So I just responded to Tyler’s PBY Catalina post with a question about something that has been bothering my father for decades. I’ve included all of the details regarding the question below. However, I figured I would pass the question along on Oppo, since I bothered to document it all, and we’ve got a fairly savvy group of airplane aficionados.
When my father was a kid - somewhere in the mid to late 1950’s. His father and him were driving on a highway - we’ve been presuming that it was somewhere between Tucson and Phoenix but it could have been somewhere in or around Phoenix back then, and they came upon a whole field of Catalina PBYs. My father remembers one was flipped upside down, but there was a poorly maintained fence and the two of them climbed through it and actually climbed up into one of those planes and sat in the cockpit.
My grandfather had been an inspector for Consolidated Vultee Aircraft during the war, working at the plant in Tucson doing conversions mostly on B-24s - adding belly turrets and various other things. Because of this and other experiences my dad was then and still is fascinated by planes and this is one of those memories that just seems to be deeply imprinted in him.
So, I’ve got to pass this along to the commentariat in general, and the experts here, does anyone have any idea where this might have been? I personally suspect Litchfield Park, or possibly Kingman, but would like to know more if possible.
(Some sidenotes, both my father and I are native Tucsonans, and as best as he can determine it may not have been an AFB -though it sounds like it was. Definitely was not AMARC/AMARG or any of it’s predecessors in or around Tucson. Though in an unrelated story, when all of the B-36’s came to AMARC to be retired, my father says he could hear them a good 5 to 15 minutes prior to being able to see them. This was definitely north of Tucson, and quite likely north of Casa Grande, and any information about a field of grounded, abandoned PBY’s would be nice to know about).