Story of "Black Cat" -- PBY Catalinas used as night bombers against Japanese convoys in World War II
South Pacific Ocean Date:1943 Duration:9 min 39 sec Sound:Yes
Convoy of Japanese supply ships in the Southwest Pacific during World War 2. Mysteriously, two explode. One sinks and one is left burning. Narrator describes similar losses of Japanese cargo vessels and Japanese reports attributing the losses to new superior American aircraft. View of Japanese Military High Command buildings in Tokyo, Japan. An Imperial Japanese Navy Night Fighter (QHAFMFA6) seen taking off. Japanese admiral boards warship to plan Imperial Navy strategy and tactics. Attacking aircraft is shown as a U.S. Navy PBY Catalina Flying Boat. Several views of Catalina flying boats in flight, painted black for night flying (called "Black Cats"). Aerial view of islands with small harbors where a PBY can hide during daylight. Base personnel gather at a catalina base awaiting an overdue returning PBY. She appears and buzzes base to announce successful mission. The PBY then lands in nearby harbor, taxis toward shore and is met by sailors in boats who attach a tow line to winch the PBY ashore, tail first. Squadron Commander meets the plane as the crew disembarks. Commodore Thomas S. Combs, Commander Aircraft 7th Fleet, arrives by jeep with Group Commander, Captain Peck. Crew gives quick accounting of mission. Corpsmen take wounded combat cameraman from the PBY on a stretcher. Tow pulls the PBY to area of ramp for servicing and repairs. Maintenance personnel note crew report of problems and begin corrective actions. They count 8 bullet holes in starboard wing.They find hole in fuselage from shrapnel that wounded the cameraman, and repair it. They repair a gas tank leak and refuel the PBY. View of 525lb and 1000lb bombs in Squadron dump. Armorers assemble belts of 50cal machine gun ammunition.They rearm the PBY with bombs under one wing and a torpedo under the other, and machine gun ammunition. They remove two black cats (animals) from inside the airplane. PBY crew plays water polo with a coconut. View of officer's quarters. Pilots prepare for next mission and go to intelligence briefing
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