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The utmost seaplane enjoyer has landed


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My journey started in time immemorial at my cousin's PC in the late 90s who had "all the games" and one of it was "Aces of the Pacific" from Sierra that I still played well after the year 2000 on my old DOS and Windows 3.1 PC. This game together with TV documentaries and movies shaped my life or at least my main interests hobbywise. I remember when some certain TV show made "the Pacific war in colour" and all this technicolor footage of AA tracers, the scenes of dive bombers in formation and so on.

When I was a small child I got a present from my grandparents, a 1/48th scale PBY Catalina. Those were my formative years, I can tell you! I set it together with all the parts and all the decals because I didn't know what I was doing then and was "optional" meant, in the end it was the Cansocatalina of the Royal U.S. Armee de l'air lol

Much time has passed since then and along with it I (alongside many other enthusiasts) not only lived through all the iterations of combat flight simulation and the ups and downs of the all Il2 branches but also almost literally ate books on the PTO and aviation in general. Inside the realm of my possibilities (not being in the US so no entry to the necessary archives) I digged out some archeologist's paper who went to Saipan to research the operation of seaplane bases, a topic on which very little documentation was made even by the U.S. Navy, survived or was published and where he set out to determine the fate of a certain individual PBM Mariner, lying on the seafloor there, discussing and researching operational details, layout of the base nearly all from what lays and stands there rusting away and so on. I was fascinated by this because it opened a whole new universe of environmental impact and organizational considerations behind flight operations that before lay essentially in a murky haze that simply isn't portrayed anywhere or only very sparsely and at best only by those who lived through it. And mostly on a level that is comparable to telling about taking the trash out, which is only remembered and documented when breaking your leg while doing it.

My early preoccupation with the "famous" and "most powerful" planes has subsided considerably over time and today you can view me as an enthusiast for the "obscurities" that always tend to be ignored inspite of being of vital importance. Before I was like "meh" and not interested at all whenever a plane had two sets of wings or wasn't featured in the movies and documentaries. That has turned into the full opposite.

Not the most talented fighter pilot anyway and with a rather low tolerance for being put against impossible odds, I came to embrace the "auxiliary" but nonetheless necessary aspects of flying. Also the "boring" ones. Playing a career as patrol or air-sea rescue pilot or hunting subs as convoi protection would amount to a dream being fulfilled especially since I got to know the importance of all these - until now neglected in flight simulation - duties. 

I would be happy to help if I can, if some informations are being looked for, then at least my decades long immersion in this field of interest wasn't all for naught. Maybe I myself stumble upon new information and sources like it so often happens when engaging in a community of enthusiasts.

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