Aviation Heritage at Rathmines


Catalina Dreaming by Andrew McMillan

Here is a personal history of the RAAF Catalina Flying boats based in Cairns, Karumba, Darwin and Melville Bay during World War II, and the men who flew and looked after them. This is the story of men from southern Australia thrown into a hostile landscape, and their confrontations with tropical conditions, indigenous people, Americans, air raids on Darwin, boredom and terror, sharks and of course the Japanese. Andrew McMillan has visited the bases, consulted the archives, and talked to many of the men involved.

Now available in the shop Click here

How can you help support this important Catalina heritage project?

Become a Member

We are actively looking for enthusiastic people who are interested in preserving the history of the Rathmines RAAF base and honouring the servicemen and women who gave so much.

If you are interested to find out more about being a member, what we do and where your skills and experience could fit in, please email the President Bill Anderson or call for a chat on 

Join the Restoration Team 

This dedicated group of volunteers meet twice a week at Kilaben Bay to work on the restoration of a Catalina PBY-5A, the same model that flew from the Rathmines Base.  Team members share their knowledge and skills with each other, while preserving and building specific skills in aircraft restoration.  


Please consider becoming a supporter and donating to this important local project of national historical significance.  Rathmines Catalina Association is registered as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Organisation.  Donations of $2.00 or more in cash or products may be tax deductible.  A DGR receipt will be provided for your taxation records.  For more information, please refer to our 'Donate' page or contact by email  president@rathmines-catalina.com   

Leave a Bequest 

Leaving a bequest to the Association will greatly assist in the restoring of our PBY-5A Catalina flying boat, preserving the history of RAAF Base Rathmines and honouring the service of RAAF personnel engaged in flying boat operations during WWII.  If you would like to discuss this matter please contact our President, Bill Anderson 0418770400.

Catalina Festival

The Catalina Festival

Our Volunteers

Our Volunteers

Our volunteers raise funds in as many ways as we can - running tours of the RAAF base, the Catalina Festival, and special events. We also have wonderful support from a number of local businesses and other organisations. 

Our members enjoy being part of this heritage project as well as socialising and sharing knowledge. 

We give our time freely, but restoring an old aircraft requires all sorts of parts, services and equipment, as well as specialised skills!

Volunteering is also a great way to meet others in the community with similar interests and is great for your physical and mental health!

Rathmines Catalina Memorial Park Association Incorporated is a non-profit organisation, trading as RATHMINES CATALINA Association
ADDRESS: PO Box 59, Toronto NSW 2283, AUSTRALIA
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