A89-311 La Dolce Vita

Type: L-426 Neptune P2V-5/P-2E
MSN: 426-5112
Previous Identities: 133650


06APR51 Allotted serial number A89-225.
15AUG52 Renumbered A89-311.
30JAN53 Received 11SQN Pearce ex USA.
10OCT53 A89-311 (Flt Lt G.R. Cullen) departed Pearce for Cocos Island with a spare tyre for Canberra A84-202 (Wg Cdr Cuming) which had blown a tyre while participating in the London to Christchurch Air Race. (Source: 1)
11OCT53 A89-311 returned to Pearce from Cocos Island. (Source: 1)
Mark 2 Conversion
15DEC54 Received at 2AD ex 11SQN for Mk 2 conversion. (Source: 2)
MAR55 2AD advised 11SQN that the target date for delivery of the first MAD converted aircraft (A89-311) was 22APR55. (Source: 1)
05MAY55 Received at 11SQN ex 2AD. (Source: 2)
26MAY55 "Verbal advice received from W/Cdr Barrett at Department of Air that this aircraft has been selected for operations in Malaya." Aircraft selected were A89-303, 309, 310, 311 and 312. There is no further mention of Malaya so evidently these plans were dropped. (Source: 2)
12JAN57 Vibration in starboard engine necessitated an immediate landing at Richmond.
26MAY58 As a result of a heavy landing at Nowra, the nosewheel collapsed and the prop tips were damaged.
23JUN58 Allotted to 2AD for repair.
21AUG59 Allotted 11SQN ex 2AD.
Mark 4 Conversion
25SEP59 Departed for USA for Jet Pod Mod.
31DEC59 Returned from the USA.
15FEB60 Despatched to CAC, Avalon for Mod 208.
18MAR60 Despatched to 11SQN ex CAC.
16JUN61 Received at CAC, Avalon for Mod 201.
07JUL61 Received at 11SQN ex CAC.
16FEB62 Received at 2AD for skin repair.
02MAR62 Despatched to 11SQN ex 2AD.
JAN65 Noted carrying the name Flt/Lt Eric Peck AFC Crew C under the cockpit on the left side. Below this was the name La Dolce Vita (a movie released in 1960) in light blue above a pair of orange lips. Beneath this in red was "Pat Mackie's Crew" which is believed to be a reference to an infamous union leader involved in a 1964 dispute at the Mount Isa mines. By this time the aircraft was painted light grey. (Source: John Bennett)
10MAR67 Three aircraft departed Richmond for Darwin (overnight) and NAS Sangley Point, Philippines for SEATO Exercise SIYASAT. The aircraft were A89-309, 311 and 312. The aircraft arrived at Sangley Point on 11MAR67 with A89-309 making an emergency landing with main hydraulic system failure.
16MAR67 A89-311 and A89-312 participated with other nation's aircraft in a flypast for President Marcos.
17MAR67 A89-309, 311 and 312 departed Sangley Point for Darwin (overnight) returning to Richmond on 18MAR67.
26SEP67 A89-311 searched for the wreckage of Mirage III A3-52 which crashed at Gloucester, NSW on 25SEP67. The pilot ejected and was rescued on 25SEP67. This is 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 at Hawker de Havilland, Bankstown for storage pending a decision on disposal.
29MAY69 By this date the aircraft was 80% converted to components.
OCT69 Tenders closed for removal ex Hawker de Havilland, Bankstown. The aircraft was subsequently 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
9 02NOV21
Added a reference to operations in Malaya at 26MAY55. Added details of Mk 2 conversion.
8 10JUN19
Added a reference to Exercise Siysat in MAR67.
7 09JUN19
Added a reference at 26SEP67.
6 08JUN19
Added two images thanks to Eric Allen. Image 1 Image 2
5 12MAR16
Added a reference to the aircraft assisting in the London to Christchurch Air Race in OCT53.
4 20NOV15
Added a reference to the Malayan Emergency 1950-60. Also added a reference to the Mk 2 conversion.
3 15NOV15
Added further details of the name "La Dolce Vita" thanks to John Bennett.
2 05NOV15
Added return date from the Jet Pod Mod.
1 24NOV02
Original issue.

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