Vultee Vengeance (RAAF)

The Royal Australian Air Force was the second most important operator of the Vultee Vengeance dive-bomber, receiving a large number of aircraft both from British orders and directly from the United States, and using it in combat over New Guinea.

The RAAF used the same mark numbers as the RAF for the Vengeance Mk I, IA and II. The official Australian Vengeance Recognition Guide gives the designation Mk IV to aircraft known in the RAF as the Mk III, and also disagrees on their Vultee model number. Most sources state that the RAF Mk III (serial numbers FB918-999 and FD100-117) were A-31Cs, while the Australian guide describes them as A-35A-VUs. Finally the British Mk IV became the Australian Mk IVA. The RAAF received 99 Mk IAs, 122 Mk IIs and 121 Mk IVAs.

The Vengeance was used by five RAAF squadrons, four of which took it into combat.

No.12 Squadron operated the Vengeance from Marauke in Dutch New Guinea, flying anti-submarine and convoy escort patrols. In mid-1944 the squadron returned to Queensland and prepared to convert to the Liberator.

No. 21 Squadron had taken part in the fighting in Malaya, flying the Brewster Buffalo. The survivors returned to Australia in March 1942, but didn't receive the Vengeance until September 1943. In January 1944 they moved to New Guinea where they operated against Japanese airfields, barges and infantry positions. After only two weeks of combat the Vengeance was withdrawn from combat, and the squadron moved to New South Wales. It too converted to the Liberator.

No.23 Squadron received the Vengeance in June 1943 while based in Queensland. In February 1944 the squadron took its aircraft into combat, supporting American troops around Saidor, but at the end of the month it too withdrew to Australian to convert to the Liberator.

No.24 Squadron received its first Vengeances in 1942, and used them alongside a number of other types. In August 1943 it standardised on the Vengeance and moved to Nadzab, New Guinea, from where it used the Vengeance as a dive-bomber against Japanese positions on Shaggy Ridge and to support the Cape Gloucester landings. In March 1944 it moved back to Australia to receive the Liberator.

No.25 Squadron used the Vengeance for air support exercises with Army units from August 1943 until January 1945.

Table Taken from RAAF Vengeance Recognition Guide, as modified to March 1944


RAAF Mark

I

IA

II

IV

 

IVA

 

RAAF Nos
A27-

1-15

16-199

200-399

400-499

500-559

560-599

600-

RAF Mark

I

IA

II

-

IV

IV

IV

RAF Serial Numbers

AN838-AN999

EZ800-EZ999

AF745-AF944
AN-538-AN837
FP686

FB918-FB999
FD100-FD117

-

-

-

US Model

V-72

V-72

V-72 (A-31)

A-35A-VU

A-35B-5-VN

A-35B-10-VN

A-35B-15-VN

US Serial Numbers

-

-

-

41-31148 to 41-31246

41-31264
41-31299 to 41-31310
41-31411 to 41-31447

42-94149 to 42-94348

42-94349 to 42-94548
42-101235 to 42-101765

Manufacturers Numbers

401-562

101-300

4101-4299
4301-4600
4600A

-

-

-

-

Manufacturer

Northrop

Northrop

Vultee

Consolidated-Vultee

By the time this document was issued the Mk IA and II were armed with two .303in calibre flexibly mounted guns in the rear cockpit and four .303in guns in the wings. The guns had been removed from the Mk I and IVAs. The Mk IV was armed with three .50in guns in each wing and one .50in flexibly mounted gun in the rear cockpit. The Mk I and IVA aircraft were being used as target tugs.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (30 December 2009), Vultee Vengeance (RAAF) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_vultee_vengeance_RAAF.html

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