QANTAS turns 100 and the Catalina flying boat was there!
The Catalina aircraft played its part in the history of QANTAS.
The Double Sunrise service was formed in 1943 to re-establish the Australia–England air link that had been cut due to the fall of Singapore in 1942. The service initially operated from its base in Nedlands, Western Australia near Perth, to the Royal Air Force base at Lake Koggala near Galle in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). It was later extended to Karachi in India (now part of Pakistan), which was the terminus for the BOAC service from England. The name of the service was derived from the crew and passengers observing two sunrises on each flight.
From June 1943, Qantas operated the only regular air service to Australia across the Indian Ocean between Ceylon and Perth. Catalina flying boats crossed 5,600 kilometres non-stop with flying times of between 28 and 33 hours. Passengers were awarded a certificate of membership to ‘The Rare and Secret Order of the Double Sunrise’. Liberator aircraft took over in 1945 and passengers received ‘The Elevated Order of the Longest Hop.’ Qantas Liberators were the first to carry the flying kangaroo symbol.
Remembering our servicemen