A27 Vultee Vengeance
The Vultee V72 dive-bomber was produced at a time when the German Air Force was having marked success with the Junkers Ju-87, or Stuka, dive-bomber. The American aircraft was first flown in July 1941, and large quantities were immediately ordered, as the Vengeance, for the RAF. When the US entered the war, a number of these aircraft were re-possessed and, in addition, Australia placed an order for 400. Export versions included Vengeance Mks I, II, and III (USAAF equivalent A-3l) and Mk IV (USAAF equivalent A-35).
In all, 342 Vengeance Mks I, II and IV operated with the RAAF under the following serials: A27-1 to A27-99, A27-200 to A27-321, A27-400 to A27-422, A27-500 to A27-549, A27-560 to A27-566 and A27-600 to A27-640. Although the first Vengeance A27-1 was received on 30 May 1942, substantial numbers did not arrive until April 1943, by which time the crisis for which they had been ordered, had passed.
RAAF Vengeances operated with Nos 12, 21, 23, 24 and 25 Squadrons and, after a somewhat indifferent career, the aircraft were withdrawn from operations following a bombing raid by 36 Vengeances on 8 March 1944 against Rempi village. At the time, 58 Vengeances were still to be delivered and, consequently, this balance from the original order was cancelled. Vengeances also operated with Nos 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 Communication Units, while others were used in the target-towing role and for experiments at No 1 Air Performance Unit.
Vengeance flying ceased in 1946, and all aircraft were disposed of by 1951.
TECHNICAL DATA: Vultee Vengeance Mk IV (A-35B)
Two-seat dive-bomber. All metal stressed-skin construction.
One 1,700 hp Wright Double Row Cyclone radial.
Span 14.63 (48 ft); length 12.11 m (40 ft); height 4.63 (15 ft 4 in).
Empty 4672 kg (10,300 lb); loaded 7439 kg (16,400 lb).
Max speed 449 km/h (242 kt); Cruising speed 370 km/h (200kt); Service ceiling 22,300 ft (6796 m); Range 965 km (521 nm).