Published on March 2nd, 2022 | by Guy Warner0
Book Review – A Lost Catalina
A Lost Catalina by Joe O’Loughlin with Jen Jones, 48 pages SB, 7 colour, 10 black & white illustrations, £8.00, ISBN 978-19161348-2-9
Joe O’Loughlin of Belleek in Co. Fermanagh has received considerable, well-deserved praise for his painstaking and dedicated work over many years in commemorating the sacrifice of Allied aircrews, who lost their lives in the Second World War, particularly those who were based in his native county and flew from the waters of Lough Erne. His latest work is on the loss of Consolidated Catalinas JX242 of No 202 Squadron, which crashed on a mountain top in poor visibility on 22nd November 1944 while returning to RAF Killadeas; and FP120 of 131 OTU, which was lost in the Atlantic Ocean on 2nd November 1943. The mystery of FP120’s final flight was solved in the excellent book, The Kid Glove Pilot by Squadron Leader Alan Deller DFC, who served with the Captain of FP120, Canadian former Mountie, Flight Lieutenant Ted Muffitt.
Indeed, the last section of this nicely-produced booklet is an account of Ted Muffitt’s life, and also that of his son, Norm Muffitt, who followed his father into the RCMP and aviation.
The front cover is graced by a lovely colour photo of a Catalina on the tranquil waters of Lough Erne, while on page 29, there is a photo of Ted Muffitt and some of his fellow officers on the steps of the Mess, now the Manor House Hotel.
Long may Joe continue to perpetuate the memory of these brave men, who flew from Northern Ireland to defeat Nazi Germany’s U-boats.