Vultee Vengeance in Australian service
The Vengeance was a dive bomber designed and built in the late 1930s for the export market. It was crewed by a pilot and another airman who served as both a radio operator and rear gunner. The Australian Government ordered 297 of the type in late 1941 as part of efforts to expand the RAAF. This order was later increased to 400 aircraft. Several RAF squadrons equipped with the Vengeance saw combat during the Burma Campaign.
About Vultee Vengeance in Australian service in brief
The Royal Australian Air Force operated Vultee Vengeance dive bombers during World War II. The Australian Government ordered 297 of the type in late 1941 as part of efforts to expand the RAAF. This order was later increased to 400 aircraft. A few Vengeances arrived in Australia during 1942, and large-scale deliveries commenced in early 1943. The RAAF was slow to bring its Vengeance into service, their first combat missions being flown in June 1943. Several RAF squadrons equipped with the Vengeance saw combat during the Burma Campaign. The type proved successful in this theatre, but was soon withdrawn from service. Historians’ assessments of the Vengeance’s career in Australian service differ. While there is consensus that the type was obsolete, some argue that it nevertheless proved successful. The majority of the dive bombers arrived after April 1943; by this time the threat of invasion had passed. Overall, Australia received 227 in 1942, 227 in 1943 and 100 during 1944, with a relatively low rate of service. Three of the different models in service have been introduced to have a relatively high rate of low-ability service, and have been used for training and support roles until the end of the Second World War. The Vengeance was a dive bomber designed and built in the late 1930s for the export market. It was crewed by a pilot and another airman who served as both a radio operator and rear gunner. In 1940, during the early months of WW II, Britain’s Royal Air Force took over the French order for 700 aircraft, before the prototype had flown.
The U.S. Air Force re-possessed at least 243Vengeances, but never used them operationally as it considered the type inferior to its other attack aircraft and unfit for combat. The USAAF was also rapidly expanding at this time, which limited the number and types of aircraft available to its allies. In April that year, Minister for External Affairs H. C. Evatt visited Washington, D.C. to lobby for increased allocations of aircraft. The American Government agreed to provide 475 aircraft including some of the aircraft which were judged unsuitable for its own military needs. This led to the Australian Government accepting the aircraft, which were delivered in April 1944. The price for each of the Aircraft purchased by Australia was A£90,000. The aircraft were delivered between January and December 1942, but subsequent deliveries were slow as they had already been used by the American military or suffered from defects or had been used in military service by the USAAF. Some were transferred to the Royal Australian Navy between 1948 and 1950 for ground training. In March 1942, the Australian War Cabinet authorised the purchase of 297 Vultees on 22 October 1941 and cancelled the Bermuda order. By March 1942 the order had been slightly increased to 300 aircraft, of which 57 were to be provided by the United States Government under Lend-Lease and the other 243 paid for by the Australian government. By April 1943, the order was increased to 367.