Corgi's Catalina is a great tribute to a total hero
Corgi Consolidated Catalina Mk.IVA JV928 ‘Y’, Flt/Lt John Alexander Cruickshank VC, 210 Squadron, July 1944 - 100 Years of the RAF
During World War II, Britain relied heavily on the contribution of long range maritime patrol aircraft to protect its status as an island nation, in particular the flying boats and brave crews of Coastal Command. Flying alongside the mighty Short Sunderland, the American built Consolidated Catalina proved to be one of the most successful aircraft of its type, able to mount patrols that sometimes exceeded eighteen hours at a time and it was more than capable of destroying any enemy shipping that it encountered.
On one such patrol on 17th July 1944, Catalina JV928, piloted by Scotsman John Cruickshank, was five hours into a mission west of the Lofoten Islands in the Norwegian Sea, when the crew obtained a radar signal from the sea below. The aircraft flew down for a closer look and was confronted by a German U-boat and its anti-aircraft guns. The Catalina took multiple hits to the front but the attack on the vessel was successful. John Cruickshank had suffered 72 wounds during the frenetic attack, but despite the pain and loss of blood, refused morphine so he could remain alert to help his inexperienced co-pilot land the aircraft following the five hour return flight. For his part in this action, John Cruickshank was awarded the Victoria Cross.
Corgi's latest release of its exquisite Catalina tooling is a fine tribute to such an action, with a sumptuous flat finish to its realistic paint job and it is a hugely impressive model to display with a wingspan just shy of eighteen inches.
There is plenty of good detail and the propellers and gun turrets all rotate but the best features are the wing tips that hinge down to act as stability floats for when the aircraft is on the water, just as on the real aircraft.
Released as part of Corgi's RAF 100 tribute range, it's another excellent model and worthy of shelf space.