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Hello Up There: 1942

Hello Up There: 1942

August 1942. Corpus Christi, Texas. "Mrs. Eloise J. Ellis, senior supervisor in the Assembly and Repairs Department of the Naval Air Base, talking with one of the men." 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Howard Hollem. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Mrs. Ellis

Mrs. Ellis also seen here two years ago on Shorpy.

PBY means...

P = Patrol
B = Bomber
Y = Consolidated Aircraft (builder)

There were at least two other versions of the aircraft: The PBN series was built by the US Navy's Naval Aircraft Factory and the PB2B came from Boeing of Canada.


The seaplane-only version of the Catalina (shown in the picture) was the PBY-5, or Patrol Boat Y. There were earlier PBY-1 thru 4 versions, but they were vastly outnumbered by the mainline production model PBY-5. The 5A designation was the amphibious version that came out later. It was a really cool airplane that unfortunately is almost extinct today. Many were used for executive transports after the war. As I recall, in the 1970s Jacques Cousteau operated one for several years as part of his seagoing operation until his son was killed piloting it.


Is it too soon to make a nomination for best photo of the year? Yeah, probably. But a stunner, nevertheless.


That Lieutenant j.g. looks like he hasn't started shaving yet. One of the slightly disconcerting things I've found about Shorpy is how often I find myself looking at someone in a picture who is old enough to be my grandparent and thinking, "How did that kid get in a uniform?"

Uniformly great

Can't agree enough with Gman77. Jane Greer, one of film noir's most famous femmes fatales ("Out of the Past"), posed in uniform for War Bond posters. No wonder Howard Hughes signed her up for the movies.

Catalina Cont'd

It is a PBY Catalina, but not a 5A, which was a later-war amphibious model. This Catalina is an earlier model, as evidenced by the lack of the distinctive teardrop shaped blisters introduced later towards the end of the production of -4 models. These blisters replaced the sliding hatches that the man is standing in.

The "landing gear" visible in the picture is really the beaching gear, which was attached to the sides of the hull (as seen) and under the tail (just out of view to the left) in order to move the plane in and out of the water. The beaching gear could not be used for takeoffs or landings.

In addition to the side blisters, the amphibious -5A's had a tricycle landing gear with one large main gear wheel which retracted into a bay located between the two wing brace struts and a single nose wheel under the nose.

Another thing to note in the photo is that a mechanic is working on the port engine. He is standing on a removable work platform that hooked onto the side of engine nacelle.

[The gun blisters are far aft of where the man in the photo above is sitting. Below, another PBY at Corpus Christi in August 1942. - Dave]


A PBY-5A Catalina!

Mr. Ellis is a lucky man

Love that quasi military look Senior Supervisor Ellis sports. The saddle shoes, rolled cuffs, red nail polish, and civilian belt offset the military cap and dungarees in a very sexy way!

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