VH-BRB. Boeing PB2B-2R Catalina. c/n 61197.
Was also registered as: A24-364.
This aircraft was built by Boeing for the United States Navy but it was not taken up
It was allocated BuAir Number '44291'
It was allocated to the Royal Air Force as a Catalina VI 'JZ838' but it was not taken up - ?
Delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force - May 31, 1945
Entered onto the Australian Military Aircraft Register as A24-364
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Withdrawn from use and stored at Newcastle (Rathmines) - ?
SIt was deemed to be srplus 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 Newcastle (Rathmines) - Colmsie (Brisbane River Base), Hamilton, Queensland - 1947
It was 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
The aircraft was named 'The Buccaneer'
Entered service with Barrier Reef Airways - September 1949
It was damaged at Daydream Island (Captain S. Middlemiss) - January 31, 1950
Experienced problems whilst starting starboard engine and it drifted into the path of a Fairmile tour boat
The impact damaged the port engine causing the Catalina to drift for some 3 km before being rescued
Towed to Bowen for temporary 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Withdrawn from use and stored at Colmslie - February 1950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 its first Barrier Reef Airways scheduled service Brisbane - Sydney route - July 01, 1951
Ownership was officially transferred to Ansett Flying Boat Services - May 1952
It undertook trials at Southport prior to commencing services from there - July 23, 1952
Operated the first Barrier Reef Airways Brisbane - Southport - Grafton - Sydney service - July 25, 1952
Operated a 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Withdrawn from use and did not fly again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 standard livery at Rathmines, date unknown.
(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 1040-397.)
VH-BRB. Barrier Reef Airways - 'The Buccaneer' in the standard livery at Sydney Rose Bay, October 24, 1949.
(Whites Aviation Copyright Image 1040-233.)