Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   
Warplanes of the Second World War preserved in Australia

Warplanes of the Second World War preserved in Australia

The aim of this website is to locate, identify and document Warplanes from the Second World War preserved in Australia.  Many contributors have assisted in the hunt for these aircraft to provide and update the data on this website.  Photos are as credited.  Any errors found here are by the author, and any additions, corrections or amendments to this list of Warplane Survivors of the Second World War in Australia would be most welcome and may be e-mailed to the author at

Data current to 28 Feb 2021.

 (IWM Photo HU69092)

Avro Lancaster (Serial No. R5868), 'S for Sugar', of No 467 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, is prepared for its 97th operational sortie at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, 1944.

Warplanes of the Second World War preserved in Australia by aircraft type, serial number, registration number and location:

 (Airspeed AS.10 Oxford II, RAAF, ADF-Serial Photo)

Airspeed AS.10 Oxford (Serial No. TBC), being restored in Werribee, Victoria.  From March 1941, the Royal Australian Air Force received both Oxford Mks. I and IIs from RAF contracts for use in Australia.  Most of the survivors were sold in the early 1950s.

 (Alec Wilson Photo)

Avro 643 Cadet II (Serial No. A6-34), Reg. No. VH-RUO, Royal Australian Air Force Museum, Point Cook, Victoria.

 (Avro Anson, RAF Photo)

 (Chris Finney Photo)

Avro Anson Mk. I (Serial No. W2364), being restored, Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre, Nhill, Victoria.  The RAAF operated 1,028 Ansons, mainly Mk Is, until 1955.

Avro Anson Mk. I (Serial No. TBC), Camden Aviation Museum, Camden, NSW.

 (Alec Wilson Photo)

 (Hugh Llewelyn Photo)

Avro Anson Mk. I (Serial No. W2121), RAAF Association of Western Australia, Aviation Heritage Museum, Bull Creek, Western Australia.

 (Alec Wilson Photo)

Avro Anson Mk. I (Serial No. EF954), South Australia Aviation Museum, Port Adelaide. 

  (Aces Flying High Photo)

Avro Anson Mk. I (Serial LV284), being restored at Ballarat Airfield.  It is made up of a number of former RAAF aircraft (predominately LV238, LV284, MG436 and MH237) and the airframe is around 80% of LV284 which entered service in 1943 and was operated by No. 1 WAGS at Ballarat from September 1944.


 (Simon sees Photo)

Avro Lancaster B I (Serial No. W4783) “G-George”, Australian War Memorial Museum.

Avro Lancaster B I (Serial No. W4783) “G-George” was operated by No. 460 Squadron RAAF and completed 90 sorties. It was flown to Australia during the war for fundraising purposes, and was assigned Australian (Serial No. A66-2).  The aircraft was later placed on display at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, and underwent a thorough restoration between 1999 and 2003.

 (Chris Finney Photo, 1971)

 (Alec Wilson Photo)

 (Hugh Llewelynb Photos)

Avro Lancaster B VII (Serial No. NX622) C-AF, served with the Aeronavale as (Serial No. WU-16) from 1952 until 1962, when it was donated to the RAAF Association.  It is now restored and displayed at the RAAF Association of Western Australia, Aviation Heritage Museum, Bull Creek, Western Australia.

 (Ken Hodge Photo)

Avro Lincoln, RAAF, Darwin, 1961.  The Australian government intended its Department of Aircraft Production (DAP), later known as the Government Aircraft Factory (GAF), would build the Lancaster Mk III.  In its place, a variant of the Avro Lincoln Mk. I, re-designated as the Mk. 30, was manufactured in Australia between 1946 and 1949; it has the distinction of being the largest aircraft ever built in Australia.  Orders for a total of 85 Mk 30 Lincolns were placed by the RAAF (which designated the type A-73), although only 73 were ever produced.

 (JohnnyOnespeed Photo)

The Avro Lincoln (Serial No. A73-20) being test flown with both starboard engines feathered. 

The first five Australian examples (Serial Nos. A73–1 to A73–5), were assembled using British-made components. On 17 March 1946, A73-1 conducted its début flight; the first entirely Australian-built Lincoln, (Serial No. A73-6), was formally delivered in November 1946. The Mk. 30 initially featured four Merlin 85 engines, this arrangement was later changed to a combination of two outboard Merlin 66s and two inboard Merlin 85s. A further improved later version, designated as Lincoln Mk. 30A, featured a total of four Merlin 102s.

During the 1950s, the RAAF heavily modified some of their Mk 30 aircraft to perform anti-submarine warfare missions, re-designating them GR.Mk. 31. These examples had a 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) longer nose to house acoustic submarine detection gear and its operators, larger fuel tanks to provide the aircraft with a 13-hour flight endurance and a modified bomb bay to accommodate torpedoes. The Mk 31 was particularly difficult to land at night, as the bomber used a tailwheel and the long nose obstructed the pilot's view of the runway. 18 aircraft were rebuilt to this standard in 1952, gaining new serial numbers. Ten were subsequently upgraded to MR.Mk. 31 standard, which included an updated radar. These Lincolns served with No. 10 Squadron RAAF at RAAF Townsville; however, the discovery of corrosion in the wing spars led to the type's premature retirement in 1961.

From late 1946, Australian-built Lincolns were phased into No. 82 Wing RAAF at RAAF Amberley, replacing the Consolidated Liberators operated by 12, 21 and 23 Squadrons. In February 1948, these units were renumbered 1, 2 and 6 Squadrons respectively; a fourth RAAF Lincoln squadron, No. 10 was formed on 17 March 1949 at RAAF Townsville as a reconnaissance unit.

RAAF Lincolns took part in operations in Malaya in the 1950s, operating alongside RAF examples. The RAAF based the B.Mk 30s of No.1 Squadron at Tengah, for the duration of operations in Malaya. The RAAF Lincolns were retired in 1961, with the MR.Mk. 31s of No. 10 Squadron being the final variant to see service in Australia.  (Wikipedia)

Although none have been preserved in Australia, Avro Lincoln II (Serial No. RF398) is preserved in the RAF Museum Cosford, England, and Avro Lincoln II B-004 is on display as (Serial No. B-010) at the National Museum of Aeronautics, Buenos Aires.

 (Australian War Mermorial Photo P01493.003)

Avro York (Serial No. MW140), "Endeavour", flew to Australia in 1945 to become the personal aircraft of HRH The Duke of Gloucester, Australia's Governor-General.  It was operated by the Governor-General's Flight from 1945 to 1947; it was the RAAF's only York.

 (Australian War Memorial Photo AC0006)

Bell P-39 Airacobra (Serial No. BW-114), likely in the Pacific area of operations with blue and white fin flash, 266, and an American star under wing. 22 of these aircraft, with Serial Prefix A53- allocated, were apparently taken on RAAF charge, serving with Nos. 23 and 24 Squadrons, RAAF.

 (RAAF Photo)

Bell P-39 Airacobra of 23 Squadron, RAAF, late 1943.

Bell P-39D Airacobra (Serial No. 41-6951), Beck Military Collection in Mareeba, Queensland.

Bell P-39F Airacobra (Serial No. 41-7215), Precision Aerospace Productions in Glenrowan, Victoria.

 (Prapitus Photo)

Bell P-39K Airacobra, ex-USAAF (Serial No. 42-4312), RAAF (Serial No. A53-12), CR-T, Classic Jet Fighter Museum in South Australia.  This aircraft is a composite P-39 Airacobra painted in 24 Sqn RAAF colours, and marked as 24 Sqn's first Airacobra A53-12, that flew in the defence of Sydney after the Japanese submarine attack in Sydney harbour in May 1942.

Bell Airacobras were operated by the RAAF 1942–1943.  A total of 23 re-conditioned Airacobras, on loan from the U.S. Fifth Air Force (5 AF), were used by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as a stop-gap interceptor in rear areas.  The aircraft were assigned the RAAF serial prefix A53.

In the early months of the Pacific War, the RAAF was able to obtain only enough Curtiss Kittyhawks to equip three squadrons, destined for front-line duties in New Guinea and – in the face of increasing Japanese air raids on towns in northern Australia – was forced to rely on the P-40, P-39, and P-400 units of 5 AF for the defence of areas such as Darwin.  During mid-1942, USAAF P-39 units in Australia and New Guinea began to receive brand new P-39Ds. Consequently, P-39s that had been repaired in Australian workshops were loaned by 5 AF to the RAAF.  In July, seven P-39Fs arrived at 24 Squadron, in RAAF Bankstown in Sydney.  In August, seven P-39Ds were received by No. 23 Squadron RAAF at Lowood Airfield, near Brisbane.  Both squadrons also operated other types, such as the CAC Wirraway armed trainer.  Neither squadron received a full complement of Airacobras or saw combat with them.  From early 1943, the air defence role was filled by a wing of Spitfires.

Both 23 and 24 Squadron converted to the Vultee Vengeance dive bomber in mid-1943, their P-39s transferred to two newly formed fighter squadrons: No. 82 (augmenting P-40s, still in short supply) at Bankstown and No. 83 (as it awaited the Australian-designed CAC Boomerang) in Strathpine, near Brisbane. After serving with these squadrons for a few months, the remaining Airacobras were returned to the USAAF and the RAAF ceased to operate the type.  (Wikipedia)

 (RAF Photo)

 (Tony Hisgett Photo)

Boulton Paul Defiant operated by the RAAF in 1941 in the UK.  No examples survive in Australia, but one (Serial No. N1671) is preserved in the RAF Museum in the UK.

 (IWM Photo K630)

Brewster Buffalo Mk. Is for the re-equipment of RAAF Nos. 21 and 453 Squadrons, being inspected by RAF personnel at Sembawang airfield, Singapore, 12 Oct 1941.

 (IWM Photo CF 758)

Brewster Buffalo Mk. Is of No. 453 Squadron RAAF, lined up at Sembawang, Singapore, on the occasion of an inspection by Air Vice Marshal C W H Pulford, Air Officer Commanding Royal Air Force Far East, 1 Nov 1941.

 (IWM Photo CF 766)

Brewster Buffalo Mk. Is of No. 453 Squadron RAAF, lined up at Sembawang, Singapore, on the occasion of an inspection by Air Vice Marshal C W H Pulford, Air Officer Commanding Royal Air Force Far East, 1 Nov 1941.

Brewster Buffalo Mark I's for the re-equipment of Nos. 21 and 453 Squadrons RAAF, being inspected by RAF personnel at Sembawang airfield, Singapore.

Brewster Buffalo operated by the RAAF 1941–1943.  Following the surrender of the Netherlands East Indies on 8 March 1942, 17 Buffalos belonging to the ML-KNIL were transferred to the U.S. Fifth Air Force in Australia. All of these USAAF aircraft were lent to the RAAF, with which they were used mainly for air defence duties outside frontline areas, photo-reconnaissance and gunnery training. Buffalos served with 1 PRU, 24 Sqn, 25 Sqn, 85 Sqn and the RAAF Gunnery Training School.

Between August 1942 and November 1943, 10 of these Buffalos constituted the air defence force for Perth, Western Australia, while assigned to 25 and 85 Sqns at RAAF Pearce and RAAF Guildford. In 1944, all of the surviving aircraft were transferred to the USAAF.  (Wikipedia)

 (RAF Photo)

Bristol Bulldog Mk. IIa fighters were operated by Nos. 1 and 2 Squadrons of the RAAF from 1930–1940.  No examples survive in Australia.

 (Library of Congress Photo)

Bristol Beaufort Mk.V (Serial No. T9450), the first one delivered to the RAAF on 3 Sep 1941.  Initially marked as RAF (Serial No. T9450), it subsequently was coded as RAAF (Serial No. A9-1).  Originally this aircraft was intended for use in Singapore, but it was retained in Australia.  It is known that it served in 1942 with No. 1 OTU and with No. 100 Squadron in 1944. On 29 Sep 1942, it overshot a flare path and crashed through a boundary fence upon landing at Bairnsdale, Victoria, but it was repaired.  It was finally placed in storage on 23 Oct 1945 and written off on 13 May 1946. 

 (Library of Congress Photo)

Bristol Beaufort Mk.V torpedo bombers, RAAF, at the Department of Aircraft Production (DAP) plant in Fisherman's Bend, Melbourne, Australia, circa 1941.

Bristol Beaufort Mk. V, Royal Australian Air Force.  This was the first Beaufort delivered to the RAAF on 3 September 1941, RAF (Serial No. T9450).  Subsequently it received the RAAF (Serial  A9-1).  Originally this aircraft was intended for use in Singapore, but it was retained in Australia.  It is known that it served in 1942 with No. 1 OTU and with No. 100 Squadron in 1944.  On 29 September it overshot a flare path and crashed through a boundary fence upon landing at Bairnsdale, Victoria, but it was repaired.  It was finally placed in storage on 23 October 1945 and written off on 13 May 1946.

Bristol Beaufort (Serial No. A9-164), cockpit only, displayed at the Gippsland Armed Forces Museum.

Bristol Beaufort Mk. VIII (Serial No. A9-210), QH-D, cockpit only, displayed at the Australian National Aviation Museum, Moorabbin, Victoria (possibly incorporated into rebuild of (Serial No. A9-13).

Beaufort Mk. VIII (Serial No. A9-501), restored cockpit displayed at the Australian National Aviation Museum, Moorabbin, Victoria, other parts used in restoration of (Serial No. A9-13).

 (Jeff Gilbert Photo)

 (Nick-D Photo)

Bristol Beaufort Mk. VIII (Serial No. A9-557), QH-L - on display at Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

Bristol Beaufort Mk. IX (Serial No. A9-703), cockpit only displayed at the Camden Museum of Aviation.

Bristol Beaufort Mk. VIII (Serial No. A9-13), FX-B, being restored to static at the Australian National Aviation Museum, Moorabbin, Victoria.

Bristol Beaufort Mk. VII (Serial No. A9-141), KT-W, being restored to airworthy as Reg. No. VH-KTW by The Beaufort Restoration Group, Caboolture, Queensland. Includes rear fuselage of (Serial No. A9-485).

 (Bidgee Photo)

Beaufort gun turret on display at the RAAF Museum.

Bristol Beaufort Type 152, used as torpedo bombers, conventional bombers and mine-layers until 1942.  Beauforts saw their most extensive use with the RAAF in the Pacific theatre, where they were used until the very end of the war. With the exception of six examples delivered from the United Kingdom, Australian Beauforts were locally produced under licence.  Although designed as a torpedo-bomber, the Beaufort more often flew as a level-bomber.  The Beaufort also flew more hours in training than on operational missions, and more were lost through accidents and mechanical failures than were lost to enemy fire.  However, the Beaufort did spawn a long-range heavy fighter variant called the Beaufighter, which proved to be very successful and many Beaufort units eventually converted to the Beaufighter.  (Wikipedia)

As the design for the Beaufort began to mature, the Australian Government invited a British Air Mission to discuss the defence needs of Australia and Singapore. It was also a step towards expanding Australia's domestic aircraft industry. The Beaufort was chosen as the best General Reconnaissance (G.R.) aircraft available and on 1 July 1939 orders were placed for 180 airframes and spares, with the specially formed Beaufort Division of the Commonwealth's Department of Aircraft Production (DAP). The Australian made variants are often known as the DAP Beaufort.

The Australian Beauforts were to be built at the established DAP plant in Fisherman's Bend, Melbourne, Victoria and a new factory at Mascot, New South Wales; to speed up the process drawings, jigs and tools and complete parts for six airframes were supplied by Bristol. The bulk of Australian-built Beauforts used locally available materials. One of the decisive factors in choosing the Beaufort was the ability to produce it in sections. Because of this railway workshops were key subcontractors: Chullora Railway Workshops NSW: Front fuselage, undercarriage, stern frames, nacelles. Newport Workshops Victoria: Rear fuselage, empennage. Islington Railway Workshops, South Australia: Mainplanes, centre-section. Taurus engines, aircraft components and the associated equipment were shipped out to be joined, in October 1939, by the eighth production Beaufort (Serial No. L4448).

With the outbreak of war the possibility that supplies of the Taurus engines could be disrupted or halted was considered even before the British government placed an embargo on exporting war materials with the Blitzkrieg on France, the Netherlands and Belgium in May 1940. It was proposed that a change of powerplant could be made to the Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp, which was already in use on RAAF Lockheed Hudsons. Orders for the engine were placed and a factory was set up at Lidcombe, New South Wales and run by General Motors-Holden Ltd. The locally built engines were coded S3C4-G, while those imported from America were coded S1C3-4. Three-bladed Curtiss-Electric propellers were fitted to Beaufort Mks. V, VI, VIII and IX while Beaufort Mks VA and VIII used Hamilton Standard propellers. In early 1941, L4448 was converted as a trials aircraft and the combination was considered a success. The first Australian-assembled Beaufort A9-1 flew on 5 May 1941 with the first Australian-built aircraft A9-7 coming off the production line in August.

In total 700 Australian Beauforts were manufactured in six series. A distinguishing feature of Australian Beauforts was a larger tailfin, which was used from the Mk. VI on. Armament varied from British aircraft: British or American torpedoes were able to be carried and the final 140 Mk VIII were fitted with a locally manufactured Mk VE turret with .50 cal machine guns. A distinctive diamond-shaped DF aerial was fitted on the cabin roof, replacing the loop antenna. Other Australian improvements included fully enclosed landing gear and Browning 12.7mm machine guns in the wings. Some were also fitted with ASV radar aerial arrays on either side of the rear fuselage.

The Mk. XI was a transport conversion, stripped of armament, operational equipment and armour and rebuilt with a redesigned centre fuselage. Maximum speed was 300 mph (480 km/h) and a payload of 4,600 lb (2,100 kg) could be carried. Production of the Australian Beaufort ended in August 1944 when production switched to the Beaufighter. (Wikipedia)

 (RAAF Photo)

Bristol Beaufighter Mk. VIC, RAAF (Serial No. A19-77), No.5OTU, Wagga Wagga, 9 December 1942. 

 (Camden Museum of Aviation, FB Photo)

Bristol Beaufighter Mk. XXI (Serial No. A8–186), built in Australia in 1945, A8–186 saw service with No. 22 Squadron RAAF at the very end of the Second World War.  After spending some years on a farm in New South Wales, it was bought in 1965 by the Camden Museum of Aviation, a private aviation museum at Camden Airport, Sydney Australia.  It was restored using parts gathered from a wide variety of sources and wears "Beau-gunsville" nose art.  The museum also has a complete nose section that was found at a Sydney Railway workshops and acquired by the museum.

 (SVSM Gallery Photo)

 (Moorabin Air Museum/Aces Flying High Photos)

 (Alec Wilson Photo)

 (SVSM Photo)

Bristol Beaufighter Mk. XXI (Serial No. A8–328).  This Australian–built aircraft is displayed at the Australian National Aviation Museum-Moorabin Air Museum near Melbourne, painted as (Serial No. A8-39), EH-K.  Completed on the day the Pacific War ended, it saw post-war service as a target-tug.

Bristol Beaufighters were operated by the RAAF 1942–1957.  Production of the Beaufort in Australia, and the highly successful use of British-made Beaufighters by the Royal Australian Air Force, led to Beaufighters being built by the Australian Department of Aircraft Production (DAP) from 1944 onwards. The DAP's variant was an attack and torpedo bomber known as the "Mark 21".  Design changes included Hercules VII or XVIII engines and some minor changes in armament. When Australian production ceased in 1946, 365 Mk.21s had been built.  (Wikipedia)

 (Library of Congress Photo)

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Boomerang fighter, being produced in Australia in 1943.  The high production rate of this Australian interceptor aircraft during the war was maintained by the steady inflow of lend-lease Whitney twin row engines.  This fast climbing, hard hitting fighter added to the Allied air strength.  Made in an Australian factory and it included in its structure Australian steel, Canadian aluminum and American engines. 

 (John Thomas Harrison, Australian War Memorial Photo NEA0408)

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Boomerang (Serial No. A46-126) , coded BF-S, "Sinbad II" of No. 5 (Tactical Reconnaissance) Squadron RAAF.  The Boomerang was the first combat aircraft designed and built in Australia between 1942 and 1945.

 (Beau Giles Photo)

 (Alec Wilson Photo)

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Boomerang (Serial No. A46-30), CA-12, B, Australian War Memorial.

 (Jeff Gilbert Photo)

 (David Holt Photo)

 (Chris Finney Photos)

 (Robert Frola Photos)

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Boomerang (Serial No. A46-122), CA-13, MH-R, “Suzy Q”, Temora Aviation Museum, New South Wales.

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Boomerang (Serial No. A46-147), CA-13, being restored by its owner Nick Knight, Werribee, Victoria.

 (Robert Frola Photo)

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Boomerang (Serial No. A46-206), CA-19, “Milingimbi Ghost”, Museum of Australian Army Flying, Army Aviation Base near Oakey.

 (Alec Wilson Photo)

 (Chris Finney Photo)

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Boomerang (Serial No. A46-63), CA-12, LB-L, Reg. No. VH-XBL.   A46-63 was force landed on a Cape Yorke beach as a result of engine failure.  66 years it was recovered and restored in Queensland by Boomerang specialist Matt Denning.  This rare ‘family’ Boomerang is hangared at Classic Jets Fighter Museum, Parafield Airport and is one of only two flying in the world today.

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Boomerang (Serial No. A46-90), CA-12, being restored.

 (Robert Frola Photos)

 (Bidgee Photos)

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation CA-3 Wirraway Mk. II (Serial No. A20-176), 76, Reg. No. 

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation CA-3 Wirraway Mk. II (Serial No. A20-81), Reg. No. VH-WWY.

 (Bidgee Photos)

 (Chris Finney Photo)

 (Ian Creek Photo)

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation CA-16 Wirraway (Serial No. A20-653), Reg. No. VH-BFF. Temora Aviation Museum, New South Wales. (Bidgee Photos)

 (Bidgee Photo)

 (Alec Wilson Photo)

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation CA-16 Wirraway (Serial No. A20-103), Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

 (Alec Wilson Photo)

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation CA-5 Wirraway Mk. III (Serial No. A20-81), painted as (Serial No. A20-668), RAAF Association of Western Australia, Aviation Heritage Museum, Bull Creek, Western Australia.

 (Alec Wilson Photo)

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation CA-25 Wirraway Mk. II (Serial No. A20-695), Warplane Museum, Caboolture, Queensland.

Commonwealth CA-17 Mustang 20 (Serial No. A68-71), under restoration, Australian National Aviation Museum, Moorabbin.

 (Ian Creek Photo)

Commonwealth CA-18 Mustang 21 (Serial No. A68-104), Reg. No. VH-BOB, Avalon (Geelong)Victoria, Australia.

 (Chris Finney Photos)

 (Jeff Gilbert Photos)

 (Bidgee Photo)

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation CA-18 Mustang Mk. 21 (Serial No. A68-105), painted as North American P-51K-NT Mustang Mk. IVa, RAAF (Serial No. KH677), CV-P, which served with 3 Squadron under RAF Control 26 Nov 1944 to 11 Apr 1945.  Reg. No. VH-JUC, Judy Pay and Richard Hourigan, Tyabb, Victoria.

 (Vintage Fighter Restorations Photo)

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation CA-18 Mustang Mk. 21 (Serial No. A68-107), c/n 1432, Reg. No. VH-AUB, Pay's Air Service, Scone, New South Wales.

 (Robert Frola Photos)

 (Jeff Gilbert Photos)

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation CA-18 Mustang Mk. 21 (Serial No. A68-110), c/n 1435, painted as a North American P-51D Mustang (Serial No. A68-769), "Snifter", Reg. No. VH-MFT, Caboolture Warplane Museum, Caboolture, Queensland.  Airworthy.

 (Chris Phutully Photo)

 (Robert Frola Photos)      

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation CA-18 Mustang Mk. 21 (Serial No. A68-118), c/n 1443, “ECLAT”, RAAF, Reg. No. VH-AGJ. Jeff Trappett, Morwell, Victoria.

 (Jeff Gilbert Photo)

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation CA-18 Mustang Mk. 23 (Serial No. A68-170), AM-G, painted as (Serial No. A68-750), “Duffy’s Delight”, Reg. No. VH-SVU, Royal Australian Air Force Museum, Point Cook, Victoria.

North American P-51D Mustang (Serial No. 44-84489), RAAF (Serial No. A68-750), Peter N. Anderson in Sydney, New South Wales.  Also reported as (Serial No. 44-13106), painted as a post-war RAAF No. 77 Sqn fighter.

 (Chris Finney Photo)

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation CA-18 Mustang Mk. 22 (Serial No. A68-199), ex-RAAF, Reg. No. VH-BOZ.  This aircraft is reported to be the world's youngest flying Mustang.  It served with the the RAAF from 12 July 1951 and was flown as a target tug until 1979.  It has been restored to airworthiness by Peter Gill.

 (Australian War Memorial Photo 042782)

North American P-51K Mustang, ex-USAAF (Serial No. 44-12512), RAAF (Serial No. A68-565), LB-V, No. 84 Squadron, 1945.

 (Chris Finney Photo)

North American P-51D Mustang (Serial No. 45-11526), Reg. No. VH-FST, "The Flying Undertaker", Flight Dynamics Ltd, Brisbane, Queensland.  Airworthy.  VH-FST is the only North American built Mustang in Australia and is painted to represent the P-51 flown by Congressional Medal of Honour recipient Major William Shomo.  Shown here painted as (Serial No. 44-72505), "Snooks-66".

 (Janne Räkköläinen Photo)

 (Simon sees Photo)

North American P-51D-20NT Mustang (Serial No. 44-13106), RAAF (Serial No. A68-648), "Polly", Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation/North American Mustang operated by the RAAF 1945–1960. The (RAAF)'s 77 Squadron flew Australian-built Mustangs as part of the British Commonwealth Forces in Korea.  The Mustangs were replaced by Gloster Meteor F8s in 1951.

 (Mike Freer - Touchdown-aviation Photos)

Gloster Meteor F8 (Serial No. VZ467), 31 May 1988.

 (Chris Phutully Photo)

 (Robert Frola Photos)

Gloster Meteor F8 (Serial No. VH-MBX), c/n G5/361641, 851, Temora Aviation Museum.

In November 1944, 3 Squadron RAAF became the first Royal Australian Air Force unit to use Mustangs. At the time of its conversion from the P-40 to the Mustang the squadron was based in Italy with the RAF's First Tactical Air Force.

3 Squadron was renumbered 4 Squadron after returning to Australia from Italy and converted to P-51Ds. Several other Australian or Pacific based squadrons converted to either CAC-built Mustangs or to imported P-51Ks from July 1945, having been equipped with P-40s or Boomerangs for wartime service; these units were: 76, 77, 82, 83, 84 and 86 Squadrons. Only 17 Mustangs reached the RAAF's First Tactical Air Force front line squadrons by the time the Second World War ended in August 1945.

76, 77 and 82 Squadrons were formed into 81 Fighter Wing of the British Commonwealth Air Force (BCAIR) which was part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) stationed in Japan from February 1946.  77 Squadron used its P-51s extensively during the first months of the Korean War, before converting to Gloster Meteor jets.

Five reserve units from the Citizen Air Force (CAF) also operated Mustangs. 21 "City of Melbourne" Squadron, based in the state of Victoria; 22 "City of Sydney" Squadron, based in New South Wales; 23 "City of Brisbane" Squadron, based in Queensland; 24 "City of Adelaide" Squadron, based in South Australia; and 25 "City of Perth" Squadron, based in Western Australia; all of these units were equipped with CAC Mustangs, rather than P-51D or Ks. The last Mustangs were retired from these units in 1960 when CAF units adopted a non-flying role, (Wikipedia)

Commonwealth CA-15 Kangaroo, RAAF (Serial No. A62-1001) c/n 1054), piloted by Flt/Lt J.A.L. Archer.  Photographed from the rear turret of a Lincoln bomber, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, ca. 1948.

 (CAC Photo, via Hopton Collection.Hopton No. p1171-0097)

Commonwealth CA-15 Kangaroo (Serial No. A62-1001) c/n 1054, RAAF Photographed, Fishermen's Bend, Victoria, Australia, ca. 1946. 

The CAC CA-15, also known unofficially as the CAC Kangaroo, was an Australian fighter designed by the (CAC) during the Second World War.  Due to protracted development, the project was not completed until after the war, and was cancelled after flight testing, when the advent of jet was imminent.

The Kangaroo prototype was first flown on 4 March 1946 by CAC test pilot Jim Schofield, who also flew the first Australian built P-51.  The prototype was assigned RAAF (Serial No. A62-1001).  According to aviation historian Darren Crick, it achieved a calibrated level flight speed of 448 mph (721 km/h) at 26,400 ft (8,046 m).  Test flights came to an abrupt ending when Flight Lieutenant J. A. L. Archer suffered a hydraulic failure (later found to be a leaking ground test gauge) on approach to Point Cook on 10 December 1946, which left him no choice but to orbit and burn off fuel.  The main gear was only halfway down and unable to be retracted or lowered any further but the tail wheel was down and locked. On landing, the tail wheel struck the airstrip first causing the aircraft to porpoise and finally, the airscoop dug in.  The aircraft settled back on the fuselage and skidded to a stop, heavily damaged.  After repairs at CAC, the aircraft was returned to ARDU in 1948.  Archer reportedly achieved a speed of 502.2 mph (803 km/h) over Melbourne, after levelling out of a dive of 4,000 ft (1,200 m), on 25 May 1948.  By this time, however, it was clear that jet aircraft had far greater potential and no further examples of the CA-15 were built. The prototype was scrapped in 1950, and the engines were returned to Rolls-Royce.  (Wikipedia)

 (Namiac Photos)

 (Christopher Snape Photo)

Consolidated PB2B-2 Catalina (BuNo. 44248), Reg. No. VH-ASA, The Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, New South Wales.

Consolidated (Canadian Vickers) PBV-1A Canso A, RCAF (Serial No. 8272), RAAF (Serial No. A24-46), flown by Whaleworld, Albany, Western Australia. 

Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina (BuNo. 46624), Reg. No. N9502C, built in New Orleans, Louisiana.  RAAF Association of Western Australia, Aviation Heritage Museum, Bull Creek, Western Australia.

Consolidated PBY-6A Catalina (BuNo. 46644), Reg. No. VH-EAX, Quantas Founders Outback Museum, Longreach, Queensland.

Consolidated PBY-6A Catalina (BuNo. 46665), Reg. No. VH-CAT, The Catalina Flying Memorial Ltd., City of Bankstown, New South Wales.

Consolidated PBY-6A Catalina (BuNo. 46679), RAAF (Serial No. A24-362), Reg. No. VH-PBZ, Historical Aircraft Restoration Society, Sydney, New South Wales.

Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina (BuNo. 48352), RAAF (Serial No. A24-88), Australian National Aviation Museum, Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne, Victoria.  A24-88 is the only surviving "Black Cat", a name given to nocturnal mine-layers with the RAAF's No. 42 Sqn.

Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina (BuNo. 48412), Reg. No. N7238Z, Rathmines Catalina Memorial Park Association, City of Lake Macquarie, New South Wales.

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

Consolidated (Canadian Vickers) PBV-1A Canso A, RCAF (Serial No. 11060), RAAF (Serial No. A24-104), Reg. No. VH-EXG, RAAF Museum, Point Cook, Victoria.

Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina, RAAF (Serial No. A24-30), Catalina Memorial Park, Lake Boga Flying Boat Base, Lake Boga, Victoria.

Consolidated Catalina Mk. IVB. The RAAF operated PB2B-1 Catalinas as night raiders, with four squadrons Nos. 11, 20, 42, and 43 laying mines from 23 April 1943 until July 1945 in the southwest Pacific deep in Japanese-held waters, bottling up ports and shipping routes and forcing ships into deeper waters to become targets for U.S. submarines..In the process, they tied up the major strategic ports such as Balikpapan which shipped 80% of Japanese oil supplies. In late 1944, their mining missions sometimes exceeded 20 hours in duration and were carried out from as low as 200 ft (61 m) in the dark. Operations included trapping the Japanese fleet in Manila Bay in assistance of General Douglas MacArthur's landing at Mindoro in the Philippines. Australian Catalinas also operated out of Jinamoc in the Leyte Gulf, and mined ports on the Chinese coast from Hong Kong to as far north as Wenchow. Both USN and RAAF Catalinas regularly mounted nuisance night bombing raids on Japanese bases, with the RAAF claiming the slogan "The First and the Furthest". Targets of these raids included a major base at Rabaul. RAAF aircrews, like their U.S. Navy counterparts, employed "terror bombs", ranging from scrap metal and rocks to empty beer bottles with razor blades inserted into the necks, to produce high pitched screams as they fell, keeping Japanese soldiers awake and scrambling for cover. (Wikipedia)

 (RAAF Photo)

 (ADF Photo)

 (ADF Photo)

Consolidated B-24 Liberator, RAAF (Serial No. A72-6). 

 (ADF Photo)

Consolidated B-24M Liberator, USAAF (Serial No. 44-41956), RAAF (Serial No. A72-176), built in 1944, being restored by the B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Fund in Werribee, Victoria.  The major parts of the airframe were acquired in the 1990s.  A72-176 was delivered to the RAAF but was not used in combat.  It was used at RAAF Station Tocumwal, New South Wales as a training aircraft for new B-24 crews in 1944, until it was struck off charge at East Sale, Victoria, in 1948.

Australian pilots flew Liberators in other theatres of war before the aircraft was introduced into service in the RAAF in 1944.  At that time, the American commander of the Far East Air Forces (FEAF) General George C. Kenney suggested that seven heavy bomber squadrons be raised to supplement the efforts of the 380th Bombardment Group of the USAAF.  The USAAF helped in the procurement of the aircraft for the RAAF and training of the Australian aircrew members.  Seven flying squadrons, an operational training unit and two independent flights were equipped with the aircraft by the end of the Second World War in August 1945.

The RAAF Liberators saw service in the South West Pacific theatre of the Second World War.  Flying mainly from bases in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia the aircraft conducted bombing raids against Japanese positions, ships and strategic targets in New Guinea, Borneo and the Netherlands East Indies.  In addition, the small number of Liberators operated by No. 200 Flight played an important role in supporting covert operations conducted by the Allied Intelligence Bureau; and other Liberators were converted to VIP transports.  A total of 287 B-24D, B-24J, B-24L and B-24M aircraft were supplied to the RAAF, of which 33 were lost in action with more than 200 Australians killed.  Following the Japanese surrender the RAAF's Liberators participated in flying former prisoners of war and other personnel back to Australia. Liberators remained in service until 1948, when they were replaced by Avro Lincolns. (Wikipedia)

 (Australian War Memorial Photo ID Number 010926)

Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk from No. 3 Squadron, RAAF being serviced by armourers in North Africa, 23 December 1941.

Curtiss P-40 Tomahawks were operated by the RAAF in 1941.  No examples survive in Australia.

 (Australian War Museum Photo)

Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawks were flown by the RAAF from 1942-1947, and Curtiss P-40 Warhawk Models were flown from 1943–1946.

 (Bidgee Photos)

 (Chris Finney Photo)

Curtiss P-40F Warhawk (Serial No. 41-14112), Reg. No. VH-HWK, Judy Pay, Tayak, Victoria.  Airworthy.

 (Chris Finney Photo)

Curtiss P-40E Warhawk (Serial No. 41-25109), Reg. No. VH-KTY, Pay's Air Service PTY LTD, Scone, New South Wales.  Previously RNZAF (Serial No. NZ3094).  Airworthy.

Curtiss P-40E Warhawk (Serial No. 41-35974), Reg. No. VH-AJY), Reevers Pastoral PTY LTD, Mylor, South Australia.

 (Chris Phutully Photo)

Curtiss P-40E Warhawk (Serial No. 41-5336), AQ,  Royal Australian Air Force Museum, Point Cook, Victoria.

Curtiss P-40E Warhawk (Serial No. 41-5632), being restored by Ben Saunders , Melbourne, Victoria.

Curtiss P-40E Warhawk (Serial No. 41-13522), being restored by Moorabbin Air Museum, Melbourne, Victoria.

Curtiss P-40E Warhawk (Serial No. 41-35984), being restored by the P-40E Syndicate in Queensland.


 (Simon sees Photo)

 (Nick-D Photo)

Curtiss P-40E Warhawk (Serial No. 41-36084), (Serial No. ET730), "Polly", Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

Curtiss P-40E Warhawk (Serial No. 41-36843), being restored by Murray Griffiths, Deniliquin, New South Wales.

 (Jeff Gilbert Photo)

 (Chris Finney Photos)

 (Robert Friola Photos)

Curtiss P-40N Warhawk (Serial No. 42-104687), Reg. No. VH-ZOC, Arthur Pipe & Steel Australia PTY LTD, East Albury, New South Wales. Previously Reg. No. NZ3125 in RNZAF service.  Airworthy.

Curtiss P-40N Warhawk (Serial No. 42-104977), Reg. No. VH-MIK, Cairns Airport Hangars PTY LTD, Cairns, Queensland.

Curtiss P-40N Warhawk (Serial No. 42-104947), Precision Aerospace/Pacific Fighters Museum in Victoria, Australia.

Curtiss P-40N Warhawk (Serial No. 42-104954), being restored by Edwin Sedgman in Melbourne, Victoria.

Curtiss P-40N Warhawk (Serial No. 42-105051), being restored by Keith W. Hopper in Townsville, Queensland.

Curtiss P-40N Warhawk (Serial No. 42-105472), being restored by Bruno Carnival in Melbourne, Victoria.

Curtiss P-40N Warhawk (Serial No. 42-105513), being restored by Ian Whitney Romsey, Victoria.

 (Wiki Commons Photos)

 (Jeff Gilbert Photo)

Curtiss P-40N-5-CU Warhawk (Serial No. 42-105915), "Little Jeanne".

The Kittyhawk was the main fighter used by the RAAF in the Second World War, in greater numbers than the Spitfire. Two RAAF squadrons serving with the Desert Air Force, No. 3 and No. 450 Squadrons, were the first Australian units to be assigned P-40s. Other RAAF pilots served with RAF or SAAF P-40 squadrons in the theater.

Many RAAF pilots achieved high scores in the P-40. At least five reached “double ace” status: Clive Caldwell, Nicky Barr, John Waddy, Bob Whittle (11 kills each) and Bobby Gibbes (10 kills) in the Middle East, North African and/or New Guinea campaigns. In all, 18 RAAF pilots became aces while flying P-40s.

Nicky Barr, like many Australian pilots, considered the P-40 a reliable mount: “The Kittyhawk became, to me, a friend. It was quite capable of getting you out of trouble more often than not. It was a real warhorse.”

At the same time as the heaviest fighting in North Africa, the Pacific War was also in its early stages, and RAAF units in Australia were completely lacking in suitable fighter aircraft. Spitfire production was being absorbed by the war in Europe; P-38s were trialled, but were difficult to obtain; Mustangs had not yet reached squadrons anywhere, and Australia's tiny and inexperienced aircraft industry was geared towards larger aircraft. USAAF P-40s and their pilots originally intended for the U.S. Far East Air Force in the Philippines, but diverted to Australia as a result of Japanese naval activity were the first suitable fighter aircraft to arrive in substantial numbers. By mid-1942, the RAAF was able to obtain some USAAF replacement shipments; the P-40 was given the RAAF designation A-29.

RAAF Kittyhawks played a crucial role in the South West Pacific Theater. They fought on the front line as fighters during the critical early years of the Pacific War, and the durability and bomb-carrying abilities (1,000 lb/454 kg) of the P-40 also made it ideal for the ground attack role. For example, 75, and 76 Squadrons played a critical role during the Battle of Milne Bay, fending off Japanese aircraft and providing effective close air support for the Australian infantry, negating the initial Japanese advantage in light tanks and sea power.

The RAAF units that most used Kittyhawks in the South West Pacific were 75, 76, 77, 78, 80, 82, 84 and 86 Squadrons. These squadrons saw action mostly in the New Guinea and Borneo campaigns.

Late in 1945, RAAF fighter squadrons in the South West Pacific began converting to P-51Ds. However, Kittyhawks were in use with the RAAF until the end of the war, in Borneo. In all, the RAAF acquired 841 Kittyhawks (not counting the British-ordered examples used in North Africa), including 163 P-40E, 42 P-40K, 90 P-40 M and 553 P-40N models. In addition, the RAAF ordered 67 Kittyhawks for use by No. 120 (Netherlands East Indies) Squadron (a joint Australian-Dutch unit in the South West Pacific). The P-40 was retired by the RAAF in 1947. (Wikipedia)

 (kenhodge13 Photo)

de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth (Serial No. A17-4) on display at the Darwin Aviation Museum in Winnellie.  This Tiger Moth is the oldest survivor of the Second World War RAAF aircraft which were built in large numbers.

 (Chris Finney Photo)

de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth (Serial No. A17-159), Reg. No. VH-AUZ, Classic Jets Fighter Museum.

 (Jeff Gilbert Photo)

de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth (Serial No. A17-204), 04, Reg. No. VH-JAU, private owner.

 (Jeff Gilbert Photos) 

de Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth (Serial No. A17-691), 91, Temora Aviation Museum, New South Wales.

 (Jeff Gilbert Photo)

de Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth (Serial No. A17-692), private owner.

 (Bidgee Photos)

de Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth (Serial No. A17-759)

 (Bidgee Photo)

 (Beau Giles Photo)

de Havilland DSH.82A Tiger Moth (Serial No. A17-711), RAAF Museum, RAAF Williams Point Cook.

 (kenhodge13 Photos)

de Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth (Serial No. A17-640), Reg. No. VH-NMD.  Private owner, Coomalie Creek Airfield.

 (State Library of Victoria H98.100/1584)

de Havilland Mosquito FB Mk.40, RAAF, preparing to take off to attack the Japanese during the Burma campaign. 

 (Australian War Museum Photo No. P03823.001)

de Havilland Mosquito FB Mk 40 (Serial No. A52-50) one of many operated by the RAAF from 1943–1953. 

212 Mosquito FB.40s were built by de Havilland Australia.  Six were converted to PR.40; 28 to PR.41s, one to FB.42 and 22 to T.43 trainers.  Most were powered by Packard-built Merlin 31 or 33s.  The RAAF flew Mosquitos while based in the Halmaheras and Borneo during the Pacific War.


 (Simon sees Photo)

de Havilland Mosquito (Serial No. A52-319) is on display at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

de Havilland Mosquito FB.VI (Serial No. HR621), originally delivered to and flown by No. 618 Squadron RAF. In 1947, it was towed to a farm in Tomingly, where it sat until the Camden Museum of Aviation in Narellan, New South Wales) recovered the aircraft in 1968. It is being restored using parts from other Mosquito hulks and is intended to have a complete cockpit and functioning primary flight controls.

 (RAAF Photo)

de Havilland Mosquito PR41 (Serial No. A52-326), built as an FB.40, converted to PR41, (Serial No. A52-83), renumbered (Serial No. A52-326), on the tarmac with an Avro Lincoln and Bristol Beaufighter.

de Havilland Mosquito PR Mk. XVI (Serial No. A52-600), delivered to the RAF as (Serial No. NS631), before being transferred to the RAAF, coded SU-A.  It flew more than 20 sorties with No. 87 Squadron RAAF.  It was later sold to an orchardist who experimented with using its engines to dry vines. In 1966, the hulk was rescued by the Mildura Warbirds Museum, and in 1987 it was sold to the RAAF Museum.  The Mosquito is being restored for display.

de Havilland Mosquito (Serial No. TBD), a composite static restoration/reconstruction incorporating parts recovered from the Narromine parts dump is under way with the Historic Aircraft Restoration Society at Albion Park, Illawarra.

 (de Havilland Sea Hornet F Mk. 22 (Serial No. TT202), Royal Navy Photo)

de Havilland Sea Hornet F 20 (Serial No. TT213), was acquired by the RAAF from the Ministry of Supply in the United Kingdom.  The one aircraft was used by the Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU), at Laverton, Victoria, Australia from 1948 to 1950.  It was mainly used for evaluation and tropical trials.  No complete examples of the Sea Hornet exist.

 (Commander Keane Photo)

Douglas DC-3 (Serial No. VH-ANH), "Tullana", originally built for American Airlines in 1941, it was pressed into military service, first with the USAAF and then the RAAF from 1943.  Converted back into an airliner, it werved with Australian National Airways in 1946 until 1970.  Australian National Aviation Museum, Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne, Victoria.

 (Alec Wilson Photo)

Douglas C-47B Dakota, RAAF (Serial No. A65-114), in Aircraft Research & Development Unit (ARDU) markings,South Australian Aviation Museum, Lipson St., Port Adelaide, South Australia.

Douglas C-47A Skytrain (Serial No. 41-18646), "Irene", 52, Jeff Ash and Marty Morgan, Mallee, South Australia.  This aircraft was built in Oct 1942.  It is named after a crew member's wife.  It flew supplies to troops in Papua New Guinea before being allocated to the RAAF in 1944.

 (Bidgee Photo)

Douglas A-20C Boston (Serial No. A28-8), RAAF Museum.

Douglas A-26C Invader (Serial No. 43-22653), located at Bankstown Airort, Sydney.  Built in 1943, this aircraft is being restored to airworthy status in New South Wales.

Douglas A-26C Invader (Serial No. 44-35898), Reevers Warbirds, being restored to airworthy status.

 (IWM C447)

RAF No. 218 Squadron Fairey Battles over France, c. 1940

Fairey Battle (Serial No. N2188), being restored, South Australia Aviation Museum, Port Adelaide, South Australia  The remains of this Battle were recovered from a tidal swamp near Port Pirie in South Australia.

Fairey Battle (Serial No. TBC). The Clyde North Aeronautical Preservation Group also has two unidentified and unrestored cockpit sections from Fairey Battles located in Wagga Wagga.

Fairey Battle (Serial No. TBC).  An unidentified and unrestored cockpit section is stored in the Royal Australian Air Force Museum, Point Cook, Victoria.

 (Australian National Maritime Museum Photo)

Damaged Fairey Firefly on the flight deck HMAS Sydney, during manouvres off Tasmanian coast, 1 March 1951.

 (Alec Wilson Photo)

Fairey Firefly TT.6 (Serial No. WJ109), Fleet Air Arm Museum, Nowra, NSW.

Fairey Firefly AS 6 (Serial No. WD827), Australian National Aviation Museum, Melbourne, Victoria.

 (Yewenyi Photo)

Fairey Firefly AS 6 (Serial No. WD828), mounted on a pylon outside the Returned Services Leagues Club in Griffith, Australia, painted as (Serial No. WB518).

Focke-Wulf Fw 190A (Wk. Nr. 173056), VH+WLF, built in July 1944, being restored to flight status, Albury.

 (Airwolfhound Photos)

Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-8 (Wk. Nr. 173056), "White 14", I./JG11.  Built in 1944 at Marienburg, this aircraft is painted as a fighter flown by Oberstleutnant Hans Dortenman.   It incorporated many parts made by Flug Werk.  Previously Reg. No. N91169.  Albury, New South Wales, Australia.

Flug + Werk Fw 190 A-8/N

In 1997, Flug + Werk GmbH, a German company, began building new Fw 190 A-8s, with a run of 20 aircraft being produced. These aircraft are new reproduction builds from the ground up, using many original dies, plans, and other information from the war. The construction was sub-contracted to Aerostar SA of Bac?u, Romania; both companies have been involved in a number of warbird replica projects.

Werk numbers (Wk. Nr.) continued from where German war production numbers ended, with the new Fw 190 A-8s being identified as "Fw 190 A-8/N" (N for Nachbau, meaning "replica"). A fewof these Fw 190s were fitted with original tail wheel assemblies salvaged from a small cache remaining from the Second World War. Initial flights of the Fw 190A-8/N were carried out in November 2005.

As original BMW 801 engines were no longer available, a Chinese licensed Soviet-designed engine, the Shvetsov ASh-82FN 14-cylinder twin-row radial engine of similar configuration and slightly smaller displacement (41.2 litres versus 41.8 in the original BMW powerplants) was installed. The Soviet engines powered a number of the Fw 190s former opponents including the Lavochkin La-5 and La-7. A few customers specified American Pratt & Whitney R-2800 motors be installed in their model, even though those engines are larger than the ASh-82 with different mounting points requiring some modification. As part of the run of 20 examples, FlugWerk also produced a limited number of "long nose" Fw 190D examples powered by Allison V-1710s.
Flug + Werk Fw 190 A-8/N (Wk. Nr. 990004), painted as (Wk. Nr. 173056), Reg. No. VH-WLF, Raptor Aviation, Brighton, Victoria.

 (RAF Photo)

Gloster Gauntlet Mk. I (Serial No. K4090), operated by the RAAF in 1940. No examples survive in Australia.

 (RAF Photo)

Gloster Gladiator, operated by the RAAF from 1940–1941. No examples survive in Australia.

 (Mike Freer - Touchdown-aviation Photo)

Grumman (General Motors) TBM-3E Avenger (BuNo. 91110), (Serial No. VH-TBM), RN, D-Day colours, Steve Searle.

Grumman (General Motors) TBM-3 Avenger (BuNo. 53857), (Serial No. VH-MML), 441, airworthy.  Built in The USA in 1943, this Avenger was delivered to the US Navy.  After its military service, it served as a Fire bomber post war with Central Air Service at Lewiston, Montana from 1963 until 1972, Reg. No. N7017C.  After serving in the USA the TBM-3 moved to Canada where it again served as a Fire Bomber with Forest Air Protection of Fredericton, New Brunswick from May 1976 until it retired in 2002 . The aircraft was purchased by Australian Warbird enthusiast Steve Searle and moved to the Gold Coast airport in Queensland where it was restored to airworthy military stock condition and flew at airshows throughout the country with Steve’s other TBM-3’s VH-VTB and VH-TBM

Grumman (General Motors) TBM-3E Avenger (BuNo.), (Serial No. VH-VTM), previouly owned by Randal McFarlane, currently owned by aSteve Searle.

 (RAF Photo)

Hawker Demon, operated by the RAAF from 1935–1945. No examples survive in Australia. (RAF Photo)

 (IWM Photo CM 2183)

Hawker Hurricane PR.I (Serial No. Z4641), No. 451 Squadron RAAF, during a reconnaissance sortie over Libya, ca 1942.

 (Australian War Museum Photo)

Hawker Hurricane, operated by the RAAF from 1941–1946. The following RAAF units flew the Hurricane with the Desert Air Force in the Mediterranean Theatre: No. 3 Squadron RAAF, No. 450 Squadron RAAF (combined operations with No. 260 Squadron RAF), and No. 451 Squadron RAAF.

Hawker Hurricane (Serial No. V7476), was transferred from Singapore and was the only Hurricane based in Australia during the Second World War.  Note the tropicalised Vokes air filter which was fitted to many types operating in the Pacific.  It had been shipped, unassembled to No. 226 Group RAF in the Dutch East Indies during early 1942. It was among elements of 226 Group evacuated to Australia before the Allied defeat in Java.  After assembly by RAAF ground staff, this Hurricane served with the following units: No. 1 Communications Flight RAAF, No. 2 Communications Flight RAAF, No. 2 Operational Training Unit RAAF, and Central Flying School RAAF.  The Hurricane was retired in 1946 and is believed to have been scrapped.  (Wikipedia)

 (Dave Miller Photo)

Hawker Hurricane Mk. XII (Serial No. P2970), VH-JFW, ex-RCAF (Serial No. 5481), US-X, Reg. No. G-ORGI, later Reg. No. C-FDNL, previously painted in the colours of a No. 56 Squadron Mk. II flown by Pilot Officer (later Wing Commander) Geoffrey Page.  That Hurricane was lost in the English Channel off Margate during a Battle of Britain dogfight on 12 August 1940.  This Hurricane is now painted as (Serial No. V6748), coded PD, representing a Hurricane Mk. IIB flown by P/O John Crossman who flew with No. 46 Squadron during the Battle of Britain.  The aircraft is housed at Pay's Air Service, Scone, NSW, Australia after arriving from Canada in April 2014.  It is currently airworthy.

 (Nick-D Photo)

Hawker Sea Fury FB.11 (Serial No. VX730), Australian War Museum, Canberra.

 (Nck-D Photo)

 (Alec Wilson Photo)

Hawker Sea Fury FB.11 (Serial No. WG630), 110, Fleet Air Arm Museum, Nowra, NSW, Australia.

Hawker Sea Fury operated by the RAN 1949–1962. Australia was one of three Commonwealth nations to operate the Sea Fury, with the others being Canada and Pakistan. The type was operated by two frontline squadrons of the Royal Australian Navy, 805 Squadron and 808 Squadron; a third squadron that flew the Sea Fury, 850 Squadron, was also briefly active. Two Australian aircraft carriers, HMAS Sydney and HMAS Vengeance, employed Sea Furies in their air wings. The Sea Fury was used by Australia during the Korean War, flying from carriers based along the Korean coast in support of friendly ground forces. The Sea Fury would be operated by Australian forces between 1948 and 1962.  (Wikipedia)

 (USAAF Photo)

Lockheed F-5A Lightning (Serial No. 42-13319), "Kay" of the 14th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron of the 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group based out of RAF Mount Farm. The F-5A is a photo reconnaissance plane based on the P-38 Lightning. No weapons on the nose, but cameras.

 (Lockheed F-4 Lightnings, USAAF Photos)

Lockheed P-38 Lightning operated by the RAAF 1942–1944.  The first Lightning to see active service was the F-4 version, a P-38E in which the guns were replaced by four K17 cameras. They joined the 8th Photographic Squadron in Australia on 4 April 1942. Three F-4s were operated by the Royal Australian Air Force in this theater for a short period beginning in September 1942.

 (State Library of Queensland Photo)

Lockheed P-38 Lightning, No. 17, flying along the Australian coast near North Stradbroke Island, off the coast of Brisbane, ca 1943.

Lockheed P-38G Lightning (Serial No. 432195), composite aircraft, Hopper Warbirds, Townsville, Queensland.

 (Chris Finney Photo)

Lockheed P-38H Lightning (Serial No. 42-66841), 153, "Scarlet Scourge", 432 SQN, 475th FG, 5th AF, flown by Lt. Edward Dickey on numerous missions over Papua New Guinea and it’s adjacent national islands.  The Lightning scored a probable victory against an Oscar Fighter over the enemy fortified Rabaul Harbour, New Britain on 23rd October 1943.  The large fighter was salvaged by the Classic Jets Fighter Museum in 1999 and subsequently under went a seven year restoration program by the Museum’s restoration team.  This aircraft is now in the UK at Bentwaters.

 (Robert Frola Photos)

 (Phil Vabre Photo)

 (Jeff Gilbert Photos)

 (Chris Phutully Photo)

Lockheed Hudson Mk. IV (Serial No. A16-112), c/n 414-6041, "The Tojo Busters", Reg. No. VH-KOY, painted as (Serial No. A16-211), No. 32 Squadron, RAAF, Temora Aviation Museum, New South Wales.  Built to an Australian order but allocated USAAC (Serial No. 41-23182) for admin purposes.  Taken on RAAF charge 5 Dec 1941 (two days before the war in the Pacific started) as (Serial No. A16-112).  Served with 14, 32 & 6 Sqns, RAAF Survey Flight.  Sold 29 Nov 46 & acquired by East West Airlines, civilianised & reg VH-BNJ Apr 49, later VH-EWA.  Sold to Adastra Airways Jul 53 & re-reg VH-AIU, later VH-AGS. Withdrawn Apr 73 & restored by Malcolm Long at Point Cook & Moorabbin 76-93.  First flight as VH-KOY 10 Apr 93.

 (Gsl Photo)

North American AT-6C Texan Mk. IIA (ex-RNZAF (Serial No. NZ1056), Reg. No. VH-NAH, privately owned.

 (Chris Finney Photo)

North American AT-6 Texan RNZAF (Serial No. NZ1099), Reg. No. VH-NZX, Classic Jets Fighter Museum.

 (Jeff Gilbert Photo)

orth American Texan AT-6G Texan (Serial No. 49-32---), TA-202, Reg. No. VH-WHF, Wyllie Aviation.

 (kenhodge13 Photo)

North American AT-6 Texan, 90, Darwin Aviation Museum.

North American B-25J Mitchell (Serial No. 44-31508), painted in Netherlands East Indies Air Force (NEIAF) markings, representing (Serial No. N5-131), which was flown by Dutch pilot Fred "Pulk" Pelder with 18 Squadron.  The unit was established in Canberra on 4 April 1942, and operated a fleet of around 100 Mitchells from Australian bases during the Second World War.  This aircraft was previously marked "Mississippi Dream" and suffered an accident ca 8 Dec 1943 and was struck off charge (SOC) in Jan 1944.  It is planned to make the aircraft airworthy.

 (USAAF Photo)

Republic P-43 Lancer operated by the RAAF 1941–1943.  Eight P-43s (four P-43a-1s and four P-43Ds) were loaned to the Royal Australian Air Force in 1942 and served with No. 1 Photo Reconnaissance Unit, based at Coomalie Field, 60 miles south of Darwin in the Northern Territory.  The RAAF flew many long range, high-altitude photo reconnaissance missions before the six survivors were returned to the USAAF in 1943.  No examples survive in Australia.

 (Chris Finney Photo)

Ryan STM-S2, Reg. No. VH-RSY.  Private owner.

 (Supermarine Spitfire, RAAF (Serial No. A58-303), RAAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfires were operated by the RAAF from 1941–1945. RAAF Squadrons flying Spitfires included No. 79 Squadron RAAF 1943–45, No. 85 Squadron RAAF 1943–45, No. 451 Squadron RAAF 1943–46, No. 452 Squadron RAAF 1941–45, No. 453 Squadron RAAF 1942–46, and No. 457 Squadron RAAF 1941–42 1942–45.

 (Australian War Memorial Photo No. P01275.029)

Supermarine Spitfire Pilots of No. 457 Squadron receive final instructions for their flight back to Australia in October 1945.  All of the squadron's aircraft were painted with a shark's mouth, earning it the nickname the "Grey Nurse Squadron", and one of No. 457 Squadron's Spitfires near Labuan in 1945.

Supermarine Spitfires were operated by the RAAF and the RAN from 1942–1945.

 (Robert Frola Photos)

 (Cfitzart Photos)

 (Heff Gilbeert Photo)

 (Phil Vabre Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire HF Mk. VIIIc (Serial No. MV239), RAAF (Serial No. A58-758), c/n 6S/581740, RG-V, “Grey Nurse”, Reg. No. VH-HET, which saw action with No. 457 Squadron RAAF in the South West Pacific Area.  MV239 is one of two Spitfires still flying in Australia, both owned by the Temora Aviation Museum, Temora, New South Wales.  It is painted in the colours of Wing Commander Robert "Bobby" Gibbes, DSO, DFC, RAAF (Serial No. A58-602), RG-V, RAF (Serial No. MV133), 80 Wing RAAF, Morotai, 1945.  Airworthy.

 (David Holt Photo)

 (Jeff Gilbert Photo)

 (Chris Finney Photo)

 (Peter Ellis Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. XVIe (Serial No. TB863), FU-P, Reg. No. VX-XVI, Temora Aviation Museum, Temora, New South Wales.  It is painted in the colours of 453 Squadron, RAAF, as flown in the UK in 1945.  Airworthy.

 (Alec Wilson Photo)


 (Chris Finney Photos)

 (Fairv8 Photo)

 (Chris Finney Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vc (Serial No. EE853), UP-O, RAAF (Serial No. A58-146).  South Australia Aviation Museum, Port Adelaide.  Owned by the Langdon Badger Family Trust and is located in the museum's new premises at Port Adelaide. The hangar is a Second World War PENTAD type built in 1943 and designed for Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm airfields.  The hangar was originally brought to Darwin and housed Spitfires defending that city against the Japanese.  This aircraft is displayed at The South Australian Aviation Museum, Port Adelaide, South Australia. It was manufactured in 1942 by Westlands in the UK.  It was shipped to Australia and became part of RAAF 79 Squadron at Milne Bay.  On 28 August 1943 it crashed on Kiriwina Island and was transported back to Goodenough Island. In 1971 Langdon Badger found the aircraft and in 1973 he had it shipped to Adelaide.  After four years of restoration at Parafield Airport, Langdon displayed the Spitfire at his Adelaide home.  In August 2001 the aircraft was put on display in the Museum.

 (IWM Photo CH 13252)

Supermarine Spitfire F Mk. IIa (Serial No. P7973). This Spitfire was flown by several Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) squadrons in 1941. Assigned to No. 452 Sqn (RAAF) (RAF Kenley and RAF Hornchurch). Flown by Australian pilot "Bluey" Truscott on "Circus 68", a bomber escort mission into France on 9 August 1941.  This was the mission in which famous legless RAF pilot Douglas Bader was shot down and became a P.O.W.  The aircraft has not been repainted since the Second World War, but bears the markings of the Central Gunnery School. (Coded R-H) flying 24 operations.  In July 1945 it was shipped to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia for display.  One of the few Spitfires still in its original paint, it has been displayed in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra since 1950.

Supermarine Spitfire F Mk. Vc Trop, (Serial No. BS231), RAAF (Serial No. A58-92).  Partial airframe on display at the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre, Darwin, Northern Territory.  Recovered during 1983 at low-tide from wartime water crash-site, Point Charles NT.  The display incorporates parts from both (Serial No. BS178/A58-70) and (Serial No. JG731/A58-172).

 (Alec Wilson Photo)

 (Hugh Llewelyn Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire F Mk. XXII (Serial No. PK481),  It entered service with the RAF on 3 September 1945, and served with several squadrons including 611 before being withdrawn from service in 1953.  In 1955 the Brighton & Hove branch of the RAF Association in England bought the aircraft and put it on display.  It was purchased by the RAAFA in 1959, brought to Australia and mounted on a pylon outside then RAAFA headquarters in Adelaide Terrace, Perth, as a memorial to fallen airmen.   RAAF Association of Western Australia, Aviation Heritage Museum, Bull Creek, Western Australia.

Supermarine Spitfire F Mk. Vc Trop (Serial No. BR545), RAAF (Serial No. A58-51), DL-E, ex-54 Sqn.  This aircraft force landed on mud flats at low-tide, Prince Regent River, near Truscott WA, 22 December 1943.  The wreck lay for many years covered by the tides until recovered by the RAAF Museum in November 1987. Merlin engine and sections of airframe recovered.  Royal Australian Air Force Museum, Point Cook, Victoria.

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. IXc (Serial No. MH415), Reg. No. N415MH.  Owned by investors Warbirds Flight Club Pty Ltd, Hunter Valley NSW. Arrived in Australia en route to Scone NSW, 22 January 2016, to be restored to airworthy status. Previously owned by Wilson 'Connie' Edwards and stored at his facility in Big Spring, Texas for decades. During its time with 'Connie' Edwards it was painted as (Serial No. MH415), ZD-E, the colours it wore during its service with No. 222 (Natal) Squadron RAF during 1943. Sold via Platinum Fighter Sales in October 2015 and subsequently transported to Australia.

Supermarine Spitfire F Mk. IX (Serial No. MH603), Reg, No. VH-IXF.  Owned by Ross Pay (son of Col Pay) and registered to Pay's Air Service Pty Ltd. Ex South African Air Force (Serial No. MH603), being restored to airworthy status at Scone, NSW. When completed the Spitfire will wear 331 (Norwegian) Squadron colours as based at North Weald (UK) in early 1944.

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. IXb (Serial No. MJ789), ex-453 (RAAF) Squadron fighter (Serial No. MJ789), FU-B.  This aircraft crashed in River Orne, near Caen, France on 11 June 1944 as a result of anti-aircraft fire claiming the life of pilot Flight Lieutenant Henry ‘Lacy’ Smith. Both F/L Smith and MJ789 were recovered from the riverbed in November 2010. Subsequently F/L Smith was buried with full military honours in Normandy and the wreckage of MJ789 was transferred to the RAAF Museum and transported to Australia for conservation with a view to eventual display.  In storage with the Royal Australian Air Force Museum, Point Cook, Victoria.

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. XVIe, RAF (Serial No. TE392), Reg. No. VH-XWF, coded DV-A, airworthy.  This aircraft represents the personal mount of Australian ace Squadron Leader Tony Gaxe, DFC.  Archerfield, Queensland.  TE392 was previously owned by the Lone Star Flight Museum, Texas, coded ZX-Z, Reg. No. N97RW, wearing the colours of Squadron Leader Lance C. Wade, a Texan who flew with RAF No. 145 Sqn from 1940 to 1944 and went on to become an Ace.  It has been in Australia since 2018.  This aircraft is for sale by Platinum Fighters.

 (Hugh Llewelyn Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire L.F. Mk. XVI replica at the Western Australian Aviation Museum.

Supermarine Seafire F Mk. XV (Serial No. SW800), Reg. No. VH-CIH.  In storage, Adelaide area, South Australia.  Recovered from Brownhills scrapyard in the UK circa 1991, and shipped to Melbourne VIC.

 (Alec Wilson Photo)

 (Bidgee Photo)

Supermarine Walrus (Serial No. HD 874), RAAF Museum.

 (Bidgee Photo)

Taylorcraft Auster Mk. III (Serial No. A11-33), Reg. No. VH-BDM).

 (Robert Frola Photo)

Taylorcraft Auster Mk. V (Serial No. MS939), Reg. No. VH-MKV), Ballarat.

 (RuthAS Photo)

Taylorcraft Auster Mk. III (Serial No. A11-40), Reg. No. BH-BCG.  Royal Australian Air Force Museum, Point Cook, Victoria.

RAAF No. 16 AOP Flight and No. 17 AOP Flight operated Auster Mark III aircraft in support of the Australian Army in the Pacific Theatre from October 1944 until the end of the war. 

RAAF operators included No. 2 Communications Unit, RAAF, No. 16 Air Observation Post Flight RAAF, No. 17 Air Observation Post Flight RAAF, No. 3 Squadron, RAAF, No. 77 Squadron, RAAF, No. 454 Squadron, RAAF, Aircraft Research and Development Unit, RAAF.

Royal Australian Navy operators included No. 723 Squadron, RAN FAA, No. 724 Squadron, RAN FAA, and No. 725 Squadron, RAN FAA.

 (Bidgee Photo)

Vought F4U-5N Corsair (BuNo. 124493), Reg. No. VH-III, owned by Graham Hosking.  Airworthy.

Vought F4U-1 Corsair (BuNo. 02270), No. 124 off of the production line, is under restoration at the Classic Jets Fighter Museum in Parafield, South Australia.  BuNo. 02270 landed in a lagoon, out of fuel, near Quoin hill airfield on the north coast of Vanuatu island of Efate on 5 May 1944.  The Corsair was flown by Capt. James A. Vittitoe who force landed the Corsair after four hours and twelve minutes of flight.  His was one of twelve Corsairs escorting thirty six SBD's on a bomber training mission, and as well as his force landing, two other F4U Corsairs were lost.  The Corsair was recovered in 2008.  Project owner Bob Jarrett.

Vought F4U-1D Corsair (BuNo. 82640), built in 1944, served on USS Intrepid, is under long-term restoration by Warbird Adventures in Mareeba, Queensland.

Vought F4U-5N Corsair VH-111 (BuNo. 123168), airworthy, at Tyabb.  Built in 1951, ex-USN and wearing Honduran Air Force colours, it is currently based in Melbourne.

 (Australian War Memorial Photo No. OG0536)

Vultee A-31 Vengance dive bomber(coded NH-L, named "Dianne") of No. 12 Squadron RAAF during a mission out of Merauke, Dutch New Guinea, in December 1943.  The crew was Flight Lieutenant C.J.B. Mcpherson of Horsham, Victoria, as pilot and Flight Sergeant Turner as observer.

 (Camden Air Museum Photo)

Vultee A-31 Vengance Mk. IA dive bomber (Serial No. A27-99), (Serial No. EZ999), DB-72, is displayed at the Camden Air Museum, New South Wales.  EZ999 was manufactured by Northrop Aircraft Inc., USA and was the last Mk. I to be built.  It was delivered to 2AD RAAF in June 1943 and was approved as free issue to the RAN in April 1948, although this order was cancelled in June 1948.  After being passed to the Department of Aircraft Production for disposal, EZ999 was issued to the Sydney Technical College, School of Aircraft Engineering for apprentice training until May 1963.  It was acquired by the then proposed Aviation Museum and stored privately until January 1965 then to the Museum.  It is the only Vultee Vengeance on display in the world.

Australia placed an order for 400 Vengeances as an emergency measure following the outbreak of war in the Pacific, which was met by a mixture of Lend Lease and diversions from the original British orders.  While the first Vengeance was delivered to the RAAF in May 1942, the aircraft did not arrive in substantial numbers until April 1943.  The RAAF's first Vengeance squadron, No. 12 Squadron flew its first operational mission against Selaru Island in the Dutch East Indies. Squadrons equipped with the Vengeance included Nos. 12, 21, 23, 24 and 25 Squadrons.  Of these, all but 25 Squadron served briefly in the New Guinea campaign. Australian Vengeances flew their last operational sorties on 8 March 1944, as they were considered less efficient than fighter bombers, having a short range and requiring a long runway, and were withdrawn to allow more effective fighter bombers to move into the forward area. The Vengeance squadrons were re-equipped with Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy bombers.  While the RAAF still had 58 Vengeances on order in March 1944, this order was cancelled and the aircraft were never delivered.  Small numbers of Vengeances remained in service with support and trials units until 1946.  (Wikipedia)

Captured German Aircraft

 (RAAF Photo)

DFS 230 Glider captured by the RAAF.  None survive in Australia.

 (Bundesarchiv Photo Bild 146-1975-117-26)

Fieseler Fi 103, V-1, FZG 76 flying bomb, being wheeled into position by its German launch crew.  One is on display in The Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

 (RAF Photo)

* Photos 1-5.  Henschel Hs 129B-1/R2, (Wk. Nr. 0385), 8.(Pz)1Sch.G2, captured at El Aouina, Tunisia, in May 1943.  This aircraft was brought to the USA where it was designated EB-105, then USA FE-103, later FE-4600 and then T2-4600, at Freeman Field, Indiana in 1945.  The aircraft was cut up for scrap in 1946, but the cockpit was purchased and is on display in Der Adler Luftwaffe Museum, Sidney.

 (AWM Photo)

Junkers Ju 52/3m captured intact by the Australian forces at Ain-El Gazala, Libya.  It was repainted with the Royal Australian Air Force’s roundels and nicknamed "Libyan Clipper", ca. 1943.  None are preserved in Australia. 

 (RAAF Photo)

Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2/Trop, (Wk. Nr. 10639), Black 6, captured by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in Libya, later coded CV-V, RAF RN228.

 (RAAF Photo)

Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2/Trop, (Wk. Nr. 10639), ex-Black 6, RAAF CV-V, RAF RN228.

 (RAF Photo)

Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2/Trop, (Wk. Nr. 10639), ex-RAAF CV-V, RAF RN228, now preserved in the RAF Museum, Hendon, London, UK

 (Mike Freer, Touchdown-aviation Photo)

Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2/Trop, (Wk. Nr. 10639), "Black 6" from III./JG77, RAF RN228, RAF Museum Hendon, England.

 (Australian War Memorial Photo,  P05491 001)

Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6/U4, (Wk. Nr. 163824), NF+FY.  No Air Ministry number was allocated to this aircraft.  This Bf 109 was built as a G-6 with standard canopy in autumn 1943 by Messerschmitt in Regensburg, in March 1944 it was converted into a G-6/AS with ERLA-canopy and, after battle damage, rebuilt as a G-6/U4 in late 1944.It is now on display in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, Australia.

 (UniversalNation Photo)


Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6/U4, (Wk. Nr. 163824), coded NF+FY.  This aircraft was produced at Regensburg in 1944, within the last batch of the G-6 series.  It was tested at Puchhof airfield and was damaged in the same year.  It is unknown what unit used this Messerschmitt.  In December 1944, 163824 was refurbished at “Ludwig Hansen & Co.” repair facilities, according to an inscription found on the aircraft, “M.C.Y. 31.12.1944”, receiving a new starboard wing, a new stern section and a changed engine cowl.   After the end of the war, 163824 was collected by the British at Eggebek airfield.  1946 it was located at an RAF Maintenance Unit, in Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom.  This aircraft 1946 it was crated and shipped to Australia, together with a Messerschmitt Me 163, as a gift to the Australian Government in recognition of Australia's contribution to the air war in Europe during the Second World War. The two aircraft were stored until 1954, when they were transferred to the Australian War Memorial.  163824 was sold several times, before being returned to the Australian War Memorial in 1987, with the provision that the Memorial “ensure the restoration and preservation of the aircraft...and that the aircraft will be maintained for the general public.”  Non standard fuselage cowls possibly indicate a change of engine type.  Except for missing armament the plane is complete in all respects.  163824 is the only Bf 109 wearing its original camouflage and markings, a 1944 day-fighter scheme, with variations resulting from service repairs and replacements.   It is currently on display in the Australian War Museum, Canberra, Australia.

 (Nick-D Photo)

Messserschmitt Me 163B Komet, (Wk. Nr. 191907), served with JG 400.  This aircraft was captured at Husum and shipped to the RAE at Farnborough.  It was designated RAF AM222 and was dispatched from Farnborough to No. 6 MU, Brize Norton, on 8 August 1945.  On 21 March 1946, it was recorded in the Census of No. 6 MU, and allocated to No. 76 MU (Wroughton) on 30 April 1946 for shipment to Australia.  It is shown here on display in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

 (Universal Nation Photo)

Messerschmitt Me 262A-2a Schwalbe, (Wk. Nr. 500200), 9K+XK, II./KG 51, "Black X", captured at Fassberg.  Designated RAF AM81, this aircraft is now on display in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, Australia.

Captured Japanese Warplanes flown by the TAIU-SWPA in Australia

 (RAAF Photo)

Mitsubishi A6M3 Model 32 Zero-Sen (Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter), codename “Zeke”.  This aircraft was rebuilt and test flown by the Technical Air Intelligence Unit (TAIU) at Eagle Farm, Brisbane, Australia, using parts of five different aircraft captured at Buna, New Guinea.  The completed aircraft was test flown in mock combat against a Supermarine Spitfire Mk. V.  It was concluded that the “Zeke” was superior to the Spitfire below 20,000 feet.  In late 1943 the “Zeke” was shipped to the United States aboard the escort carrier USS Copahee.  It went to Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, where it was flown and evaluated. 

Other Japanese aircraft acquired by the TAIU in Australia included two Nakajima Ki-43-1A (Army Type 1 Fighter Model 1A Hayabusa (Peregrine Falcon)), codename “Oscar”, and a Kawasaki Ki-61-II (Army Type 3 Fighter Model 1 Hien (Swallow)), codename “Tony”.  The “Oscars” were test flown in Australia in March and April 1944, and the “Tony” was shipped to NAS Anacostia later in 1944.

In June 1944 the US Navy personnel at the TAIU in Australia were transferred to NAS Anacostia and became the cadre for an expanded Technical Air Intelligence Center.  Collection of Japanese aircraft continued in 1943, 1944, and 1945, for analysis by the US Navy and the USAAF.  TAIUs operated in Southeast Asia, the Philippines, China, and, after the end of hostilities, in Japan.  Personnel of the Royal Australian Air Force participated, as they had earlier in the war.

After the conclusion of the Pacific War, most surviving Japanese aircraft were destroyed where they lay, usually by burning.  Those machines in more isolated areas were simply left to rot, often stripped of useful components by the indigenous population.   Some examples were shipped to Allied nations (primarily Australia, England and the United States) for technical study, but by the 1950s most of these had been sold for scrap.   With the rise of interest in aviation history during the 1970s, the surviving examples of Japanese Navy Air Force (JNAF) and Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) aircraft were often repaired, restored, and placed on public display.  A few additional examples were recovered from former war zones and, in a few cases, renovated to high standards.  There are doubtless many more still corroding in jungle areas or under the sea which may one day be recovered and restored.

“The Japanese Army and Navy forces as organizations were progressively demobilized and disbanded as soon as practical after their surrender in August 1945.  This short three-part article outlines the corresponding fate of their aircraft, a story beginning with the formation of Technical Air Intelligence Units (TAIUs) during 1943.”

“As in Europe, the Allies in the Pacific theatre were also keen to learn as much as possible about their opponents’ equipment. With Americans having the major involvement there, it was appropriate that they predominated in all such evaluation, particularly in respect of captured aircraft. It was agreed in this regard that the US Navy would lead a technical air intelligence joint organization which included USAAF, RAF and RN representatives.”

“Thereafter, the first TAIU was set up as a joint USAAF/USN/RAAF organization in Australia in early 1943.  This particular unit absorbed a small team from the Directorate of Intelligence, HQ Allied Forces, who were developing the Code Name system for Japanese aircraft they had started in 1942.  A second, known as the Allied TAIU for South East Asia (ATAIU-SEA), followed in Calcutta in late 1943 as a joint RAF/USAAF Allied unit.  Then, in mid 1944, the USN personnel from the TAIU in Australia were withdrawn to NAS Anacostia, near Washington DC, to become the TAIC (Technical Air Intelligence Centre), whose purpose was to centralise and co-ordinate work of test centres in the United States with work of TAIUs in the field.”

“The operation in Australia was reformed to function thereafter as TAIU for the South West Pacific Area (TAIU-SWPA) and eventually moved to the Philippines in early 1945.  Two other operations were also set up, TAIU for the Pacific Ocean Area (TAIU-POA) as a USN unit to trawl the various Pacific Islands for aircraft and TAIU for China (TAIU-CHINA) under control of Chiang Kai Shek’s Nationalists.”

“Aircraft test flown by the TAIUs before cessation of hostilities in August 1945:

TAIU (Australia) - approximately 5; TAIU-SWPA (Philippines) - over 20; ATAIU-SEA – None; TAIU- POA - None, but 14 sent to TAIC; TAIU-CHINA – 1; and, TAIC - at least 11.”

“When war ended the Allies felt it necessary to assess the state of technological development still remaining intact in Japan.  Although work of other TAIUs ended speedily, that of ATAIU-SEA and TAIU-SWPA continued to gather selected material for further evaluation; in order to do this the former moved to Singapore, with a flying unit at Tebrau in Malaya, and the latter to Japan itself.”

 (USAAF Photos)

Mitsubishi A6M5 Model 52 Zero-Sen (Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter), codename “Zeke”, painted in green cross surrender markings.

“There were two periods of so-called green cross flights by Japanese aircraft after capitulation.  The first lasted from about 19th August to 12th September 1945, covering flights of surrender delegations and flights of surrendering aircraft to assembly points.  The second period lasted from 15th September to 10th October 1945, covering general communications and taking surrender details to outlying forces. The longest survivors of these operations were probably those few that found their way into the Gremlin Task Force (see Part 3); the rest were destroyed.”

“By early 1946 ATAIU-SEA in Singapore had gathered some 64 Army and Navy aircraft, most in flyable condition, for shipment to the UK for further evaluation.  An unknown number of these aircraft were actually test flown at Tebrau. Lack of shipping space prevented this shipment and only four eventually arrived in England for Museum purposes.  In any event, funds for testing captured war material were by then severely restricted and most such work already stopped.”

“By the end of 1945 TAIU-SWPA teams had scoured the Japanese mainland and other territories to gather together in Yokohama Naval Base four examples of every Japanese aircraft type never previously tested by the Allies; one of each was to be for the USAAF, USN, RAF and Museum purposes.”

“In the event, those for the RAF have not been accounted for and of the remainder some 115 arrived in America during December 1945, 73 to Army bases and 42 to Naval bases.  Once again funds and interest for further testing were drying up rapidly and only six of the aircraft were actually flown there, four by the Army and two by the Navy.  Out of the 115 total, plus 11 TAIC aircraft already there, 46 are in US Museums, about two thirds of the remainder were scrapped and the rest are probably still corroding away somewhere out of sight.”[1]

[1] Data from an article by Peter Starkings, originally published in JAS Jottings, 1/3, 1995.


Mitsubishi A6M2-21 (Serial No. 5784), V-173, retrieved as a wreck after the war and later found to have been flown by Saburo Sakai at Lae, on display inside the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia.

 (Ken Hodge Photo) 

Mitsubishi A6M2 (Serial No. 840), wreckage of the forward fuselage, inboard wings, engine, and propellerp, on display at the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre, Winnville near Darwin, Northern Territory.  This Mitsubishi Zero was the first Japanese aircraft shot down over Australian territory in the Second World War.  The display photograph shows the aircraft condition after its crash landing and demonstrates the amount of souveniring which took place during the war. 

Another aircraft recovered by the Australian War Memorial Museum in the early 1970s now belongs to Fantasy of Flight in Polk City, Florida.  Along with several other Zeros, it was found near Rabaul in the South Pacific.  The markings suggest that it was in service after June 1943 and further investigation suggests that it has cockpit features conducive to the Nakashima built Model 52b.  If this is correct, it is most likely one of the 123 aircraft lost by the Japanese during the assault of Rabaul.  The aircraft was shipped in pieces to the attraction and it was eventually made up for display as a crashed aircraft.  Much of the aircraft is usable for patterns and some of its parts can be restored to one day make this a basis for a flyable aircraft.

 (USAAF Photo)

Nakajima Ki-43-I Hayabusa, possibly XJ005, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia in 1943.  After its capture at Hollandia in New Guinea, it was rebuilt by the Technical Air Intelligence Unit (TAIU) in Hangar 7 at Eagle Farm, Brisbane, Australia.

 (Australian War Museum Photo)

Tachikawa Ki-54 codenamed "Hickory" with green surrender crosses, taken over by the RAAF.  The fuselage of this aircraft is stored in the Treloar Technology Centre, Australia.