Welcome to 2008

Welcome to 2008 and a happy New Year to all members and volunteers. Let’s hope the year will see the arrival of VH-CAT to Australia and an ever increasing level of support for the Catalina Flying Memorial Ltd (CFML) in its endeavours.

30000 Feet Blog

It appears that our cries for help for new engines have been heard given a recent posting on the “30000 Feet” blog. This comes as a response to an initial posting about the CMFL on this blog and will provide an additional avenue via which to broadcast our plight.


A link to this blog has been added to the Links page of the CFML website. Please take a look when you get a chance.


The search for new engines and money continues

As mentioned in the December newsletter, following the unfortunate events of last year, it was decided to replace both engines in situ before attempting any more flying.


Well, the search is on in earnest; however, any help would be greatly appreciated.

We need two Pratt & Whitney 1830-92 radial engines and, of course, money with which to purchase and install them. So if you can help with our search and/or the provision of funding, please contact Philip Dulhunty (02) 9870-7277, e-mail


Remember, all donations are tax-deductible


Catalina aircrew relatives seek help

In recent weeks, the CFML received requests for assistance from relatives of three deceased RAAF Catalina aircrew members – Flight Lieutenant Terrance (Terry) Lawless Duigan, DFC, Sergeant Herbert John Alexander Coates and Flight Lieutenant Malcolm D. Smith.


Flight Lieutenant Terrance (Terry) Lawless Duigan, DFC


Mrs Gwynne Duigan, wife of Terry Duigan and her son Michael are trying to trace original copies of the cartoons Terry had published during the war, as well as any that appeared in the ‘Cheriodical’. Terry was a pilot who served with 11 Squadron RAAF (Terry passed away on ANZAC Day, 2006).


If you are able to assist in any way, please contact the CFML via e-mail


Comment from the editor: Some of Terry’s wartime exploits are captured by A.E (Bill) Minty’s excellent book Black Cats, in the chapter headed Old Faithful A24-14 (commencing on page 56). A24-14 was the aircraft skippered by Terry, the chapter penned by one of Terry’s WAGs, Flight Lieutenant Geoffrey Watson.


Sergeant Herbert John Alexander Coates


Mrs Joan McIntyre is a niece of Sergeant Herbert John Alexander Coates (Alex). Alex was the flight engineer on 11 Squadron’s A24-49 which took off from Groote Eylant on 28 April 1944 for a mine laying operation at Manokwari. This aircraft was lost on this operation and remains unaccounted for to this day.


Finding any information on her Uncle Alec’s final resting place, or anyone who may have known him has become very important to Mrs McIntyre.


If you have any information that may assist Mrs McIntyre, would you please contact the CFML via e-mail


Flight Lieutenant Malcolm D. Smith.


Facility Jensen, niece of Flight Lieutenant Malcolm D. Smith wrote to us seeking information regarding a painting of her uncle that once hung in the main bar area of the Rathmines Bowling Club. Flight Lieutenant Smith was the captain of A24-381 which crashed at Lord Howe Island on the evening of 28 September 1948, taking the lives of seven of her nine crew members, including that of Flight Lieutenant Smith.


Ms Jensen was advised by the manager of the Bowling Club that the painting was removed by the Catalina Association. The painting is of great significance to Flight Lieutenant Smith’s relatives and knowledge of its present location is extremely important to them. Ms Jensen added that she would be interested in acquiring the painting if it is not hanging and the opportunity exists to acquire it.


If you have any information that may assist Ms Jensen, would you please contact the CFML via e-mail


Another comment from the editor: Further information concerning the crash of A24-381 may be found in the book The Flying Boat Days – The Early Aviation History of Lord Howe Island (author: Peter A. R. Phillipps). In addition, for the benefit of trivia buffs, described on page 120 of this book, in the Chapter headed Flying Boats Elsewhere, are some interesting links concerning Flight Lieutenant Smith, Flight Lieutenant B. R. Bradley (one of the two survivors of the crash of A24-381), a Flight Lieutenant B. Delahunty, A24-381, A24-104 (the one used to trial JATO rockets in 1948) and Supermarine Walrus HD874. I’m not saying any more here – if you want to know more – go and read the book!










Jan 21st 2008

Volume 2 Issue 1

Newsletter Spotlight
Welcome to 2008
30000 Feet Blog
The search for new engines and money continues
Catalina aircrew relatives seek help
VH-Cat Seia Portual Nov 2007



If you have any news or comments regarding the website, or newsletter items, please forward to

Colin Cool


Jill Brandon