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David Hornell Tools of War

Consolidated Canso

Consolidated PBY 5A Canso Catalina

Used mainly for coastal patrol in North America, the Canso (as the Canadian-built version came to be known) was an amphibian plane capable of taking off and landing from both the ground and the water. It was chosen as the replacement for the aging Supermarine Stranraer; the Canso could be armed with a variety of torpedoes, bombs, depth charges, etc., making it an ideal plane for engaging U-boats and submarines. Cansos could carry up to 1,800 kilograms of bombs, and were typically armed with guns in the nose, tail, and in the waist blister - two mid-body pods.

Hornell's No. 162 Squadron was the only Canadian unit equipped with Cansos deployed outside of North America, patrolling the Atlantic from bases in both Iceland and Scotland. The planes were able to fly great distances and could stay airborne for very long periods of time. Catalinas (the American equivalent of Cansos) also played a key role in Pacific battles against the Japanese.

David Hornell in uniform re-creation of Hornell's dog tags Canso Catalina