f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

U.S. Navy PBY Catalina at Harris Field

Posted Wednesday, May 29, 2013, at 12:00 AM

A U.S. Navy PBY Catalina landed at Harris Field, which became the Cape Girardeau Municipal Airport, in this undated photo by G.D. Fronabarger.

According to Wikipedia, PBYs were used during World War II in anti-submarine warfare, patrol bombing, convoy escorts, search and rescue missions (especially air-sea rescue), and cargo transport. Produced from 1936 to 1945 by Consolidated Aircraft, the PBY was the most numerous aircraft of its kind and the last active military PBYs were not retired from service until the 1980s.

In the designation "PBY," PB represented "patrol bomber" and Y was the code assigned to Consolidated Aircraft as its manufacturer.


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  • The guy who operated Harris Field and four other training schools during World War II predicted that Cape Girardeans would have planes in their garages as soon as the war was over.


    "Motoring is so much a part of social and business life today that our garages are a few steps from our front door; yes, in many instances, the garage is part of the home. Flying will become just as much a part of daily existence in the future.

    "Therefore, the private flier will want his airplane hangered just across the road, if possible. In other words, we will be demanding neighborhood landing fields, small airports with turf runways, with landing surfaces 1000 to 1500 feet long and about 300 to 400 yards wide...."

    -- Posted by ksteinhoff on Wed, May 29, 2013, at 1:32 PM