1/48 Monogram PBY-5A Catalina, VP-44 Ensign Jack Reid, “44-P-4” Midway Group build
Almost exactly to the minute. Around 9AM, Midway time, which happens to be 4PM here on the Eastern coast of the US.
75 years ago today… this plane spotted the Japanese invasion forces, consisting of mainly transports. These forces were located around 700 miles due West of Midway Island.
Later on during the day of June 3rd, 1942, the US Army launched a flight of six B-17 “Flying Fortress” planes from Midway to bomb the Japanese invasion Forces. None of the bombs dropped by the B-17’s hit their mark. The Battle of Midway has started… and the transports kept coming.
Tonight marks the Anniversary of a flight of 4 PBY-5A’s that made a night time torpedo attack. One of the torpedo’s dropped by these slow flying PBY’s hit the oiler Akebono Maru early on the morning of June 4th.
Tomorrow is the 75th Anniversary of when the Japanese Aircraft Carriers were spotted, also by a PBY crew. The PBY is an unsung hero and often gets overlooked.
Here’s a picture of the crew that spotted the Japanese first.
(Standing, left to right): Aviation Machinist Mate 2nd Class R.J. Derouin; Chief Aviation Radioman Francis Musser; Ensign Hardeman (Copilot); Ensign J.H. Reid (Pilot) and R.A. Swan (Navigator).
(Kneeling, left to right): Aviation Machinist Mate 1st Class J.F. Gammell (NAP); Aviation Machinist Mate 3rd Class, J. Goovers and Aviation Machinist Mate 3rd Class P.A. Fitzpatrick.
Here’s a picture of a “VP-23” PBY-5 at Midway Island. If you look closely, you will see that this is the older non amphibian version of the PBY-5. It uses beaching gear, instead of having a retractable landing gear as on the PBY-5A. The beaching gear was a set of main wheels that were placed alongside the fuselage, and a steerable tail support mechanism.
VP-23 flew the non amphibian PBY, while VP-44 had the newer PBY-5A’s with retractable landing gear. Both units were hurriedly assigned to Midway Island during the middle of May, 1942.
I built my PBY almost completely out of the box. The only alterations were made to the landing lights.
Here’s a link to the build thread:
and a link that shows more information about the opening phases of the Battle of Midway:
This was an enjoyable build, and the kit is pretty big once completed. I am really surprised that more of them have not been built. This is really a nice kit. If you’re like me and like the older Monogram / Revell kits, you will really like this one. It is a great place to start for someone who has scratch building skills. If I had more time I may have added some details. But for me, it’s good enough as is.
It was painted using Model Master enamels, and the decals were from my spares collection, along with some “Yellow -Wings” decals for the fuselage side numbers. All of these details are spelled out in the build log.
I would like to personally thank Martin, and the crew from Imodeler, for the opportunity to conduct this Midway Group Build. I also want to thank Chuck Villanueva for his fanstastic opening for the Group Build Reveal.
This build would not have been as easy for me, had not Tom Bebout sent me some photos he took of the OV-10A (US Army slang for PBY-5A) in the Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson.
I also want to thank each and every one of you who posted builds, posted information and / or photos to use as reference, and those who simply made comments along the way.
It was a team effort…
Take care. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed building it.
As usual, comments are encouraged.
22 additional images. Click to enlarge.