In 1942, Largs became an airport to American-built Catalina Flying Boats. Their part in the war effort was to patrol the Atlantic searching for German U-Boats.
A concrete slip was built for them across from Barrfields Pavilion which became their workshop and the putting greens at front their staging post. Two other slips were built on Cumbrae for the aircraft as the base expanded.
Sometimes a Catalina would sink and have to be salvaged and one is still a wreck over at Cumbrae. The slips are still in use with the one at Largs being the launch point for the RNLI lifeboat and the Cumbrae slips used by CalMac and sportscotland National Centre.
Largs International Airport
On 11 July 1945, Iceland Airways (the forerunner of Icelandair) flew a second-hand Catalina from Reykjavik in Iceland to Largs with four crew and four passengers on board. This was the first scheduled passenger fight in post VE Day Europe.
The aircraft was named 'Ol' Peter', the flight took six hours and was piloted by Johannes Snorrason. One of the four passengers was Rev Robert Jack from Glasgow.
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