The PBY Catalina flying boat flew for the first time 1935. The aircraft was manufactured by an American company, Consolidated Aircraft.
The PBY was designed to be a patrol bomber, an aircraft with a long range intended to locate and attack enemy transport ships at sea in order to disrupt enemy supply lines.
Catalina Pencil Sketch
This flying boat is profiled here in a digitally produced image in the style of a pencil sketch.
Of course, these versatile aircraft did not need runways, so were able to use any convenient harbour or off shore island. Many of this type of craft were in service, carrying out similar roles, but it was the PBY that was most popular.
In WW2, PBYs were used in anti-submarine warfare, patrol bombing, convoy escorts,search-and-rescue missions, and cargo transport.
The PBY was the most successful aircraft of its kind, as no other flying boat was produced in greater numbers. The last active military PBYs were not retired from service until the 1980s.