Type: L-426 Neptune P2V-5/P-2E
MSN: 426-5087
Previous Identities: 133643


06APR51 Allotted serial number A89-736.
15AUG52 Renumbered A89-308.
03DEC52 Received 11SQN ex USA.
08DEC53 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.
18OCT55 Landed at Richmond with the undercarriage retracted.
02NOV55 Allotted to 2AD for repairs and double engine change.
13SEP56 Received 11SQN ex 2AD.
04FEB59 On this day Neptune A89-308 from No 11 Squadron became the only aircraft of this type lost in 26 years of service with the RAAF. While on a local training exercise in the vicinity of the unitís Richmond base, the crew discovered a severe fire in the starboard engine nacelle. Realising the gravity of the situation, Squadron Leader Geoff Cullen, a very experienced Neptune captain, initially reported that he was returning immediately to land. A minute later he advised that he would have to make a crashlanding to the north of the airfield. Within seconds, as the aircraft passed less than 100 feet above the Hawkesbury River, the starboard mainplane folded, and A89-308 crashed upside down into the river bank less than three kilometres from the RAAF base. The aircraft exploded on impact and, tragically, all eight men on board were killed. (Source: Office of Air Force History)
12MAR59 Approved for conversion of airframe and engines to scrap.
01MAY59 "Squadron Leader E.V.T. Shields Tech and party of No. 11 (MR) Squadron arrived at Neutral Bay and proceeded to sea to dump u/s classified equipment from aircraft A89-308." (Source: Operations Record Book, No. 2 Aircraft Depot)


  • 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
5 27FEB16
Added an image of a Neptune believed to be A89-308. Thanks to Maurice Ritchie.
4 20NOV15
Added details of the storage at Archerfield.
3 18NOV15
Added a reference to parts being dumped at sea on 01MAY59.
2 27AUG15
Added two images thanks to James Doulis and Bob Livingstone.
1 24NOV02
Original issue.

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