Take a sneak peek inside

With lots of Adventure stories of the Catalina, during and after the war, the book contains 50.000 words written in the captions: the tech explanations of the wartime equipment, Pilot Reports, Expeditions to remote islands but also its use as a Firefighter, the Coast Guard and the services that the Cat provided for cargo and passenger/tourist flights.

Romancing the Catalina. In 1993 and 1994, the author made twice a Transatlantic tour from Europe over the Americas and back. Those Trips of a Lifetime were filmed for a TV documentary series named the Catalina Odyssey. See the wealth of photos of the Catalina flying out to the most remote treasure Islands and lagoons where they landed, but also in the NYC harbor and between the Arctic Icebergs.

This versatile Flying Boat was considered obsolete by 1941 but its combat/ rescue performance proved the critics wrong, Due to its staggering flight range and durability, the Catalina became a true flying paradox- a multi-tasking living legend during its wartime career and that was not even the end of its role.

After the war, the Catalina soldiered on into the Cold War with naval patrols in the anti-submarine warfare, in the Coast Guard duties and its speciality role as a firefighting aircraft, The Cat survived in that role until the early years of the New Age , it had found its true vocation for half a century after its military role in WWII.

Read the first impressions of the Early Birds who received their copy of the book

Just received my copy of Catalina,,,WOW, WOW, WOW, just can't put it down, never seen so many photographs of this iconic seaplane,I think I will still be looking at this wonderful book for the next few weeks,,thank you Hans, keep up the great work.
Vince Dale
Hi Hans - so, a lovely surprise today to receive the Catalina book. It looks terrific and you must be very pleased and proud! Very well done!
David Legg
Received mine a couple of days ago. What a great chronology on the Cat. Thanks. I am really enjoying it.
Serg Esnard

Book reviews

Aircraft history and beauty

Gorgeous photos to match the amazing stories about PBYs! Weismann has done a masterful job of documenting the PBY's history in all the oceans of the world, masterfully done with true stories, narrated by the original participants. Congratulations to the author for this documentary!
Dr. Inge Kendall Maranto -

Incredibly beautiful photos and story-rich tribute to The Catalina aircraft.

The author has done a job of tracing the history of the PBY literally around the globe. Using incredible and rare photography joined with well-researched narrative, Hans Weisman captures the multi-role capability of this aircraft from a war fighter on patrol, bombing, rescue and transport missions to a luxury touring and adventure platform. If you love aviation, this is a must-have part of your collection!
Larry Frankenbach -

A Must for PBY Catalina Lovers

The author has collected a huge amount of unpublished photographs, interesting stories and well documented information about this fascinating aircraft. Nearly 300 pages that will catch your interest if you are really a fan of historic planes. Fully recommended book.
Cesar Canomanuel -

Absolutely gobsmacked by this publication.

The photographs are outstanding, some of the best I've ever seen!
Peter K -

The ultimate color photo album of the best flying boat ever made

Savor the romance of flying to the most exotic islands with water landings in lagoons, on rivers and lakes.

The iconic Catalina evokes strong WWII nostalgia but it also had a dominant role in post-war seaplane transport and aerial firefighting history. With over 400 stunning images of its military and civil operations from 1937–2017, this book is the only photo album covering the full 80-year-career of this aircraft.

  • Dominant role in post-war seaplane transport and aerial firefighting history
  • With over 400 stunning images of its military and civil operations from 1937–2017
  • The ONLY book with the photo album covering the full 80-year-career of this aircraft.


Foreword 6
Introduction 6
About the Author 10
The WartimeYears 12
The Post-warYears 70
The Special Stories 119
The Catalina Odysseys 161
The Survivors 246
Acknowledgements 287

Copyright © 2018 by Hans Wiesman/The Dakota Hunter. All Rights Reserved.
Printed and bound in the USA

Hans Wiesmann_81

A Word about the author

Hans Wiesman (author of ‘The Dakota Hunter’ book & blogs) traces his profound passion for the DC-3/Dakota and the PBY Catalina back to the age of five.

Between the years 1951–1956 he lived in the Borneo Jungle and he flew in both aircraft with his father, a Shell oil exploration engineer.

Hans’s love affair with these aircraft has never faded and with only a few Catalinas now left in airworthy condition, this book is his heartfelt personal and colorful tribute to this legendary aircraft.