FAIREY GANNET A.S. MK 1 XA331
MSN F9223

Side Numbers
Fin Codes
422
B
301
Y
824
M
859
M

 

Artwork by John Best

 

 


01JUN55
Delivered to Anthorn RDU.
15AUG55
816 and 817 Squadrons reformed to operate Fairey Gannets.
28OCT55
HMAS Melbourne commissioned at Barrow-in-Furness, England. (Source: 1)
09-20JAN56
HMAS Melbourne conducted flying trials with Sea Venoms and Gannets in the Portsmouth area. (Source: 1)
11MAR56
HMAS Melbourne embarked aircraft at Glasgow and sailed for Australia. (Source: 1)
09MAY56
HMAS Melbourne arrived in Sydney. (Source: 1)
Side Number 301 Fin Code Y (HMAS Melbourne).
(Airborne photograph "Flypast" Parnell and Broughton p.250)
FEB58
Embarked on HMAS Melbourne with 817 Sqn until JUL58.
Side Number 422 Fin Code B (816 Sqn)
JUL60
Side Number 824 Fin Code M (HMAS Melbourne) to at least JUL62.
66-67
Side Number 859 Fin Code M (HMAS Melbourne).
12SEP66
HMAS Melbourne sailed from Sydney for Auckland, NZ. (Source: 1)
16SEP66
HMAS Melbourne berthed in Auckland. (Source: 1)
20SEP66
HMAS Melbourne sailed from Auckland for Wellington, NZ. (Source: 1)
22SEP66
HMAS Melbourne berthed in Wellington. (Source: 1)
Gannet XA331 was photographed on board.
26SEP66
HMAS Melbourne sailed from Wellington for Sydney. (Source: 1)
30SEP66
HMAS Melbourne berthed in Sydney. (Source: 1)
15AUG67
Surviving RAN Gannets were withdrawn from service.
07APR75
Letter from RANAS Nowra to Aircraft Maintenance and Repair Branch, Garden Island: "Gannet aircraft XA333, 514 and 517 have all been completely destroyed by fire. XA331 is still in existence, untouched by fire, but incomplete. This aircraft has been promised to the 'War birds' Museum at Newcastle, in exchange for the Sea Otter fuselage that they have loaned to the Museum at RANAS Nowra."
30OCT75
Internal RAN memo states that the Royal Newcastle Aero Club no longer has an interest in XA331 "in view of the inability of the RAN to guarantee transfer of the aircraft to the club, and free transport from NOWRA to MAITLAND". RAN proposes not to use the Gannet for fire-fighting training until the Aero Club confirms in writing that it has no further interest.
20SEP77
Aircraft was allotted to "Museum Aircraft Establishment".
21APR78
Internal RAN memo states: "This aircraft has been the subject of a recent approach by a commercial aviation museum in Queensland to the Museum Curator. It is currently in poor condition and stowed at the fire ground as you are probably well aware. It has no main wheels, nose wheel, canopy, propellors or engine without mentioning damage done in moving it with bulldozers." Questions are raised about "whose charge the aircraft is on". There is a hand-written footnote as per the above entry for 20SEP77.
13SEP78
Letter from RANAS Nowra to Dept of Administrative Services requesting that arrangements be made for the "on site" disposal of the aircraft at HMAS Albatross, Nowra. The letter refers to a request from the "Chewing Gum Field" museum at Tallebudgera and states that: "They wish to restore the aircraft to its original RAN configuration and place it on public display."
OCT79
Noted on dump at RANAS Nowra carrying Side Number 859 and Fin Code M.
25APR92
Transferred to QAM by Gary Volkers in exchange for Victa Airtourer VH-CPE.
08MAY92
Arrived at Caloundra on two semi-trailers.

 

The Final Voyage of HMAS Melbourne

 

SOURCES
1
Gillett, Ross, H.M.A.S. Melbourne 25 Years, Nautical Press, Sydney 1980.

 

Compiled by Ron Cuskelly

 

To view this page as it was designed please click HERE

 



 


ISSUE
DATE
REMARKS
8
03NOV19
Added an image of HMAS Melbourne on her delivery voyage to Australia in 1956.
7
11SEP19
Added two images of XA331 on board HMAS Melbourne thanks to Maurice Austin. Image 1 Image 2
Also updated the movements of HMAS Melbourne from Source 1.
6
01JUN17
Added an image of a recent signing of Gannet prints at QAM.
5
13SEP16
Added artwork by QAM member John Best.
4
19JUN03
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