Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 43

PBY-5A with the US Navy insignia, at an undetermined harbor.
Tire of the retracted landing gear is visible on the PBY's right side.
Photo: Photo Archives, Naval History & Heritage Command.

well as allowed for longer times between
re-fueling.
*	 Blisters: Bubble-like lookouts for the
patrol (and later, with mounted guns).
These were housed in 'blister canopies'
protruding from the fuselage beneath
the wing. As a boy, 'blisters' for me made
the PBY the PBY, and were a fun add-on
for the miniature model.
*	 One-Piece Horizontal Stabilizer, with
Inset Elevators: Huge innovation for
maritime warfare, where time was at
a premium. Replacing full-span elevators, these allowed the pilot better control when executing a diving maneuver
towards the target, as well as a steepangled ascent to avoid cannon fire once
depth charges were dropped.
*	 Retractable,	 Stabilizing	 Floats:	
Integrated into the wingtips, these were
an ingenuous design feature licensed from
Britain's Saunders-Roe (eventually rolled
into Westland Aircraft, now part of Italy's
Leonardo-Finmeccanica). Retractable in
flight, these improved flight performance
at cruising altitude, and made the PBY
look more sophisticated than the 1930s
era 'flying boats,' at least to my eye.
*	 'Tricycle'	Landing	Gear:	Found on the
PBY-5A (amphibious variant), these
retracted into the fuselage rather than
the wing. They were needed for Iceland's
extreme weather, particularly the winter
of 1942-43; or else the Navy stood to lose
many docked PBYs to the harsh snow, ice,
and sleet.
*	 Radar:	 Later PBYs carried the first
'radio detection and ranging' (termed
'radar' by the military) installed on an

PBY-5A in flight (landscape undetermined).
Photo: National Naval Aviation Museum.

aircraft, a very primitive 'metric wave'
with the antennae installed across the
wingspan.
*	 Twin	Wasp	Engines:	PBY-5A employed
two Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92 'Twin
Wasp' engines - each 14 cylinders and
1,200 hp, half again as much engine
power as was on the first PBY-1. As piston
engines using gasoline propulsion to create pressure within the cylinders, 'Twin
Wasp' powered aircraft operated at relatively low altitudes. These also powered
the B-24 bomber (another Constellation
plane) as well as the passenger forerunner to PBY, XP3Y-1.

Attack on U-408
45 German soldiers perished in the
sinking of U-408 on November 5, 1942,
including U-boat commander Reinhard von
Hymmen, who happened to turn 28-yearsold on that day. U-408 was von Hymmen's
first U-boat as a Korvettenkapitän (senior
officer), and the U-boat was about mid-way
through its third-ever patrol having been
launched about six months prior.
My grandfather acted aggressively upon
spotting U-408 about four miles from the
PBY's position, immediately lobbing the aircraft into a steep diving turn. Crew acted
capably on the mission, dropping a total of
four depth charges onto the U-boat before
many of its crew had left the raised tower. As
is visible in the artist's depiction of the U-408
attack, the sea blasted all around the ship,
illustrating a highly precise bombing effort.
U-408 had previously sunk a total of
three Allied vessels with von Hymmen at
the helm, just two months prior to its own

sinking. These included a U.S.-originating
cargo steamship carrying ammunition and
a Russia-destined cargo steamship ferrying
explosives and aircraft.
I cannot pretend to understand how the
families coped with the enormous loss of
life resulting from this leg of the Atlantic
War, nor the daily uncertainties faced by
spouses of its soldiers  - including my
grandmother, who spent the WWII years
largely alone on a strange Navy base while
her young husband fought some 4,000+
miles away. Certainly in writing this article,
I have a deeper appreciation for my grandfather and other WWII (as well as other
conflicts) veteran's efforts.
Upon leaving Reykjavik, the British RAF
praised VP-84 by saying, "We see them and
their old PBYs go with real regret," feelings
I share as I conclude this piece. My aviation credit work will be largely forgotten
within my lifetime - if not before - but
my grandfather's role in WWII's Battle of
the Atlantic will endure for future military
aviation enthusiasts to pass along, as I
have done here.

Sources:
"US Navy PBY Catalina Units of the Atlantic War." Ragnar
J. Ragnarsson. Osprey Publishing, 2006.
"Consolidated PBY Catalina: The Peacetime Record." David
Legg. US Naval Institute Press, 2002.
"Blue Seas, Red Stars: Soviet Military Medals to U.S. Sea
Service Recipients in World War II." David Schwind.
Schiffer Publishing 2015
US Navy, NAVAIR News (in house magazine published during WWII; restricted circulation),
December 1943.
VP Navy Patrol Squadrons website: http://www.vpnavy.
org/vp84.html, Info on VP-84
http://uboat.net/men/commanders/531.html, Info on
Reinhard von Hymmen

Jetrader  *  Summer 2016 43


http://www.vpnavy.org/vp84.html http://www.vpnavy.org/vp84.html http://www.uboat.net/men/commanders/531.html

Jetrader - Summer 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Jetrader - Summer 2016

A Message from the President
Calendar/News
O&A: Tom Doxey, Allegiant
More Used Parts Take to the Air, Recycled Through the Secondhand Market
Alliances - Made to be Broken
The Balancing Act - Record Profits and Uncertain Futures: Reflections from ISTAT Americas 2016
Growth in ISTAT Asia Continues
Securing the Future: A Profile on ISTAT Foundation Student Andre Fansi
Turkey: Drones Now and in the Future
Avation History
Aircraft Appraisals
ISTAT Foundation
Advertiser.com
Advertiser Index
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - cover1
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - cover2
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 3
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 4
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 5
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 6
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - A Message from the President
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 8
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 9
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - Calendar/News
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 11
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - O&A: Tom Doxey, Allegiant
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 13
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - More Used Parts Take to the Air, Recycled Through the Secondhand Market
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 15
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 16
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 17
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - Alliances - Made to be Broken
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 19
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - The Balancing Act - Record Profits and Uncertain Futures: Reflections from ISTAT Americas 2016
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 21
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 22
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 23
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 24
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 25
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 26
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - Growth in ISTAT Asia Continues
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 28
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 29
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 30
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 31
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 32
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - Securing the Future: A Profile on ISTAT Foundation Student Andre Fansi
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 34
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 35
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 36
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - Turkey: Drones Now and in the Future
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 38
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 39
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - Avation History
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 41
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 42
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 43
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 44
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - Aircraft Appraisals
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 46
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 47
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - ISTAT Foundation
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 49
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 50
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 51
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - 52
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - Advertiser.com
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - Advertiser Index
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - cover3
Jetrader - Summer 2016 - cover4
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