A89-281

 

Type: L-726 Neptune P2V-7/SP-2H
MSN: 726-7281
Previous Identities: 149081
Subsequent Identities: VH-NEP (NTU)
Owner: Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) Albion Park, Wollongong, N.S.W.

History:

24MAY62 Delivered to 10 Sqn RAAF Townsville ex USA. (Pilot: Geoff Banfield).
27OCT62 One of 3 Neptunes ferried to Richmond for the flying phase of No 44 Joint Unit Course, returning 09NOV62.
04JAN63 Flew a MAREX to and from Port Moresby.
14MAR63 Flew to Darwin with A89-280 to carry out weather reconnaissance flights.
03APR63 Flew a relief Dakota crew to Charleville. On the return flight to Townsville the Neptune surveyed the flooded Longreach area.
22MAY63 Flew to Nowra, where it was placed on static display as requested by the Australian Joint Anti-Submarine School.
18JUL63 To Darwin to act as search and rescue aircraft for the Sabre ferry.
13AUG63 With A89-273 and A89-275 flew a MAREX from Townsville to Darwin on 13AUG, Darwin to Pearce on 14AUG and Pearce to Townsville on 16AUG.
20AUG63 Flew from Townsville to Laverton direct. The aircraft was left at the Aircraft Research and Development Unit for the fitting of equipment for armament trials, returning to Townsville on 21SEP63.
04OCT63 Flew to Laverton, returning the following day.
20NOV63 To Canberra, thence to East Sale, returning to Townsville via Canberra on 22NOV63.
10DEC63 Flew direct to Richmond and return.
20JAN64 With 4 other Neptunes, flew on a MAREX with submarine HMS Tabard, flying from Townsville to Amberley.
03FEB64 With 4 other Neptunes, flying from Richmond, took part in a submarine exercise with HMS Tabard.
23FEB64 From Townsville to Laverton direct. Took on a team of armament officers at Laverton and ferried them to Richmond.
24FEB64 Unserviceable at Laverton. Spare parts and ground crew to effect repairs ferried in by A89-277. A89-281 flew back to Townsville on 28FEB64.
15MAR64 Flew a search and rescue mission for a USAF RB-50 reported in distress near the Palm Islands group. The RB-50 had two engines feathered, could not hold height and was without radar. A89-281 was airborne 26 minutes after being alerted, quickly located the RB-50 and escorted it back to Townsville.
20JUN64 With A89-272, carried out a flypast over Mareeba for the parade held to open the new ATC building.
25JUN64 With 3 other Neptunes, left Townsville for Nadi on the first leg of travel to Barbers Point, Hawaii for annual exercises.
16JUL64 With A89-278 flew from Barbers Point to Canton Island, thence Nadi and Townsville after exercises with the carrier USS Kearsage.
17AUG64 Delivered to CAC Avalon for fitment of engine fire extinguishers (Mod 242) returning with work completed on 08SEP64.
21SEP64 With 3 other Neptunes flew from Townsville to Richmond for operational activities, returning on 02OCT64.
12NOV64 Flew via Richmond to Nowra, where the aircraft was used as a static display for No 55 Joint Unit Course.
22NOV64 With 5 other Neptunes, flew to Richmond for a subex with HMS Taciturn. Twenty-three sorties were flown, and A89-281 returned to Townsville on 27NOV64.
13FEB65 Involved in a search for the Japanese fishing trawler "Shinei Maru", in distress off Mackay. The aircraft also acted as air cover for the rescue launch, as well as locating the trawler. (Operation concluded 14FEB65).
29MAR65 Flew SAR for Mirage transit to Darwin.
02APR65 Flew SAR to Mornington Island for Sabre ferry.
12APR65 Flew to Richmond where it was handed over to No 2 Aircraft Depot for Eservice.
21AUG65 Returned from Richmond to Townsville on completion of E service.
12DEC65 Flew with 2 other Neptunes from Townsville to Richmond for a subex with HMS Taciturn, returning on 17DEC65.
13FEB66 With 5 other Neptunes again flew from Townsville to Richmond for a submarine exercise with HMS Taciturn.
24FEB66 With A89-279 flew in shadowing exercises against the USS Hornet and group. (Operation concluded 25FEB66).
25APR66 With 2 other Neptunes took part in Operation Hardihood, during which 8 sorties were flown.
22MAY66 Took part in a subex with HMS Taciturn, flying first to Richmond with 2 other Neptunes.
28MAY66 With 2 other Neptunes, took part in Operation Hardihood during which 6 sorties were flown. (Operation concluded 31MAY66).
19JUN66 With A89-280, flew to Richmond for the flying phase of No 62 Joint Unit Course, and a submarine exercise. During the flight, both aircraft searched off the Queensland coast for the missing boat Vagabond.
04JUL66 Took part in the flying phase of No 62 JUC with A89-277. (Operation concluded 10JUL66).
14AUG66 With 5 other Neptunes, left Richmond to take part in submarine exercises from 15 to 19AUG66.
16SEP66 With 2 other Neptunes, flew in formation over towns between Townsville and Mackay as part of the Air Force Week celebrations.
18SEP66 The Officer Commanding RAAF Townsville, GPCAPT D D Hurditch, flew to Cairns in A89-281 to represent the RAAF at a ceremony to mark Air Force Week.
15OCT66 Aircraft and crews of No 10 SQN took part in a maritime exercise off the coasts of New Guinea and Northern Australia, with units of the British and US Armed Services. (Operation concluded 28OCT66).
23OCT66 The President of the United States, Lyndon B Johnson and Mrs Johnson visited Townsville. Officers and men of No 10 SQN assisted with aircraft and crowd control.
27OCT66 With A89-270, exercised with HMS Oberon off the NSW coast, landing at Richmond and returning to Townsville on 28OCT66.
07NOV66 Flew to Richmond to take part in the flying phase of No 64 Joint Unit Course.
27NOV66 Flew with A89-274 to Darwin, on the first leg of a navigation exercise for 10 SQN crews, staying overnight at Darwin and Pearce.
28MAR67 With 3 other Neptunes left for Hawaii to take part in 'Exercise Hawaiian Grampus'. The aircraft were operating out of the Naval Air Station at Barbers Point.
05JUL67 With 3 other Neptunes flew to Sangley Point to take part in SEATO exercise 'Sea Dog'. Whilst on deployment, the SQN also operated from the US Navy base at U-Tapao in Thailand. (Operation concluded 02AUG67).
22NOV67 Flew with A89-277 to Richmond and return to take part in trials with HMAS Hobart. (Operation concluded 24NOV67).
22JAN68 Flew to Port Moresby with A89-277 for exercise 'Huon Sprat'. (Operation concluded 26JAN68).
14JUN68 Flew to Naval Air Station Nowra with 2 other Neptunes to attend the washup of No 69 Joint Unit Course.
07JUL68 To Richmond with 4 other Neptunes to take part in a subex, returning 10 and 11 July.
28JUL68 Carried out a search and rescue mission to assist the fishing vessel "Diane", which had run aground on Bramble Reef.
02AUG68 E service until 08NOV68.
02JAN69 Carried out another search and rescue mission for a fishing boat aground on a reef off the coast of Cairns. The vessel was eventually washed off the reef.
28JAN69 To No 2 Aircraft Depot, Richmond, for aircraft weighing.
02FEB69 Flew to Richmond with 3 other Neptunes to take part in a subex/Joint Unit Course.
18MAR69 To Port Moresby to carry out practice letdowns in preparation for the transit to Barbers Point.
22MAR69 Flew a shadowing exercise against HMAS Brisbane.
01APR69 Flew on a navigation exercise from Townsville to Tennant Creek thence to Edinburgh.
02APR69 Flew a NAVEX from Edinburgh to Pearce, returning to Townsville the following day.
01NOV69 To Richmond where the Commanding Officer, WGCDR N F Ashworth attended the ex-10 SQN Association annual dinner.
09NOV69 With 4 other Neptunes flew to Richmond to take part in exercise 'Recoup and Wild Grampus'
26JAN70 Flew with 3 other Neptunes to Darwin to position for 'Castor Oil'. (Operation concluded 27JAN70).
01FEB70 Carried out a search and rescue mission from Darwin for the oil rig service vessel "Sedco Helen". After a square search of the area, wreckage was sighted but no survivors found.
20APR70 Flew a formation flypast with A89-273 and A89-277 for the Royal visit to Townsville.
22APR70 Left with 2 other Neptunes on a marine exercise to Richmond. A89-281 was diverted to Sydney to take on board the press photographers after one of the other aircraft developed a minor engine fire. A89-281 then rendezvoused with the remaining Neptune over the barque "Endeavour II", 30 miles east of Barrenjoey. Photographs were taken, and A89-281 returned to Richmond via Sydney. The 3 Neptunes returned to Townsville the next day.
03MAY70 Flew with 3 other Neptunes to Richmond for a submarine exercise, 'Tame Sabiefish'. The aircraft flew marine or navigation exercises on the way, returning to Townsville on 07MAY.
10JUN70 Left for Richmond to pick up the OC, but returned after 2 hours as another aircraft had already completed this task.
02SEP70 To Richmond, returning on 06DEC.
16OCT70 Flew marine exercises.
20OCT70 Flew marine exercises.
05NOV70 Flew on a search and rescue mission for the raft "La Balsa", off the south Queensland coast. The raft was located after a sighting report by a civil aircraft, and the Neptune remained in the area until the raft was taken in tow. Both raft and crew appeared to be in good condition.
11NOV70 Flew the OC to Canberra, returning on 17NOV.
23NOV70 Flew marine exercises.
25NOV70 Flew marine exercises.
27NOV70 To Richmond for unspecified modification, returning on 02FEB71.
16FEB71 Flew from Richmond to NWA for pre-debrief washup for JUCEX 79, returning on 18FEB.
19FEB71 With A89-278, flew from Richmond to NWA for exercise de-brief for JUCEX 79, returning direct to Townsville.
28MAR71 Took part in a search for a 19ft power boat named "Skippy", with 3 men on board, missing south east of Mackay in poor weather. The aircraft returned to Townsville after police messages confirmed that the boat and her crew were safe on Long Island.
23JUL71 Flew spares and a relief crew to Port Moresby, returning the same day. A CADF trial and SAR check were also carried out.
01AUG71 To Richmond for the flying phase of No 81 JUC.
18AUG71 Training trip to Lae, returning via Port Moresby the next day.
04OCT71 Departed on a marine exercise.
07OCT71 Carried out a photo exercise and message drop to people trying to salvage the abandoned WWII Airacobra aircraft situated on the NE edge of Cape York.
10OCT71 To Richmond to pick up personnel.
14OCT71 Flew a RADEX.
20OCT71 Flew a TACEX.
23NOV71 Flew a navigation exercise to Port Moresby via Lae. On the return journey, the crew carried out a fishery surveillance, returning to Townsville on 24NOV.
30NOV71 Flew a marine exercise.
06DEC71 Flew a RADEX.
07DEC71 Flew a TACEX.
26DEC71 To 2AD Richmond.
21FEB72 To 2AD Richmond for E service.
06JUN72 Returned from Richmond after a major E servicing.
19JUL72 Flew members of the inter-service golf team to Amberley.
08AUG72 To Port Moresby, returning the next day after a marine exercise.
14AUG72 With 3 other Neptunes departed for Richmond to take part in submarine exercise 'Tame Barbel', returning on 18AUG.
30AUG72 Flew on a marine exercise to Williamtown, returning the next day.
07SEP72 On a MAREX, flown by the CO.
11SEP72 To Edinburgh on a training sortie. Flew to Canberra on 12SEP, returning to Townsville via Richmond on 13SEP.
19SEP72 Flew a MAREX.
22SEP72 Flew a TACEX.
12OCT72 A89-281, flown by the CO, with 3 other Neptunes and support personnel detached to USNAS Cubi Point, Republic of the Philippines for SEATO exercise 'Sea Scorpion'. Returned on 31OCT.
10NOV72 With A89-274 and crews and servicing personnel, detached to RNZAF base Whenuapai, New Zealand, to take part in NZ LONGEX 72. The aircraft travelled to NZ via Richmond. On 17NOV, A89-281 became unserviceable, and was replaced by A89-279. A89-281 returned to Townsville on 20NOV.
28NOV72 Flew a MAREX.
30NOV72 To Edinburgh, returning on 02DEC.
07DEC72 Flew a TACEX.
21FEB73 Flew to Darwin with support personnel for Butterworth exercise as passengers.
23FEB73 Flew to Mt Isa for a check of the Mt Isa TACAN station.
26FEB73 Flew to Lae via Port Moresby on a survey exercise.
04MAR73 With 4 other Neptunes and support personnel departed for Richmond to take part in the submarine exercise 'Tame Grey Nurse', returning to Townsville on 08MAR.
13MAR73 To Amberley, returning the next day. The crew attended an aviation refresher course whilst at Amberley.
15MAR73 To Mt Isa on TACAN trials.
26MAR73 Flew a FISHEX/MAREX.
31MAR73 To Amberley and Richmond to be used in static displays during the 1973 air displays.
11APR73 Flew a NAVEX.
18APR73 Conducted ROFAR trials during a MAREX.
30APR73 Departed for Port Moresby for re-fuelling and de-briefing before starting a search for the 40ft Government vessel "Langu", reported the day before to be in trouble in the Solomon Sea. A89-281 departed the search area at Ple, and was approaching Lae when advice came through that the vessel had made Rabaul under its own power. A89-281 returned to Townsville on 01MAY.
18MAY73 To Richmond and return.
23MAY73 Flew a RADEX.
24MAY73 Flew a RADEX.
25MAY73 Flew a RADEX.
26MAY73 Flew a casex with HMAS Ovens.
29MAY73 Flew a MAREX.
31MAY73 Flew with A89-270 to Darwin to take part in air exercise 'Blue Denim'. Surveillance and early warning sorties flown by both crews, returned to Townsville on 09JUN.
11JUN73 To Richmond with 3 other Neptunes for exercise 'Tame Shovel Nose'. During the exercise, a fly-off was held between 10 & 11 SQNS to choose an RAAF representative for the Fincastle Trophy competition. The fly-off crews were assessed on both day and night sorties, with 10 SQN taking the overall honours.
21JUN73 Flew a MAREX.
02JUL73 To Cairns and return.
04JUL73 To Cairns with replacement crew for Dakota A65-65, which was unserviceable due to engine failure.
04JUL73 Departed for Richmond, but diverted to Amberley with engine trouble. Departed for Richmond the following day, returning to Townsville that night.
10JUL73 To Cairns and back for pilot continuation training.
17JUL73 Flown by CO to Darwin with personnel and spares for A89-274.
19JUL73 Flew a TACEX.
01AUG73 To Alice Springs with servicing personnel and spares for A89-271.
02AUG73 Flew a MAREX.
07AUG73 On a NAVEX to Eagle Farm and back.
13AUG73 Flew a FISHEX en route to Darwin. Fishery surveillance sorties were flown out of Darwin, and en route back to Townsville on 15AUG.
24AUG73 Took part in shadowing exercise off the NSW coast, operating from Richmond.
03SEP73 With 4 other Neptunes departed for Richmond to take part in submarine exercise 'Tame White Pointer', returning on 07SEP.
25NOV73 To Richmond to take part in the flying phase of No 90 JUC.
02FEB74 The CO flew the aircraft to Edinburgh, returning on 06FEB.
15FEB74 Flew to the Solomon Sea for a sarex, prior to Royal SAR standby, and landed at Port Moresby. The crew then flew to Lae on 16FEB for continuation training, returning the same day to Townsville via Port Moresby.
18FEB74 Took part in a SAR in the Emerald area for a missing light aircraft on a flight from Gladstone to Longreach. The machine was not located, despite an extensive search by aircraft from 10 & 11 SQNS, and numerous civil aircraft.
23FEB73 To Port Moresby for standby Royal SAR during Queen Elizabeth II's tour of New Guinea. During a continuation sortie to Lae on 24FEB, the aircraft suffered an internal engine failure, and landed at Lae. After an engine change, A89-281 flew back to Townsville on 05MAR.
11MAR74 With A89-271, took part in exercise 'Young Trojan' out of Darwin, returning to Townsville on 21MAR.
26MAR74 Flew a TACEX, carrying out a supply drop to Willis Island during the exercise.
28MAR74 Flew a Mt Isa TACAN check.
26APR74 To Darwin for conversion training, returning on 29APR.
18SEP74 To Port Moresby with spare parts for A89-270. After A89-281 left Port Moresby, to continue the search for a disabled yacht in the Groote Eylandt area, a fuel leak developed in the bomb bay fuel tank. The tank was jettisoned, and the aircraft recovered to Port Moresby, returning to Townsville later that day.
19SEP74 To Port Moresby, however the flight was not completed, due to a fuel pump problem.
20SEP74 To Port Moresby with spare parts for A89-270.
21OCT74 Flew a TACEX.
30OCT74 Flew a MAREX to Port Moresby. The next day, the aircraft flew to Lae and returned to Port Moresby, flying back to Townsville on 01NOV.
05NOV74 To Edinburgh via Rockhampton and Amberley on a route check, returning to Townsville via Amberley on 08NOV.
18NOV74 Flew a sortie as part of exercise 'Warm Waters'.
25NOV74 To Darwin to take part in exercise 'Fence Post', returning on 04DEC.
13JAN75 To 2AD Richmond for E service, returning on 02MAY75.
09MAY75 To Richmond via Williamtown, returning the same day.
21MAY75 To Amberley and return the same day.
13JUN75 To Edinburgh, taking 10 members of the squadron to take part in the Basic Maritime Warfare Course.
01JUL75 To Richmond, returning the following day.
22AUG75 To Richmond to be weighed, returning on 25AUG.
10SEP75 Flew a MAREX.
02OCT75 Flew a MAREX.
06OCT75 SAR mission for a 23ft fibreglass boat "Sea Witch", reported overdue on a fishing trip to Trunk Reef. Prior to departing, the aircraft captain was informed that the boat had been located. The aircraft continued to confirm this, and remained in the area until a Coastguard vessel was alongside the "Sea Witch".
12OCT75 Flew to Richmond to take part in exercise 'Tame Fiona', returning on 16OCT.
26OCT75 To Darwin with spare parts for A89-270.
29OCT75 Flown by an RAF pilot on a surveillance exercise in the Swains Reef area.
07NOV75 Flew a FISHEX, recovering to Richmond and returning to Townsville on 10NOV.
20NOV75 To Amberley, returning the same day.
26NOV75 To Amberley, thence on a FISHEX, recovering to Townsville the same day.
28NOV75 Flew a FISHEX.
01DEC75 To Richmond, returning the following day.
22JAN76 Flew a FISHEX, recovering to Richmond. Flew on to Laverton the next day.
27JAN76 Laverton to Richmond, thence Townsville.
03FEB76 To Edinburgh via Richmond to pick up SQN members taking part in the Basic Maritime Warfare Course, returning on 06FEB.
22FEB76 To Learmonth on the first leg of a 'Gay Rover' exercise, returning on 03MAR.
17MAR76 Local sortie for P/R purposes, carrying members of TNQ CH7 as passengers.
24MAY76 With A89-278 took part in a formation sortie in the local training area with a visiting French Navy SP2H.
07JUN76 Flew 5 members of the squadron to Amberley to take part in the Combat Survival Course.
21JUN76 The crew of A89-281 flew to Amberley to complete an Avmed refresher course. A fisheries surveillance task was carried out between Townsville and Amberley. Aircraft returned direct to Townsville the following afternoon.
23JUL76 To East Sale, for a squadron member to be categorised as an instructor on SP2H aircraft. Returned to Townsville via Richmond on 27JUL.
09AUG76 Flew on a night navigational training exercise.
16AUG76 To Amberley to take part in exercise 'Pacesetter'. The aircraft was used in the AEW role for the duration of the exercise, along with A89-274.
09OCT76 With A89-280 and an 11 SQN P3B took part in a formation flypast over Cairns, to commemorate the Cairns centenary.
12OCT76 Took part in exercise 'Kangaroo Two', then after the exercise, at Townsville, took part in an opposed transit phase against HMAS Otway.
02NOV76 Carried out a FISHEX north of Townsville.
04NOV76 Carried out a FISHEX in the Swains Reef area, and reported on the condition of an automatic weather station on Frederick Reef.
06DEC76 Approval for preservation of Neptune for future National Aviation Museum. Aircraft to be stored and maintained at Point Cook. (From Status Card)
19JAN77 To carry out a FISHEX along the outer Great Barrier Reef to the north of Townsville. The radar became serviceable shortly after going on task, and a visual search was undertaken, with no sightings of foreign fishing vessels.
26JAN77 To search for a Taiwanese trawler reported to have sunk on 02JAN near Swains Reef. It was later established that the survivors had been rescued the previous week. The wreckage of the clam boat was found aground on the south east side of Swains Reef.
31JAN77 With A89-275 flew to Amberley late in the afternoon when cyclone "Keith" was heading for Townsville. Minor flooding only occurred at Townsville. The aircraft returned on 01FEB.
08FEB77 With A89-273 departed on a 'Gay Rover' to Cocos. A89-281 was forced to return to Learmonth on 09FEB with engine trouble. The aircraft attempted to depart on 10FEB, but once again had to return with engine trouble. After changing a cylinder and having 2 aborted take-offs during an air test, it was decided to fly another engine from Townsville, to replace the unserviceable starboard one. A89-281 eventually returned to Townsville on 25FEB.
15MAR77 FISHEX carried out along the eastern edge of the Great Barrier Reef. The sortie lasted 7 hours, and no foreign fishing vessels were sighted.
23MAR77 FISHEX sortie in the gulf, lasting almost 11 hours. During this time, 12 foreign fishing vessels were located.
25MAR77 FISHEX lasting 5 hours, during which time 2 Taiwanese stern trawlers were located.
29MAR77 Departed for Willis Island to carry out a storepedo drop. As the aircraft was on the return leg, it was diverted to the Cayley Reef area to search for a missing person from a 6 metre cabin cruiser. The aircraft spent nearly 3 hours in the search area, without success. The following day, A89-281 again searched the Cayley Reef area, but although conditions were excellent, no sign was found of the missing person.
06APR77 Carried out a FISHEX along the east coast to Sydney. Three Taiwanese fishing vessels were sighted, including 2 in company with an RAN FPB No 101 north east of Rockhampton.
17MAY77 Carried out a FISHEX north along the Great Barrier Reef to Thursday Island. A yawl rigged yellow decked trimaran was sighted approximately one half mile from the bulk carrier "Curtis Capricorn".
25MAY77 FISHEX along the southern and western areas of the gulf, and coastal to Darwin. Thirty Taiwanese fishing vessels were located.
26MAY77 FISHEX along the outer reefs and islands to Learmonth. Twenty Taiwanese fishing vessels were located.
27MAY77 FISHEX via coast to Pearce, where it was found that a bracket on an undercarriage door had broken. After a spare bracket was fitted, the aircraft departed on 29MAY on a FISHEX south to Esperance, thence to Learmonth direct. No foreign fishing vessels were sighted. A89-281 then departed on a FISHEX coastal to Darwin on 31MAY, again sighting no foreign fishing vessels.
01JUN77 Departed Darwin on a FISHEX via eastern side of gulf, to Townsville. Thirteen Taiwanese fishing vessels located.
16JUN77 FISHEX in southern and western areas of the gulf, and coastal to Darwin. Eleven Taiwanese trawlers were located.
17JUN77 Eleven hour FISHEX in the gulf, locating 38 Taiwanese trawlers. This included 2 fleets of 22 and 14 vessels. About 30 minutes out of Townsville, the aircraft was diverted to Cairns to monitor distress frequencies being picked up in the area by low-flying aircraft. A89-281 remained in the area for 1 hour with no success before returning to Townsville. It was later found that the distress signals came from a yacht which had been aground on a reef north of Cairns, but which had been able to float off at high tide.
30JUN77 With A89-273, A89-275 and A89-280, will remain at Townsville with maintenance personnel as No 10 Squadron Detachment 'B', while No 10 Squadron will be permanently based at Edinburgh, SA.
29JUL77 Five minutes into a FISHEX along the Great Barrier Reef, A89-281 was forced to return to Townsville with engine trouble.
15AUG77 Carried out a 9.5 hour FISHEX in the gulf. Thirty seven Taiwanese fishing vessels were located, mainly in the Weipa area. The main Australian fishing fleet was also located, north of Mornington Island. Co-operation with HMAS Advance aided in the detection of both fleets.
30AUG77 FISHEX in the gulf. No foreign fishing vessels were detected, and the aircraft recovered to Darwin.
31AUG77 Departed Darwin and carried out a FISHEX in the gulf. A visual search was carried out as the radar was unserviceable.
02SEP77 FISHEX from Darwin to Townsville, going off task at Karumba. Radar still unserviceable, and after a visual search, no sightings were made of foreign fishing vessels.
28SEP77 FISHEX via the inner reef, Thursday Island and Karumba. Eleven Taiwanese fishing vessels and several Australian trawlers were located in the gulf.
06OCT77 FISHEX along outer reef to Thursday Island, then coastal to Karumba. Eighteen Taiwanese fishing vessels located, plus a similar number of Australian pleasure boats.
19OCT77 FISHEX via outer reef, Thursday Island and Karumba. One Taiwanese, 12 Japanese and 12 Australian fishing vessels sighted.
26OCT77 FISHEX via outer reef to Thursday Island, returning via the inner reef. Fourteen Japanese fishing vessels located east of the reef, and 30 Australian fishing and pleasure craft sighted.
29OCT77 'Gay Rover' to Tontouta, the airfield of Noumea, New Caledonia. One merchant contact sighted on the journey. Aircraft and crew remained in Noumea for 3 days on a goodwill visit to the French Naval Air Force. On 01NOV, A89-281 flew a 'Gay Rover' lasting 6.5 hours from Tontouta. Due to engine problems, a direct track was flown, with 3 merchant ships being located.
03NOV77 FISHEX via outer reef to Thursday Island, and then via inner reef to Townsville. Fifteen Japanese fishing vessels located outside the reef, and 4 merchant ships and 64 Australian fishing or pleasure boats sighted along the coast or on the reef.
09NOV77 FISHEX via outer reef, Thursday Island and Karumba. Ten Japanese and 36 Taiwanese fishing vessels located. Eight Australian fishing boats and 33 pleasure craft were sighted during the 9 hour sortie.



The foregoing was compiled (in January 1991) from the No 10 Squadron Unit History Sheets and was kindly supplied to The Lockheed File by Chris Webster and Frank Ragonese of The Australian Flying Museum. It has been reproduced in full, with only minor changes for layout purposes.


06DEC77 "SQNLDR G.J. Harvey and crew departed Townsville for Amberley at 0850 local. The aircraft was positioned at Amberley for eventual handover to the Queensland Air Museum. This was the last flight undertaken by a Neptune of the RAAF. The crew returned to Townsville by civil air." (Source: NAA, RAAF Unit History sheets (Form A50) [Operations Record Book - Forms A50 and A51] Number 10 Squadron Jan 77 - Jul 87, Series number A9186)
This flight was a direct result of a campaign by the Queensland Air Museum to lobby Defence Minister James Killen to have a Neptune flown to Amberley before being disabled. While the Defence Minister and the RAAF did what was asked of them, the aircraft then came under the control of the Department of Administrative Services which claimed that it had no mechanism for gifting an aeroplane to a museum. The "highest bidder" principle applied, even if the highest bid had come from a scrap dealer! Thankfully this policy changed dramatically with the disposal of the F-111s in 2011 and former ADF aircraft are now regularly gifted to Australian Historical Organisations. Neptune A89-281 was to pass through the hands of no fewer than three owners before it was to find a secure future with HARS. The Queensland Air Museum eventually got its Neptune with the purchase of A89-277 in 2015.
07DEC77 Approval for write-off (complete with engines) to Department of Administrative Services.
(From Status Card)
08JUN78 Tenders closed for removal ex RAAF Amberley. Subsequently sold to Chewing Gum Field Museum, Tallebudgera, QLD and trucked to the museum.
89 Sold to Alan Wilson and donated to the Australian Flying Museum.
12JUL90 Trucked to Archerfield Airport (Brisbane).
92 Registration VH-NEP reserved and painted on the aeroplane.
22FEB99 Perth based Neptune N54317 (msn 7191) came on to the Australian Register as VH-NEP.
JUL00 Sold to AeroCorp Australia Pty Ltd of Perth. To be trucked from Archerfield to Perth for conversion to fire bomber.
03JUL02 Owner advises that the aircraft "will be shortly trucked to Perth".
AUG03 Donated to HARS by AeroCorp.
SEP03 Work began on dismantling the aircraft for trucking to Parkes, N.S.W. The aircraft will be stored pending restoration to static display standard.
DEC03 Dismantling work still underway at Archerfield. Some components have been moved to Albion Park. Many components will be used to complete the interior fit out of VH-IOY and VH-LRR. It is expected that the remainder of the airframe will be moved from Archerfield early in 2004.
03JUN05 The last of the aircraft was removed from Archerfield on two trucks.
06JUN05 The last of the two truck-loads arrived at Albion Park (the other arrived on 04JUN05).

 

Notes

  • All P2V-7/SP-2H were classified as Mark 4 from the time of delivery.

 


ACRONYMS
AJASS Australian Joint Anti-Submarine School (located at Nowra)
CASEX Coordinated Anti-Submarine Exercise
FISHEX Fisheries Exercise
GCA Ground Controlled Approach
JTC Joint Tactical Course
JUC Joint Unit Course
MAREX
Marine Exercise
NAVEX Navigation Exercise
ORE Operational Readiness Evaluation
PHOTEX Photo Exercise
RADEX Radar Exercise
SAR Search and Rescue
SHADEX Shadowing Exercise
SUBEX
Submarine Exercise
SURVEX Surveillance Exercise
TACAN Tactical Air Navigation
TACEX Tactical Exercise

 

Issue Date Remarks
11 11MAY18
Added details of the last flight.
10 27DEC15
Added an image of the aircraft after repainting in November 2015. Thanks to Bob De La Hunty.
9 02NOV15
Added an air-to-air image of the aircraft in the original Seaplane Grey finish. Thanks to John Bennett.
8 15OCT15
This chronology was previously in three parts but all are now combined.
7 13JUN05
Updated details of the removal from Archerfield thanks to Geoff Timms of HARS who supervised the operation and drove one of the trucks
6 22DEC03
Updated progress with dismantling and transportation to Parkes.

 

 



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