Abandoned Catalina 50 years between the sea and the desert

Abandoned Catalina 50 years between the sea and the desert

It is a beautiful seaplane caught between sea and desert of Saudi Arabia, and remained there for almost 50 years. Plane PBY-5A Catalina, South American military seaplane manufactured from 1936-ies. It is located on the beach in the Strait of Despot on the side of Saudi Arabia from the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba.

Abandoned Catalina 50 years between the sea and the desert
Abandoned Catalina 50 years between the sea and the desert
Abandoned Catalina 50 years between the sea and the desert

Aircraft PBY-5A model was bought from the U.S. Navy W.Kendall Thomas, a former businessman who transformed it into a chic flying aircraft.

PBY-5A Catalina was one of the more widely used multi-role aircraft the second world war.

In the spring 1960 , Mr. Kendall went round the world trip with his wife and kiddies together with his secretary and her offspring. Later they were joined by a photographer and journalist for the documentation of the trip for life magazine.

Abandoned Catalina 50 years between the sea and the desert
Abandoned Catalina 50 years between the sea and the desert
Abandoned Catalina 50 years between the sea and the desert

March 22 1960 , the plane landed in the Strait of Despot and anchored not far from the coast to spend the night there.

In the second half of the day at the following day they were attacked with machine guns and automatic weapons from near Cape. The kids swam back into the plane. Mr. Kendall and his secretary were wounded while trying to start the Catalina, but they managed to pass on the plane about 800 meters, unfortunately, it ran aground on a coral reef.

Abandoned Catalina 50 years between the sea and the desert
Abandoned Catalina 50 years between the sea and the desert

Shooting lasted 30 to 40 minutes and more than 300 shots hit the aircraft. Fuel tanks were shot through and almost 4,000 liters. Fuel poured out of the holes, but miraculously the plane is not lit. The sea depth at the site was only about 1.5 meters, and all aboard managed to leave plane and reach the shore.

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