The Consolidated PBY Catalina was an American
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
A flying boat is a fixed-winged seaplane with a hull, allowing it to land on water. It differs from a float plane as it uses a purpose-designed fuselage which can float, granting the aircraft buoyancy. Flying boats may be stabilized by under-wing floats or by wing-like projections from the fuselage...
of the 1930s and 1940s produced by Consolidated Aircraft
The Consolidated Aircraft Corporation was founded in 1923 by Reuben H. Fleet, the result of the Gallaudet Aircraft Company's liquidation and Fleet's purchase of designs from the Dayton-Wright Company as the subsidiary was being closed by its parent corporation, General Motors. Consolidated became...
. It was one of the most widely used multi-role aircraft of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...
. PBYs served with every branch of the United States Armed Forces
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...
and in the air forces and navies of many other nations. In the United States Army Air Forces
United States Army Air Forces
The United States Army Air Forces was the military aviation arm of the United States of America during and immediately after World War II, and the direct predecessor of the United States Air Force....
and later in the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...
their designation was OA-10. A Canadian-built PBY would be familiarly called a Canso.
During World War II, PBYs were used in anti-submarine warfare
Anti-submarine warfare is a branch of naval warfare that uses surface warships, aircraft, or other submarines to find, track and deter, damage or destroy enemy submarines....
, patrol bombing, convoy escorts, search and rescue
Search and rescue
Search and rescue is the search for and provision of aid to people who are in distress or imminent danger.The general field of search and rescue includes many specialty sub-fields, mostly based upon terrain considerations...
missions (especially air-sea rescue
Air-sea rescue is the coordinated search and rescue of the survivors of emergency water landings as well as people who have survived the loss of their sea-going vessel. ASR can involve a wide variety of resources including seaplanes, helicopters, submarines, rescue boats and ships...
), and cargo transport
A cargo aircraft is a fixed-wing aircraft designed or converted for the carriage of goods, rather than passengers. They are usually devoid of passenger amenities, and generally feature one or more large doors for the loading and unloading of cargo...