The PBY MEMORIAL FOUNDATION, established September 22, 1998, is dedicated to the preservation and study of all PBY “Catalina” aircraft as well as the aviation history of NAS Whidbey Island and the role of Naval Aviation in the history of the Whidbey Island and Puget Sound Communities.
Our initial mission was to preserve the PBY and all seaplanes once based at the seaplane facility on Whidbey Island. We now include all aircraft that have been based and flown from NAS Whidbey Island from 1942 to the present day.
Beginning with the past and moving through to the present day, young and old alike will enjoy a memorable journey through history at the PBY Memorial Foundation’s PBY-NAVAL AIR MUSEUM located in Oak Harbor Washington. From displays dedicated to all wars and conflicts from WWII to today, to impressive artifacts, two flight simulators and more, the PBY-NAVAL AIR MUSEUM promises to educate and entertain!
Do you love history, classic aircraft – maybe both? Come join us! We are looking for more members and volunteers!
How You Can Help
We are now open and building and adding displays is an on going process for the next couple of weeks. Our Ships Store is fully operational and stocked.
At the PBYMF monthly luncheon, students from Coupeville High School presented their website project on the subject of Japanese Internment Camps in the United States. They explained the parameters and process for putting the website together and engaged in a lively exchange with luncheon attendees about the internment history. They are preparing for History Day competition at the State level which takes place in May. If they are successful at the State level, the team will go on to the National History Day competition in June. You can view their website at http://32029686.nhd.weebly.com
The PBY Memorial Foundation is taking on the biggest challenge in our history. Like most challenges, it also presents great opportunities. We have been working for more than a year on plans to move off of the Seaplane Base at NAS Whidbey Island when our Simard Hall lease expires on 30 April 2014. After pursuing many alternatives, we chose a property in downtown Oak Harbor, WA to become the new PBY – NAVAL AIR MUSEUM.
With 4500 square feet on Pioneer Way, the main street into downtown Oak Harbor, the potential for this new location is very exciting. First, and most important, being off base the museum will be accessible to a much wider public audience. We will also be able to display many more artifacts from our collection and in a better setting.
This move is also a major financial stepping stone toward our long range goal to build a hangar style museum for “GiGi”, as we affectionately call our PBY-5A. We can charge admission, solicit donations and run a robust “Ship’s Store” gift shop. On the Seaplane base these activities were either prohibited or very restricted.
Our immediate challenge is the expense of moving, completing tenant improvements and creating new displays. And, we will have some very interesting new displays. Most unique will be a Night Vision Goggle Room. Here we will display the history of this technology. Visitors will don the goggles, and experience the same introduction to NVGs that young Naval Aviators go through during their training. Our flight simulator room will be updated and there will be many other interactive and informative exhibits.
To meet this challenge we ask for your support in raising $80,000 to create a first rate museum experience. Your contribution can help maximize this opportunity for growth by enabling the PBYMF to create the PBY-NAVAL AIR MUSEUM. Please join us on a journey toward excellence by using this link to donate. You can also watch for our Crowd Funding campaign on Indiegogo.
This is our PBY-5A Catalina 6 Feb 1980 at Palm Springs Airport showing blisters removed and new skin and hatches along with a new taller rudder. Owned by Dr. Forest Bird.
Our PBY-5A Catalina Oct 1965 with Navy NAS Atlanta in a red stripe just before tail and a well weathered paint and demilitarized, not guns, no radar dome and no external antennas. Photo taken at Orange County Airport (John Wayne Airport) owned by Thomas Kendall.
Our PBY-5A Catalina while assigned to the USCG. This photo was taken April 25, 1945 at USCG Station San Francisco,CA. Photo provided by Jason Taylor’s grandfather William (Bill) E. Taylor Jr is in the back 2nd from the right the photo. Our PBY-5A was stationed at USCG Station Port Angeles, WA and deployed to the Aleutians Alaska.
Click on image to enlarge