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Accident description
Last updated: 11 December 2017
Status:
Date:Sunday 11 January 1942
Time:19:30
Type:Silhouette image of generic CAT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina
Operator:United States Navy
Registration: 2452
C/n / msn:
First flight:
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 5
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Pearl Harbor NAS, HI (   United States of America)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Palmyra Island Atoll-Cooper Airport (PLPA), U.S. Minor Outlying Islands
Destination airport:Pearl Harbor NAS, HI, United States of America
Narrative:
While being based at Palmyra Island, the PBY-5 struck a coral reef resulting in extensive damage to underside of hull and the keel. Temporary repairs were effected and on 11 January 1942 the aircraft took off to return to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
It arrived there after dark. Blackout restrictions were enforced on the seadrome and landing lights were refused. A normal landing was made on glass surface in complete darkness in a restricted channel, but with a nose down attitude according to witnesses. The Catalina probably hooked a wingtip float, and was thrown violently on it back, in which position it was found by the crash-boat standby. It later sank. Three of the five crew were killed.

Sources:
» VPB-23 War History
» vpnavy.org


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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Palmyra Island Atoll-Cooper Airport to Pearl Harbor NAS, HI as the crow flies is 1767 km (1104 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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