Coronadan Bob Lenson, a retired seaplane pilot who flew for 29 years in the U.S. Navy, is seen here holding a model of the PBY Marlin he flew in and out of San Diego Bay.
By the 1930s seaplanes were barely two decades old. That didn’t stop Consolidated from producing ambitious designs like this early PBY craft. Known as the “Guba,” this plane was marketed for both military and civilian use, and is seen here in front of the County Administration Building. Photo courtesy of the San Diego Air and Space Museum.
A Consolidated Aircraft Corporation PBY-5 circles San Diego Bay in October 1940. Consolidated’s factory was located adjacent to Lindbergh Field. Photo courtesy of the San Diego Air and Space Museum.
A Convair XP5Y-1 in mid-takeoff on San Diego Bay. Photo courtesy of Doug Siegfried.
Smaller seaplanes like the PBY series were given widespread use in all theaters of war during World War II. Larger aircraft, like this R3Y, were produced after 1943 for a wide range of uses by the U.S. Navy. Photo courtesy of the San Diego Air and Space Museum