The search for new engines and money continues
The search for new engines continues, as described in the following update from Philip Dulhunty:
“We are trying to purchase a replacement engine - possibly two, as it is just as likely the other engine may suffer the same fate1. Both engines have considerable times to run but have been left, unrun and unloved in the open for over six years. The P&W 1830-92 engines and propellers are identical to those used on the DC3 and they are available in various conditions in many countries around the world.
To overhaul our existing engines would cost about $60,000ea and we can buy ones already overhauled for around $75,000. On top of this, we need to have the propellers inspected in an approved propshop (another $7,000ea).
Another proposal we are busily investigating is the purchase of a DC3 from which we could take the engines and propellers - provided they have some time left to suit our requirements. If we could find someone prepared to take the DC3 fuselage this could be a good economical solution. At present we are negotiating with 2 or 3 groups who may come to the party on this!”
Note 1: It was the right-hand engine that failed.
Notwithstanding the efforts described above, any help would be greatly appreciated. Money is required to purchase and install the engines. So if you can help with our search and/or the provision of funding, please contact Philip Dulhunty ((02) 9870-7277, e-mail Philip@dulhunty.com
Remember, all donations are tax-deductible.
Commemorative Service 2nd March 2008
Garrison Church, Sydney
Sadly the NSW Catalina Aircrew Group are having their final gathering at the Garrison Church on Sunday 2nd March this year.
Every year this group has formed up at Observatory Hill and marched down to the Garrison Church where they have held a service for the 320 aircrew lost during the war.
This has been a very dedicated and moving occasion where the remaining veterans have been able to get together for a sombre, reflective occasion before drowning their sorrows at the nearby Hero of Waterloo Hotel. As the number of veterans now left is so few, this is to be the last occasion, however it will be attended by all members who are available.
Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO Governor of New South Wales will also be attending on this occasion together with other official dignitaries.
The latest update of the acquisition of our flying Catalina for operation at the heritage listed Rathmines Memorial Base is attached. It is our earnest hope to have the Catalina here and a hangar museum re-erected at Rathmines before many more of our veterans leave us.
Fund raiser for the CFML
This coming June, Pete Stuart-Smith and his wife Trish are planning to embark on a two-month adventure/holiday/pilgrimage that will hopefully also serve as a fund raiser for The Catalina Flying Memorial Ltd (CFML). This will see Pete and Trish circumnavigating Australia in their little SeaRey amphibian VH-PAZ.
The trip will commence at Rathmines on Saturday 7 June (the Queen’s Birthday long weekend) and will proceed anticlockwise around the coast, taking approximately eight weeks. Along the way, they will visit other Catalina WWII sites of significance including Bowen, Cairns, Thursday Island, Karumba, Groote Eylant, Darwin, Exmouth, Perth and Lake Boga. The trip will be captured on video with the aim of producing a documentary and perhaps a “coffee table book”. The emphasis of the film will be the historic sites and attempts will be made to interview locals.
The proceeds from the documentary and book will go to the CFML. Pete states that his particular interest in the trip is to experience some of the places his father operated from as a Catalina captain during WWII.
Pete & Trish welcome anyone who would like to join them for part of the trip. They are hoping for a bit of a send off at Rathmines in June, and have suggested a fly-in at Lake Boga in the first week of August at the conclusion of their trip, followed by an “official” trip completion during the Catalina Festival at Rathmines in October. Offers of assistance and/or suggestions for accommodation throughout the trip are also welcome.
If you can assist Pete & Trish in any way, or would like to participate in the send off at Rathmines or a fly-in at Lake Boga, please contact the CFML via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Catalina aircrew relatives seek help -amendment
In the January edition of our newsletter, mention was made of a request for information from the niece of Flight Lieutenant Malcolm D. Smith regarding a painting of her uncle that once hung in the main bar area of the Rathmines Bowling Club. In fact, turns out that it is the son of Flight Lieutenant Smith, Mr Malcolm Smith who is searching for the painting.
If found, Mr Smith would like to see the painting donated to the CFML for eventual hanging in the museum to be established at Rathmines.
If you have any information that may assist in locating the painting, please contact the CFML via e-mail email@example.com
A good read
The Database section of the January edition of the Aeroplane magazine features the Consolidated Catalina. This 20-page article was compiled by well known Cat specialist David Legg and provides an excellent summary of the evolution of this magnificent aeroplane. The last page, devoted to Catalina survivors, provides information on surviving Cats in Europe, the Americas and “Down Under” (which includes New Zealand). Unfortunately, no mention of VH-CAT!