Rathmines Catalina: 'Our Girl'


‘OUR GIRL’ – PBY-5A CATALINA

In April 2013, after a seven year worldwide search, a Catalina Flying boat (PBY-5A) was located at San Juan Airport, Puerto Rico.  The aircraft, which has become known as ‘Our Girl’, was built in late 1943 for the US Navy.  Post war she was sold into private hands and the RCMPA purchased her from the Orinoco Mining Co.

In poor condition after years of exposure to the weather, Association volunteers made numerous trips to San Juan to work on the logistics of dismantling and shipping the aircraft to Sydney.  Prior to shipping, there was many hours spent in cleaning (ready for Australian quarantine inspection) and finally the aircraft was in four manageable sections and shipped over several months to Sydney.   

Restoration commenced in May 2014, with three volunteers, to date over 16,000 hours of volunteer hours have been logged and volunteer numbers have grown to seventeen.  It is anticipated that another 4500 hours will be required to bring the aircraft to static display standards.

The aircraft will be brought back to WWII specifications, with the addition of side waist blisters, bow turret and the tunnel gun hatch.  Wartime radio equipment, navigation and pilot instruments will be on display.  Painting of the exterior fuselage and upper wing surfaces will be in a camouflage pattern, dark sea grey and a dark insignia blue.  The underside wings and lower fuselage will be matt black.

Rathmines Catalina Association partners with LMCC and other organisations to support the establishment of an interpretive community centre at the site of the former Rathmines RAAF Base. The Catalina known as 'Our Girl' will be the centrepiece of this facility.


‘Our Girl’ manufacture data and registration history courtesy of David Legg at The Catalina Society:

N7238Z

BuNo 48412 (US Navy)

1774

PBY-5A

CONSD

Rathmines Catalina Memorial Park Trust, Rathmines, NSW and located at Kilaben

Under restoration to static exhibit

BuNo 48412 (US Navy)/N10024/ N96R/YV-P-EPX/ YV-P-EPZ/ YV-O-CFO-4/YV-56CP/ YV-585CP/YV-485C


Rathmines Catalina Memorial Park Association Incorporated is a non-profit organisation, trading as RATHMINES CATALINA Association
ADDRESS: PO Box 59, Toronto NSW 2283 AUSTRALIA

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