VH-BRA. Boeing PB2B-2R Catalina. c/n 61193.


Built by Boeing for the United States Navy but not taken up

Allocated Bu 44287

Allocated to the Royal Air Force as a Catalina VI JZ834 but not taken up

Delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force as A24-369 - May 31, 1945

Issued to No 42 Squadron at Melville Bay, Darwin - July 5, 1945

Issued to No 43 Squadron - November 20, 1945

Withdrawn from use and stored at Rathmines, Newcastle - ?

Surplus to requirements and struck-off-charge - ?

Sold to Christian Poulson & Stewart Middlemiss via Commonwealth Disposal Commission - October 8, 1946

Sale price was 500 Pounds

Poulson & Middlemiss had started Barrier Reef Airways

Ferried Rathmines-Colmsie, Brisbane River Base, Hamilton, Queensland - 1946

Converted to seat 22 pasengers in four cabins

Flew a survey / check flight Brisbane-Gladstone-Heron Island - January 16, 1947

Entered onto the Australian Aircraft Register as VH-BRA - January 29, 1947

Registered to Barrier Reef Airways Ltd

Aircraft was named 'The Beachcomber'

Operated a charter flight Brisbane-Rockhampton-Mackay-Lindeman Island-Hayman Island-Bowen-Townsville

Brisbane to allow Reginald M. Ansett to inspect various islands - June 25, 1947

After this flight Reg Ansett took a 99 year lease on Hayman Island

Operated first Barrier Reef scheduled service Brisbane-Gladstone-Heron Island - July 12, 1947

Flight crew: Capt S. Middlemiss; F/O F. Kelly

Operated first Barrier Reef Airways Brisbane-Daydream Island service - December 8, 1947

Withdrawn from use and moored at Colmslie without engines - October 1951

Ownership transferred to Ansett Flying Boats - December 15, 1952

Registered to Ansett Flying Boat Services - March 31, 1953

It did not return to service following its mooring at Colmslie in 1951

Cancelled from the Australian Aircraft Register - May 21, 1953

Sold for scrap and broken up at Colmslie



VH-BRA. Barrier Reef Airways - in the original livery at Heron Island, circa 1947.