Lockheed PBO-1 (Hudson)

The Lockheed PBO-1 was the designation given to twenty A-29 Hudson maritime patrol aircraft that served with the US Navy. Unlike the much larger number of Hudsons that operated with the USAAF, the PBO-1 retained the Boulton-Paul twin-gunned turret used on British aircraft, but the .303in machine guns were replaced with slightly lighter .3in guns. In American service the PBO-1s carried four 325lb depth-charges.

The US Navy used the PBO-1 in the same role as RAF Coastal Command, flying anti-submarine patrols over the Atlantic convoy routes. They were operated by Naval Squadron VP-82, formed in October 1941.  The squadron was based at Argentia, Newfoundland and NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island. On 1 March 1942 PBO-1s from this squadron sank U-656 off Cape Race, Newfoundland, the first German submarine to be sunk by the US Navy. Two weeks later, on 15 March, the same squadron scored a second victory, sinking U-503.

The PBO-1 (and the USAAF’s A-29s) only had a short active career with the US Navy. By the end of 1942 they had been replaced by longer ranged four-engined Liberators and Flying Fortresses. With their longer range these aircraft helped close the “air gap” in the mid-Atlantic, where U-boats had been able to operate without fear of attack by land based aircraft.

Lockheed Hudson Aircraft in WWII, Andrew Hendrie, Crowood Press. A look at the development of the Hudson, and its career with the RAF, USAAF, RNZAF and RAAF. Covers the anti-submarine and anti-shipping uses of the Hudson, as well at its role in Air-Sea Rescue and special operations. The text is supported by a good collection of first hand accounts.
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (23 October 2008), Lockheed PBO-1 (Hudson) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_lockheed_PBO-1.html

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