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Withdrawn from use and stored at Newcastle (Rathmines) - ?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Withdrawn from use and stored at Colmslie - February 1950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Withdrawn from use and did not fly again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.)