The Consolidated PBY Catalina is the most successful flying-boat operated by the United States Navy during World War II and it is also the most produced flying boat in the world with more than 3000 being built in the United States, Canada, and the Soviet Union. The Catalina was ordered by the U.S. Navy in 1933 and the prototype flew for the first time in 1935. The PBY was used extensively by all the major Allied nations for anti-submarine, maritime patrol, and air-sea rescue duties. The PBY-5A version of the aircraft introduced an amphibious capability to the Catalina allowing it to takeoff from either land or water. Once they left military service many Catalinas were bought for civilian use and could be found all around the world as everything from private luxury flying yachts to firefighting aircraft.
Royal Canadian Air Force, No. 5 (BR) Squadron, 1944
Pima Air & Space Museum