Revised editionwith restored print This restoration was particulary satisfying for me. After many days of archival research including hours scanning the Sotuh West Pacific using Google Earth, the identities of the previously undisclosed secret PBY base shown in this film and the men who flew from it are revealed for the first time in this exclusive release. During World War 2, that info was all "Top Secret" and kept from the public.
What was that mysterious plane swooping down out of the night sky on unsuspecting Japanese ships and bases, hundreds of miles from any known American airstrip? The answer was, as you'll see in this good humored, affectionate film, the slow, ungainly, but deadly "Black Cat" PBY. Originally designed primarily as a reconnaissance and antisubmarine amphibious patrol plane, the big twin engined Catalina's super long range, all weather capability, capacity to lug both bombs and radar, ability to loiter for hours hunting convoys and operate from anywhere in the watery PTO, made it an ideal naval night attack bomber. One of the least known stories of the war in the Pacific, these black painted PBY "VPB" ('Patrol Bombing") squadrons spread destruction and chaos far out of proportion to their relatively small numbers.