The Shaka X PBY Catalina print, our first piece of original DEVSOC work available for grabs as a super high-quality print.
The Consolidated PBY Catalina is an American flying boat, and later an amphibious aircraft of the 1930s and 1940s produced by Consolidated Aircraft...
The seaplane rocked violently. Flak from a battleship below exploded all around it. “My God, what have I done?” Leonard Smith recalled thinking.
Though not in strict compliance with the Neutrality Act of 1939, U.S. Navy Ensign Leonard Smith was at the controls of a Royal Air Force Consolidated PBY-5 flying boat that morning in May 1941, scouring the surface of the Atlantic for the notorious German battleship Bismarck. Surprised to suddenly spot the vessel, Smith steered the American-made seaplane – exported to Britain as part of the Lend-Lease program –into a cloud bank to safely shadow the battleship from afar. But after losing his bearings in the cloud, Smith swerved back into clear air – and got a nearly vertical view down the Bismarck’s smokestack. A barrage of anti-aircraft fire from the ship erupted.
Smith released a series of depth charges while an RAF crewman radioed coordinates of the massive target. As 19 Royal Navy warships rushed to converge, Smith circled above in the lone seaplane as long as fuel held out, updating the Bismarck’s location and speed while dodging anti-aircraft weapons. British torpedo aircraft attacked the ship, and the following day, wounded and steaming in circles, the mighty Bismarck was sent to the bottom of the Atlantic.
Under American law, pilots dispatched to Britain to accompany Lend-Lease PBYs were limited to roles as advisers – which did not include piloting combat search missions. Smith was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross; however, because violation of the Neutrality Act could have embarrassed the Roosevelt administration, Navy officials delayed formal announcement of his award until after the U.S. entered the war six months later. The rugged American PBY-5, meanwhile, earned a name for itself: The Brits called it “Catalina.” – Article from Airspacemag website.
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Printed on super HQ Innova smooth cotton paper
Wavy design to bring the waves to your workspace
Produced in an independent Sheffield-based printworks
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