VH-BRB. Boeing PB2B-2R Catalina. c/n 61197.


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

Allocated Bu 44291

Allocated to the Royal Air Force as a Catalina VI JZ838 but not taken up

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

Entered onto the Australian Military Aircraft Register as A24-364

Issued to No 42 Squadron at Melville Bay, Darwin - June 23, 1945

Issued to No 111 Air-Sea Rescue Squadron - November 12, 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Withdrawn from use and stored at Rathmines, Newcastle - ?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 - 1947

Converted to seat 22 pasengers in four cabins as and when finances allowed

Entered onto the Australian Aircraft Register as VH-BRB - September 23, 1947

Registered to Barrier Reef Airways Ltd

Aircraft was named 'The Buccaneer'

Entered service with Barrier Reef Airways - September 1949

Damaged at Daydream Island (Captain S. Middlemiss) - January 31, 1950

Experienced problems whilst starting starboard engine and it drifted into path of a Fairmile tour boat

Impact damaged port engine causing Catalina to drift for some 3 km before being rescued

Towed to Bowen for tempory repairs to be made to engines and wing before being flown to Brisbane

Withdrawn from use and stored at Colmslie - February 1950

Returned to service - May 1951

Operated first Barrier Reef Airways scheduled service Brisbane - Sydney - July 1, 1951

Ownership officially transferred to Ansett Flying Boat Services - May 1952

Undertook trials at Southport prior to commencing services from there - July 23, 1952

Operated first Barrier Reef Airways Brisbane - Southport - Grafton - Sydney service - July 25, 1952

Operated South Pacific 'Air Cruise' - February 17 to March 10, 1953

Cruise destinations: Brisbane - Noumea - Suva - Apia - Cook Islands - Tahiti

Flight crew: Captains S. Middlemiss, S. Johannsen; Nsavigator E. W. Adams

On return to Brisbane the aircraft was considered to be unairworthy

Withdrawn from use and did not fly again

Cancelled from the Australian Aircraft Register - April 16, 1953

Sold for scrap and broken up at Colmslie



VH-BRB. Barrier Reef Airways - in the full livery at Rose Bay, Sydney, October 1949.