the famous ship. Reprinted now in paperback for the first time, the work presents the human dimensions of the event without neglecting the technical side and includes information on rudder damage and repair, overall ship damage, and code breaking. The book also provides insights into the author's life as a prisoner of war in England and Canada and the friction that existed between the Nazis and non-Nazis Germans in the camps. Such a personal look at one of the most famous sea encounters in the history of World War II makes absorbing reading.
For years, reaching the paradise destination of Santa Catalina Island, located miles out in the Pacific Ocean, was possible primarily by steamship. But as early as 1912, the first amphibious airplane landed in Avalon Bay, and the first air-passenger service was introduced in 1919. Seaplane service thrived on Catalina, and aircraft engine roars became a distinctive memory for many residents, along with the thrill of crossing the channel by plane and landing on the water. The “Airport in the Sky” opened in 1946, with United Airlines operating DC-3s, followed by other airlines operating land-based planes. Today helicopters carry passengers across the San Pedro Channel in less than 15 minutes. This unique photographic history covers public air transportation to and from Southern California’s iconic island, featuring memories and stories from residents, visitors, and airline employees.
John French first took up flying in 1937 with the University of London Air Squadron and in 1938 joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. His early war years were spent instructing newly recruited RAF pilots on Airspeed Oxfords and Avro Ansons. When the end of this posting came through he was designated to 210 Squadron at Sullom Voe in the Shetlands to fly the Catalina flying boat. In November 1942 the squadron was ordered south to join 202 Squadron at Gibraltar. Here they flew sorties in support of the North African landings Operation Torch. These were lengthy flights out into the Atlantic approaches to Gibraltar or Eastwards into the Mediterranean. He flew fifteen sorties in this short period before returning to Pembroke Dock. He was then instructed to report to Felixstowe to collect Catalina IB FP 222 and to ferry it up to his new base Sullom Voe. From this northern base the flying boats flew thirty hour patrols out into the Northern Atlantic searching for enemy ships and U-boats. On 8 September he was ordered to execute an extended search of the Norwegian coast where it was thought that the Tirpitz and Scharnhorst were seeking shelter. Having unsuccessfully searched the entire coastline at low-level they finally touched down on the Kola Inlet after a flight of over twenty-two hours. As February 1944 came towards its end he was detailed to cover a Russian convoy, JW57, far up to the north of the Arctic Circle. Shortly before his ETA with the convoy they got a radar return. They dropped down below the cloud to find a rough angry sea and spotted the wake of a ship. However this was not a ship but a surfaced U-boat. As they flew into attack they met a hail of 37mm and machine-gun fire John dropped to attack level and came in from the stern dropping two depth charges. Thus came the demise of U-601. On 18 July 1944 a Liberator of 86 Squadron was set on fire during an attack on a U-boat and was forced to ditch some 100 miles west of the Loften Islands. Eight members of the crew took to their dinghies. A Catalina was despatched on a search and rescue mission the following day but failed to find the victims. However on 20 July they were resighted. A volunteer crew was hastily formed and took off at 0130 on the 21st. Some excellent navigation brought the survivors into view at ETA. John decided to attempt a sea landing to effect the rescue. He came in low, into wind and across the swell at 65 knots. His crew soon had the stranded airman aboard, somewhat bedraggled after their sixty-two hour ordeal. They landed back at Sullom at 1410. After the war John stayed in the RAF and spent much of his time behind the Iron Curtain.