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.
Mark 2 Conversion
06APR56 Issued 2AD ex 11SQN.
10FEB58 Issued 11SQN ex 2AD. The status card suggests that the aircraft was at 2AD for nearly two years!
25FEB58 Allotted for use for duration of Royal Tour.
  Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother visited in 1958 to attend the British Empire Service League Conference in Canberra. She travelled to the Australian Capital Territory, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmania, Adelaide and Perth, as well as many provincial and country areas during the time of her visit 14 February 7 March. (Source: Wikipedia)
17MAR58 Royal Tour duties appear to have been for this one day only.
Mark 4 Conversion
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.
18MAY66 Four Neptunes departed Richmond for NAS Sangley Point in the Philippines via Townsville, Port Moresby and Guam for SEATO Exercise SEA IMP. The aircraft were A89-304, 306, 307 and 309.
30MAY66 The four aircraft flew from Sangley Point to Butterworth to continue Exercise SEA IMP.
07JUN66 A89-306, 307 and 309 departed Butterworth for overnight stops at Cocos Island and Pearce returning to Richmond on 09JUN66. A89-304 departed for Bangkok for the SEA IMP debrief departing for Butterworth on 09JUN66 returning to Richmond via Cocos Island and Pearce on 12JUN66.
25SEP67 A89-307 and 309 participated in the search for the pilot of Mirage III A3-52 which crashed at Gloucester, NSW. The pilot ejected and was rescued with only minor injuries. These are amongst the last recorded Neptune operation in the 11SQN ORB but evidently not all flights were recorded as the Squadron was preoccupied with the introduction of the P-3B Orion.
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.



NAA, RAAF Unit History sheets (Form A50) [Operations Record Book - Forms A50 and A51] Number 11 Squadron Nov 50 - Jun 67, Series number A9186.
RAAF Form E/E.88 Record Card.

Issue Date Remarks
15 21SEP22
Added an image thanks to Eric Allen.
14 09AUG22
Added three images thanks to Eric Allen.
Image 1 Image 2 Image 3
13 02NOV21
Added references from 06APR56 to 17MAR58.
12 11NOV20
Added an image thanks to Eric Allen.
11 10JUN19
Added a reference to Exercise Sea Imp in MAY-JUN66.
10 09JUN19
Added a reference at 25SEP67.
9 08JUN19
Added three images thanks to Eric Allen.
Image 1
Image 2 Image 3
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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