PBY-5A Catalina USN VP-34 Black Cats 1/156
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The squadron's only insignia came into being during its first tour of duty in the South Pacific in early 1944. VP-34 was one of ten Navy patrol squadrons to be designated Black Cats during the war. The nickname came from the flat black paint applied to the Catalina's and the nighttime strike missions assigned to these squadrons. On 26 December 1943, VPB-34 (the VPB designation was not formally approved until the following October) flew to their new operating base at Samarai on the eastern tip of New Guinea. Samarai was a small base, with seaplane ramp, dollies for moving the planes, and a small hangar that could only shelter a Cat's nose. All other maintenance was done outside. The living conditions were fairly decent, and the crews got to see movies every night when they weren't flying, even when it was raining. But there were plenty of mosquitoes, so everyone took atabrine pills, which made them turn yellow. After the pilots made a few familiarization flights with VP-52, the squadron started doing what the Black Cats were noted for: all-night 13-to 17-hour missions to attack Japanese shipping, barges, shore installations, and occasional submarines; delivering and extracting scouts; and evacuating troops and rescuing survivors. This aircraft was flown by Lt.Pfleeger in 1944 for a rescue of three survivors of a B-24 that had ditched after a raid on Truk- the Japanese "Gibraltar of the Pacific", the seemingly impregnable base for its combined and Fourth Fleets. It was also used as a ferry point for aircraft from factories in Japan to theatres of operation in New Guinea and the Solomons.

  • Item #: 63214
  • Manufacturer: MODEL POWER
  • Manufacturer's Product Number: 5556-2
  • Condition: New

PBY-5A Catalina USN VP-34 Black Cats 1/156

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