Catalina flying boats of RAF’s Coastal Command played a major part in locating the German battleship Bismarck during May 1941. Malcolm V Lowe tells the story of their epic search.

Consolidated PBY Catalina Bismarck History
Above: The substantial wing area and the camouflage pattern used for RAF Catalinas are shown here on W8406. It was a much-photographed example but certainly not the aircraft that found the famous German warship. (All photos Malcolm V Lowe collection)

Britain’s lifeline during the dark early years of World War Two was supply from the US, for which convoys of merchant ships plying across the northern expanse of the Atlantic Ocean were vital.

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