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The subject of this article appeared in Call of Duty: World at War.
For similarly named tactical equipment in Black Ops II, see Black Hat.

"Okay people. The fleet still needs our help. Anyone wanna back out?... Didn't think so."

"Black Cats" is the eleventh mission in Call of Duty: World at War.



This is the most unique level in the game, as the player is the gunner of a PBY Catalina, or Black Cat. The player will start off fighting enemy merchant ships resupplying the enemy on Okinawa until the radio operator gets a distress call that the fleet has been hit by a massive kamikaze attack.

The mission starts as two VPB-54 squadron's PBY Catalina planes - callsigns "Hammerhead" and "Mantaray" - discover a Japanese merchant fleet, and receive orders to open fire. Once within range, Petty Officer Locke fires upon the merchant fleet, causing explosions that reveal the fleet to be carrying weapons. After several passes, the fleet is destroyed. Mantaray's radio officer, Landry, informs the crew that the nearby US Fleet has been attacked on route to Okinawa. The two planes start towards the reported location of the fleet, but came across, then ambushed, by Japanese Zeros, and Hammerhead is shot down. From here Mantaray continues towards the fleet and lands in the water.

USS Halford, USS Laws, USS Isherwood, USS Balanon, and USS Cassin Young are the only surviving vessels of the US fleet, and many sailors are in the water. Fighting against both PT Boats and Zeros, Locke also must rescue the sailors floating in the water. Once the PT Boats are destroyed and a number of sailors have been rescued, the Catalina prepares for takeoff, but could not because the full-on kamikaze assault was underway.

Locke and his fellow gunner try shooting as many down as they can, but run low on ammo fast. As they are about to force a take off, a trio of kamikaze Zeros flies at the Catalina head on at 12 o' clock. Right there Locke runs out of ammo, but a trio of F4U Corsairs, callsign "Havok 26" fly overhead, shooting down the inbound Zeros, while the rest of the Corsairs squadron start clearing the sky of any remaining Zeros. From here the battered Catalina takes off, and the mission ends.

Video Walkthrough


Seen in level



  • When moving from one gun to the other inside the PBY Catalina, a few real American World War II propaganda posters on the walls can be seen.
  • This mission is not available on co-op just like Vendetta, instead it skips onto the next level, "Blowtorch & Corkscrew".
  • When the player is on the right turret, at the far right, Laughlin on the back turret can be seen. But when changing to left turret he suddenly pops to the left turret area.
  • When on the ventral M1919, fellow plane "Hammerhead" will come into view and will tell the player to "watch your fire". He will say this every time, even if the player does not use the rear gun at all.
  • "Gato" is the Spanish and Portuguese word for "cat" in reference to the Catalinas being known as "Cats".
  • If the player shoots at one of the merchant ships when it's going up, it will go down after the player shoots at it.
  • This level is not available for the Wii version of the game.
    • Even though this level is not available in the Wii version, the audio for this level can be heard in the credits.
  • Even before the player's plane goes into battle, there are already bullet holes in the cockpit's glass.
  • When Hammerhead is destroyed one can notice that the starboard wing flies past narrowly missing the plane, but if the player watches Hammerhead as the plane falls out of the sky, at the last second its starboard wing reappears.
  • It is possible to complete this mission without saving any sailors.
  • The player can complete this mission without sinking all three merchant ships.
  • In Call of Duty: Black Ops, on "Five" there is an image of Black Cats. The caption says "Battle Of Midway".
  • There are only four bunks, so if the player rescues more than four sailors they will seem to be moving right through each other.
  • It is possible to complete Black Cats without firing a single shot. If this happens, sometimes fire will appear in Mantaray's engine if it takes enough damage. Also, without Locke covering Hammerhead, Hammerhead will catch fire, but when the planes fly away from the cargo ships, there will only be smoke.
  • Sometimes, on Recruit difficulty, if the player does not contribute, Hammerhead will not sink the ships, and Booth will still act as if they are gone. While manning the M2 Browning looking at the ships and flying away, it is possible to sink them.
  • It is actually possible to save seven sailors, although Landry doesn't say anything if this happens.
  • When Booth gives the command "Open fire!", if the player does not shoot, Booth will say, "Locke, get your thumb out of your ass and start shooting!" Even if the player does not shoot throughout the rest of the mission, Booth will not make any further comments.


Lights Out! (10 Gamerscore.png/ Bronze Trophy Bronze Trophy PS3 icon.png) - In Black Cats, shoot out all of the spot lights in the Japanese cargo convoy. (Solo only)

The Sum of All Zeros (15 Gamerscore.png/ Silver Trophy Silver Trophy PS3 icon.png) - Shoot down 45 Japanese Zeros in Black Cats. (Solo only)

One Bad Gato (30 Gamerscore.png/ Bronze Trophy Bronze Trophy PS3 icon.png) - Complete Black Cats on Veteran. (Solo only)


Main article: Black Cats/Transcript