Onto the Ramp
“Onto the Ramp.” Artwork by Joseph Hirsch.
“Caught by the tail like some dripping sea monster, a Navy PBY patrol bomber is hauled from the water up the seaplane ramp at the end of a mission. Beaching these big, flying boats is a precision performance. Beaching crews must first wade out and attach wheel fittings under the hull to permit the plane to be rolled onto the ramp. A towing line is fitted to the tail, and up she comes under the tug of a snorting tractor. ”
The task of hauling the great flying boats and smaller floatplanes from sea to shore was a familiar one for the Navy’s patrol squadrons for over 40 years, encompassing both world wars.
VPB-54/VP-54 PBY-5A Catalina coming up the launching ramp note turret Fred C. Dickey, Jr. Collection NHHC