A89-307 Thunderballs


Type: L-426 Neptune P2V-5/P-2E
MSN: 426-5088
Previous Identities: 133644


06APR51 Allotted serial number A89-589.
15AUG52 Renumbered A89-307.
30JAN53 Received 11SQN Pearce ex USA.
15DEC53 Departed Pearce for storage at 3AD Archerfield.
02DEC54 3AD instructed to upgrade the aircraft to fly-away status.
10JAN55 Back at 11SQN by this date.
25FEB58 Allotted for use for duration of Royal Tour.
25JUL59 Departed for USA for Jet Pod Mod.
14NOV59 Returned from the USA.
14APR60 Despatched to CAC, Avalon for Mod 208.
17MAY60 Despatched to 11SQN ex CAC.
19MAY61 Despatched to CAC, Avalon for Mod 201.
16JUN61 Received 11SQN ex CAC.
JAN65 Around this time some P2V-5 Neptunes were given names derived from popular movies of the day. Although no doubt intended to honour the James Bond movie Thunderball, photographs show that A89-307 was actually named Thunderballs (i.e. plural!). In the absence of photographic proof of the singular form, it must be assumed that the name was in the plural form from the outset. Certainly the "s" does not appear to be a later addition.
18DEC67 Received Hawker de Havilland, Bankstown for storage pending disposal decision.
19APR68 Hawker de Havilland advised to convert aircraft to components and declare residue for disposal.
NOV68 Broken up at Bankstown.


  • The first two aircraft (A89-301 & 302) were commenced as P2V-4 but were brought up close to P2V-5 standard on the production line. Nevertheless, there were differences between these two aircraft and the following ten, principally in their electrical systems.
  • Initially, RAAF serials were "scrambled" for security reasons.
  • Mark 1 - Initially all P2V-5 were designated as Mark 1.
  • Mark 2 - With the removal of the nose and tail turrets and the addition of a clear nose and a MAD boom, the aircraft were redesignated as Mark 2.
  • Mark 3 - With the removal of the dorsal turret they were redesignated as Mark 3.
  • Mark 4 - With the addition of Westinghouse J34 jet pods they were redesignated P2V-5F Mark 4.
  • In 1962 the P2V-5 designation was changed to P-2E in line with USN designations.
  • All P2V-5/P-2E served with No 11 Squadron RAAF, initially at Pearce, WA but by 31MAY54 the squadron had completed its move to Richmond, NSW.

Issue Date Remarks
8 04JUL17
Added two images showing the aircraft with the name Thunderballs.
Image 1 Image 2
7 02MAR16
Added two images thanks to Eric Allen. Image 1 Image 2
6 27FEB16
Added an image thanks to Maurice Ritchie.
5 20NOV15
Added details of the storage at Archerfield.
4 05NOV15
Added return date from the Jet Pod Mod.
3 05OCT15
Added an image by Barry Flood via Ben Dannecker.
2 28AUG15
Added an image thanks to Phil Ware.
1 24NOV02
Original issue.

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