NAS Whidbey Island (Seaplane Base), Washington State

This is a museum dedicated to PBY-5 Catalina and Navy Aviation in general. It is presently located on the grounds of a smaller part of NAS Whidbey Island called Seaplane Base, this is an original base of Navy presence on the island. The museum will close in 2 days and will re-open some time in the future in Oak Harbor, outside of the base. I was very lucky to run into museum’s curator who let me see many items not on display. For instance, look for a page from a Catalina pilot log book which states on the right page “To scene of sunken Indianapolis”. This is a small museum but with a gusto, a must to see if you are around here. What is a bomb looking yellow & black painted item standing in front of Catalina? Photo 2 and 3 is the original Catalina sea ramp which allowed them onto the terra firma.


Thanks for another great tour!

When I lived in Southeast Alaska there were still PBYs used for commercial travel between the islands, and between the islands and mainland. They were later replaced by Grummans which were still in use when I left in 1991. For flying in the often dangerous weather of Alaska, there were no safer planes than those two, especially the Grumman Goose.


When I was a youngster, a neighbor somehow got a surplus PBY fuselage and put it in his yard (no wings or armament, but otherwise fairly complete). It was a great playhouse. I wonder whatever happened to it?

Vlad, the “bomb looking yellow & black painted item” looks like a bow buoy for aircraft alignment when is close to the shore.