U.S. Navy PBY Catalina (Black Cat) night mission against Japanese shipping during World War II in the Pacific
South Pacific Ocean Date:1943 Duration:10 min 11 sec Sound:Yes
U.S. Navy Aircraft Seventh Fleet PBY Catalina operations in Southwest Pacific during World War 2. Pilots and navigators of six PBY Catalina crews are seen planning the night's operations at a table in a flight planning hut. (These Catalinas are called "Black Cats" because they were painted black for night operations.) The Black Cat mission is to interdict Japanese supply ships at sea. Intelligence officer is seen briefing about locations of Japanese convoys and cautions that Japanese night fighters are stationed only 60 miles away.The pilots look at pictures of the type of warships that might accompany the Japanese convoys.They are briefed on Japanese antiaircraft batteries near harbor where convoy ships might anchor.And they are briefed on the weather. Ground crew pass a large box of foods to a PBY crewman.The aircraft taxis into the water. The weather is getting stormy.Ground crew remove landing gear. The PBY takes off. Views from inside the aircraft as it leaves the water and becomes airborne. Views from inside a PBY as lightning strikes outside in a storm. Crew members in their positions.Approaching the harbor where Japanese vessels may be anchored. Navigator plots position with dividers and calculates course using E-6B computer. Waist gunners ready at their stations. Crew member is posted as a lookout at an open bay in the PBY nose. There are no Japanese ships seen in the harbor. But the PBY is sighted by Japanese antiaircraft batteries that begin firing. They are also being hunted by Japanese night fighters. The pilot dives low towards the water to hide. Japanese fighter plane passes overhead. They resume search for convoy and lookout spots it. Radio operator informs other Black Cats via CW signal. As the Catalinas converge on the convoy, Japanese warships open fire on them.The "Cats" attack and hit a Japanese Cruiser, 2 freighters, and a tanker. One of the Catalinas is destroyed during its bomb run.
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