VH-BRA. Boeing PB2B-2R Catalina. c/n 61193.
Was also registered as: A24-369.
This aircraft was built by Boeing for the United States Navy but it was not taken up
It was allocated the Bu '44287'
It was allocated to the Royal Air Force as a Catalina VI JZ834 but it was not taken up
Delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force - May 31, 1945
Entered onto the Australian Military Aircraft Register as A24-369 - ?
Issued to No 42 Squadron at Melville Bay, Darwin - July 05, 1945
Issued to No 43 Squadron - November 20, 1945
It was withdrawn from use and stored at Newcastle (Rathmines) - ?
It was deemed to be surplus to requirements and was struck-off-charge - ?
Sold to Christian Poulson & Stewart Middlemiss via Commonwealth Disposal Commission - October 08, 1946
The sale price was 500 Pounds
Poulson & Middlemiss had started Barrier Reef Airways
Ferried Rathmines - Colmsie (Brisbane River Base, Hamilton), Queensland - 1946
It was converted to seat 22 pasengers in four cabins
It 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
The 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 its first Barrier Reef scheduled service Brisbane - Gladstone - Heron Island - July 12, 1947
Flight crew: Captain S. Middlemiss; F/O F. Kelly
Operated the first Barrier Reef Airways Brisbane - Daydream Island service - December 08, 1947
It was withdrawn from use and moored at Colmslie without engines - October 1951
Ownership was 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 'wartime' livery at Rathmines, date unknown.
(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 1040-398.)
VH-BRA. Barrier Reef Airways - in the silver livery at an unknown location, date unknown.
(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 1040-399.)
VH-BRA. Barrier Reef Airways - 'The Beachcomber' in the standard livery at Heron Island, circa 1947.
(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 1040-192.)