PBY Catalina


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PBY Catalina

The iconic PBY Catalina first flew in the 1930s and is still flying today. It was produced by Consolidated Aircraft for the US Navy and entered service in 1936 as a long-range flying boat and patrol bomber. The onset of the Second World War in 1939 saw PBY production increase for the USN. The British Royal Air Force ordered the PBY in 1940 and named it the Catalina, which the USN adopted soon afterwards. The amphibious PBY-5As produced by Canadian Vickers in Canada were called the Canso after the famous strait in Nova Scotia. Over 3,000 PBYs were manufactured during WW2 and used by the USN, RAF, US Army Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force and many other allied air forces.

WWII Aircraft

The PBY saw action in every combat theatre as a bomber, anti-submarine, reconnaissance, transport and air sea rescue aircraft. It was crucial in the anti-submarine role during the Battle of the Atlantic, found the Nazi battleship Bismarck, discovered the Japanese fleet approaching Ceylon and the Japanese aircraft carriers at the pivotal Battle of Midway. The PBY continued in military service after the war and surplus aircraft were used worldwide in civilian roles as a passenger, freighter, aerial survey and fire-fighting aircraft. The RCAF used the Canso post-war until 1964 for transport, northern mapping and Search and Rescue. Canso Investment Counsel Ltd. is named for the endurance, versatility, ruggedness and dependability of the Canso. Squadron Leader Andy Carswell, our founder’s father, flew the Canso and was awarded the Air Force Cross for his flying skill and valour on rescue missions.


The Plane Tags have been manufactured from aluminum skin from a PBY-5A Catalina, Serial# Bu46590 manufactured for the US Navy in 1944 at the Consolidated factory in New Orleans. It saw active USN service on patrol over the Atlantic and training missions over the Pacific. It then served with the US Coast Guard in Florida, Washington State and Alaska. It was sold surplus in June 1950 to California Aircraft Corporation and registered as N68756. It was converted to civilian use and was purchased in 1952 by Fullerton Oil Company of Pasedena, California for use as a VIP corporate aircraft. It was then sold in 1960 to Herb Schriner, a TV personality, who modified the interior to resemble Jules Verne’s Nautilus submarine! It continued to be owned privately until 1977 when it was bought by the Quebec Labrador Mission to deliver supplies to remote settlements. It was acquired 1979 by the Confederate Air Force of Harlingen, Texas which flies WW2 aircraft in air shows. The CAF then put it in Royal Australian Air Force colours as Catalina NB-N, the “Sea Bitch”. It flew the 9700 miles and 55 hours flying time from Monterey, California to Brisbane, Australia in January 1981 for an Australian tour celebrating the 60th anniversary of the RAAF. The CAF continued to fly it until 1986 when it was retired for maintenance reasons. It was used for parts and ended up at the Pima Aviation Museum in Arizona where MotoArt purchased the remaining fuselage in 2017.


Easy Shipping

Domestic Shipping: 3-5 Days

International Shipping: 8-15 days

Allow 8-10 days for custom engraving


*Important Notice – Please Read Carefully

PlaneTags are made from actual retired aircraft fuselage, not merely stamped metal. Because PlaneTags are made from real fuselage, each one bears the color, thickness, and wear and tear from the portion of the fuselage from which it was cut and it is therefore rare to create two identical PlaneTags. These variations and imperfections are not product flaws. They are part of the beauty of PlaneTags. As a result, you will not have an option to select the exact color of your PlaneTag. The images on this website are provided for reference only and should not be used as the sole basis for choosing a particular PlaneTag.

Caution: Not recommended for children under 8 years of age. This product contains chemical-based paint which may cause respiratory irritation if ingested or inhaled in large quantities. Keep out of mouth.

Customer Reviews
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Filter Reviews:
    Patrick J.
    United States United States

    Future Seaplane Rating

    This is an absolutely beautiful pice of history you can hold in your hand. The PBY Catalina Plane Tag will make a perfect gift when my son gets his sea plane rating!

    Enrique P.


    Was fortunate enough to get a sparkling variant of a historic aircraft. Thanks motoart

    Logan W.
    United States United States

    The Flying Boat

    Love these tags! The blue and yellow patina ones are truly amazing! So much history here and a great opportunity to have a piece of such an iconic aircraft.

    Doug W.
    United States United States

    My Dad and the PBY

    My Dad entered the Naval Aviation Cadet program in 1942. After completing Primary and Advanced flight training he began PBY school in May, 1943, and completed qualification a month later. As a result of his successful check-out on the Catalina, 7July 1943 was a special day: Dad was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S.Naval Reserve and pinned on his Navy wings. His flying influenced my own desire to become a pilot, and he was there when I earned my Air Force wings. So there's no more treasured Planetag in my collection than the beautiful PBY Catalina.

    United States United States

    Just plane awsome!

    One of my favorites! Thank you!

    A PlaneTags Customer
    Mike G.
    United States United States

    Sea Plane Fan

    Sea Planes were responsible for my love of aviation several decades ago! So excited to be able to have a tag (now 5) from this iconic air frame! Can't look or hold it without being transported back to the heyday of aviation which resembled the Wild West quite a bit more than aviation does today. Thanks for this amazing release PlaneTags!

    Doyle E.
    United States United States

    One of the best tags

    The PBY is a classic plane, and the tags cut from this donor airframe have come out in a gorgeous array of varieties. I've had both a standard tag and a mystery tag from this plane, and both of them are awesome.

    Neil D.
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

    Iconic Tag

    What a beast of a plane, love this tag

    Chris R.
    United States United States

    Favorite PlaneTag

    This is one of my favorite planes and the tag is a great momento from the type. Etching is a bit more hit or miss on this depending on the colors but both of mine are easily legible and look great. Blue is super awesome if you can find one!

    Paul C.
    United States United States

    All 3 sea planes !

    I love working with you guys every purchase is smooth and trouble free. I’m thankful for the early updates on new products. At this time I’m up to 39 tags and counting. Keep ‘em flying guys.

    David P.
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

    PBY Cat Tag

    An amazing aircraft and my joint favourite along with the iconic Lockheed Connie. Looks great attached to my luggage and I will be buying a few other tags to cover off my other bags. Dave, UK.

    David S.
    United States United States

    Nice memento of WWII Naval aviation

    I bought this in commemoration of my dad's service in WWII as well as flying PBYs. I had a local artist engrave the back with my dad's name and rank, dates of active service and total PBY hours.

    United States United States

    1st Of Many

    Great gift from a friend and the start of my collection. To hold a piece of metal that witnessed the creation of history how can you not love them.

    Brian G.
    United States United States


    Birthday present from a buddy, whole year later serving me well on my travels.

    John R.
    United States United States

    Pacific Cat Tag

    The PBY tag is one of my favs, showing shades of Navy blue paint for the WW2 vet. It would be nice to see more of the naval aircraft, i e., F4F, F6F, Corsair, etc. Vintage planes from WW2 are my first prefetence.

    Ray M.
    United States United States

    Love all tags

    There is not use just display!

    Karen W.
    Australia Australia

    Plane tag birthday gift

    I purchased this for my husband’s birthday, his father was a radio operator on a Catalina based in Australia during WW11. He loved the gift, which arrived months before his birthday.

    Kevin C.
    United States United States


    Fantastic piece of history! The detail on the laser engraving is amazing. Thanks MotoArt!

    John A.
    United States United States

    Very Meaningful Memento

    My father served on PBY's in World War II as a US Navy Hospital Corpsman flying out of Morocco. This tag now is hanging on my wall over a model of a PBY. I only wish my father, a retired US Navy Warrant Officer, were alive to see and touch it.

    David P.
    United States United States

    Love It

    No Way would I put this on my Luggage