LOCKHEED SP-2H NEPTUNE A89-277
MSN 726-7277

 

 


    Built as type L-726 / P2V-7 with USN Bureau Number 149077.
    Supplied to RAAF Order Number OI11903 at a cost of $925,436.00. (Source: 1)
28APR62
  A89-277 (Flt Lt W.M. Fewster) arrived at RAAF Townsville on delivery from the United States after a nine day delay at Barbers Point, Hawaii with engine trouble. (Source: 1 & 2)
Delivered in Seaplane Grey semi-gloss (FS26081) with white upper fuselage. Classified by the RAAF as a Mark 4 from the time of delivery.
Historical Postscript: On 25DEC74 Sqn Ldr W.M. Fewster was the commander of RAAF C-130E Hercules A97-168 which was the first aircraft to arrive in Darwin after Cyclone Tracy. The aircraft arrived at 2220 with Dr Rex Patterson (Minister for the NT) and Major-General Stretton, Director General National Disasters Organisation. (Source: 5)
30JUL62   A89-277 (Flg Off J.W. Ankers) flew to Richmond for opposed transit exercises with a submarine off Sydney. (Source: 2)
18SEP62
  All P2V-7 were redesignated SP-2H under the U.S. Tri-Service Designation Changes which came into effect on this date. This redesignation was also adopted by the RAAF.
10OCT62   Three crews under Sqn Ldr M.J. McKay AFC flew in the Fincastle Bombing Competition. Other crews led by Flt Lt G.A. Banfield and Flt Lt J.P.H. Trinder. All crews flew A89-277. (Source: 2)
From 1961 to 1969, the competition was flown in home waters with the results being forwarded to London for adjudication. The 1962 trophy was won by the RCAF flying an Argus. (Source: Wikipedia)
30OCT62   A89-277 (Sqn Ldr L.R. Anderson) flew on a MAREX to Amberley, carried out several GCAs and a second MAREX returning to Townsville. (Source: 2)
31OCT62   A89-277 (Flg Off J.W. Ankers) flew on a MAREX to Amberley, carried out several GCAs and a second MAREX returning to Townsville. (Source: 2)
1963
   
24APR63
  A89-277 (Flt Lt G.A. Banfield) along with A89-271, 274, 276 & 278) flew to Darwin and Sangley Point, Philippines for Operation "Sea Serpent". This was the first overseas operation for the Squadron since re-equipping with Neptunes. (Source: 2)
28APR63
  The five crews each made a familiarisation flight from Sangley Point. (Source: 2)
29APR63
  No 10 Sqn commenced round-the-clock flying on Operation "Sea Serpent". Each crew had completed one sortie by the end of April. (Source: 2)
Operation "Sea Serpent" was a SEATO anti-submarine warfare exercise which also involved Martin P5M Marlins from VP-40 USN and Sunderlands of the RNZAF. Participating vessels included the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV10).
10MAY63
  The five aircraft departed Sangley Point for Darwin. (Source: 2)
11MAY63
  The five aircraft returned to Townsville with a formation flypast over the city before landing. (Source: 2)
24JUN63
  A89-277 flew on a SUBEX at Richmond with HMS Tabard off Sydney along with A89-271, 273, 274 & 278. Exercise concluded on 25JUN63. (Source: 2)
26JUN63
  A89-277 (Flg Off A.P.E. Tremain) flew a MAREX Richmond to Townsville. (Source: 2)
30JUL63
  A89-277 along with A89-273, 275, & 278 flew a MAREX to Richmond to commence a SUBEX with HMS Tabard. (Source: 2)
02AUG63
  A89-277 returned to Townsville direct from Richmond (along with A89-276 & 278). (Source: 2)
07AUG63
  A89-277 (Flt Lt T.A. Neill) flew to Richmond for lectures to Senior Weapons Officers Cource on SP-2H armament systems. (Source: 2)
08AUG63
  A89-277 returned to Townsville. (Source: 2)
14AUG63
  A89-277 (Flt Lr W.M. Fewster) flew to Richmond to attend a conference at Headquarters Operational Command on SP-2H armament trials. (Source: 2)
16AUG63
  A89-277 returned to Townsville. (Source: 2)
30AUG63
  A89-277 (Flt Lt W.M. Fewster) flew Townsville-Mount Isa to relieve Flt Lt T.A. Neill who was flying the 10 Sqn C-47 A65-121. Flt Lt Neill flew A89-277 back to Townsville. (Source: 2)
10SEP63
  A89-277 (Flt Lt Gunton) operated a local familiarisation flight (3:30) from Townsville. (Source: 8)
15SEP63
  A89-277 (Flg Off R.D. Stewart) led three U.S. Navy SP-2H to Richmond. The aircraft were from VP-4 Naha, Okinawa led by Commander Bennett. (Source: 2)
24SEP63
  A89-277 (Flt Lt Bartels) operated a low level bombing sortie (1:00) against a towed target in the local Townsville area. (Source: 8)
08OCT63
  A89-277 (Flt Lt W.M. Fewster) flew Townsville-Canberra. (Source: 2)
09OCT63
  A89-277 returned to Townsville. (Source: 2)
22OCT63
  A89-277 (Flt Lt G.A. Banfield) participated in the search for five Navy officers missing in a whaler off the Whitsunday Islands. Participation by 10 Sqn commenced on 20OCT63. A89-277 flew 12.50 hours on this day. (Source: 2)
The whaler had sailed from HMAS Sydney on 17OCT63 with five young officers on a training cruise in the Whitsunday area. The whaler was found swamped and dismasted on 21OCT63 with the bodies of two of the crew still aboard. The bodies of the other three crew were not recovered. (Source: Navy News, Vol. 6 No. 22, November 1, 1963)
23OCT63
  A89-277 (Flg Off L.W. Morris) flew 9.40 hours on the search. (Source: 2)
On 27OCT63, Flg Off Morris, this time in A89-273, flew to a point off Cairns to rendezvous with HMAS Sydney to drop a wreath during the burial at sea of one of the officers lost in the whaler tragedy. (Source: 2)
01NOV63
  A89-277 was flown Townsville-Avalon by Flg Off L.W. Morris and "handed over to GAF for the fitment of fire extinguishers". The crew returned to Townsville by civil. (Source: 2)
The aircraft record card states that this work (Mod 242) was performed by CAC. (Source: 1)
It seems likely that A89-277 was the first aircraft to receive this mod and that the work might have been done by GAF with subsequent aircraft modified by CAC.
1964
   
26JAN64
Sqn Ldr Anderson flew Dakota A65-121 Townsville-Bundaberg-Nowra-Canberra-(overnight)-Laverton with ground staff to inspect A89-277 at Avalon prior to delivery after the fire extinguisher mod. (Source: 2)
30JAN64
Flt Lt Banfield in A89-273 completed a Navex Townsville-Avalon to deliver Flg Off Morris and crew to take delivery of A89-277 at Avalon. (Source: 2)
31JAN64
A89-277 (Flg Off Morris) flew Avalon-Townsville direct. (Source: 2)
24FEB64
A89-277 (Flg Off Tremain) flew Townsville-Laverton direct with ground staff and parts to repair A89-281 which was u/s at Laverton. (Source: 2)
25FEB64
A89-277 (Flg Off Tremain) flew Laverton-Richmond-Townsville. (Source: 2)
20MAR64
A89-277 (Flt Lt Banfield) operated a training flight (1:55) from Townsville. (Source: 8)
09JUN64
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr Ashworth & Flt Lt Eddleston) operated a TACEX and dinghy search. (Source: 10)
25JUN64
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr Anderson) along with A89-272, 278 & 281 departed Townsville for Nadi, Fiji en route Barbers Point, Hawaii for annual exercises. (Source: 2)
19JUL64
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr Anderson) along with A89-272 flew Barbers Point-Canton Is-Nadi-Townsville on completion of ORE exercises for the carrier USS Kearsage. Arrived Townsville on 22JUL64. (Source: 2)
09AUG64
A89-277 along with A89-271, 276 & 280 flew Townsville-Richmond for a SUBEX with HMS Taciturn. All aircraft returned to Townsville on 13AUG64. (Source: 2)
24AUG64
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr Anderson) along with A89-270, 271 & 275 flew Townsville-Richmond direct for a SUBEX with HMS Taciturn. Subsequently three crews attended Joint Unit Course No. 53 at Richmond. (Source: 2)
04SEP64
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr Anderson) along with A89-270 & 275 returned to Townsville. (Source: 2)
10SEP64
A89-277 (Flt Lt Gunton & Flt Lt Eddleston) operated a night conversion. Later the same day Flt Lt Eddleston operated his first night solo with Flg Off Maggs. (Source: 10)
02OCT64
A89-274 returned to Townsville after an E service at Richmond. A89-274 is the first aircraft to require an E service and the first to be repainted in light grey and white. (Source: 2)
20OCT64
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr Ashworth & Flt Lt Eddleston) operated a doppler run. (Source: 10)
21OCT64
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr Ashworth & Flt Lt Eddleston) flew Townsville-Port Moresby. (Source: 2 & 10)
22OCT64
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr Ashworth & Flt Lt Eddleston) flew Port Moresby to Townsville. (Source: 2 & 10)
10NOV64
A89-277 (Flg Off Tayles & Flt Lt Eddleston) flew an air test. (Source: 10)
22NOV64
A89-277 (Flt Lt Banfield) along with A89-270, 274, 276, 278 & 281 flew Townsville-Richmond for a SUBEX with HMS Taciturn. A total of 23 SUBEX sorties were flown. (Source: 2)
23NOV64
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr Ashworth & Flt Lt Eddleston) operated a SUBEX. (Source: 10)
27NOV64
A89-277 (Flt Lt Gunton) flew Richmond-Townsville. (Source: 2)
29NOV64
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr Anderson) flew Townsville-Laverton with squadron officers for briefings at Dept of Air prior to overseas postings. (Source: 2)
02DEC64
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr Anderson) flew Laverton-Townsville. (Source: 2)
24DEC64
A89-277 (Flt Lt Banfield) operated a Christmas supply drop to Willis Island (3:30). (Source: 8)
1965
   
05JAN65
A89-277 (Wg Cdr Michael & Flt Lt Eddleston) flew an operation Townsville-Darwin along with A89-276. Both aircraft returned on 07JAN65. (Source: 2 & 10)
A89-277 flight time 9:50. (Source: 8 & 10)
07JAN65
A89-277 (Wg Cdr Michael & Flt Lt Eddleston) flew an operation Darwin-Townsville (8:55). (Source: 8 & 10)
14JAN65
A89-277 (Flt Lt Gunton & Flt Lt Eddleston) flew an air test (2:05). (Source: 10)
17JAN65
A89-277 (Flt Lt Gunton) along with A89-280 flew Townsville-Richmond for a SUBEX with HMS Taciturn. (Source: 2)
18JAN65
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr Ashworth & Flt Lt Eddleston) flew a SUBEX (6:10) (Source: 10)
29JAN65
A89-277 (Flt Lt Tayles) along with A89-280 flew Richmond-Townsville at completion of No 55 Joint Unit Course. (Source: 2)
05APR65
A89-277 (Wg Cdr Michael) flew an air test Doppler run (2:35). (Source: 8)
25MAY65
A89-277 (Flt Lt Tayles) flew an air test of Doppler and MAD (2:30). (Source: 8)
29MAY65
A89-277 (Flt Lt Gunton) flew Townsville-Lae for commencement of Operation "Trimdon" at Sangley Point. (Source: 2)
Operation "Trimdon" was the transportation of the 1st Battalion Royal Australian Regiment to Vung Tau, South Vietnam on HMAS Sydney, the aircraft carrier which had been converted to a fast troopship. This was the first of 25 voyages to Vietnam by HMAS Sydney which came to be known as "The Vung Tau Ferry". Her last Vietnam voyage was in 1972.
03JUN65
A89-277 (Flt Lt Gunton) flew Lae-Sangley Point for Operation "Trimdon". (Source: 2)
06JUN65
A89-277 (Wg Cdr Michael) flew Operation "Trimdon" Serial 10 (12:20). (Source: 8)
11JUN65
A89-277 (Flt Lt Banfield) with A89-274 flew Sangley Point-Momote-Port Moresby-Townsville at the completion of Operation "Trimdon". (Source: 2)
25JUN65
A89-277 (Flt Lt Eddleston & Flg Off Maggs) flew a continuation sortie (2:00). (Source: 10)
30JUN65
A89-277 (Flt Lt Tayles) flew rocketry, bombing and F.95 camera trials (1:35). (Source: 8)
13JUL65
A89-277 (Flt Lt Tayles) flew Townsville-Richmond for the flying phase of No 57 JUC. (Source: 2)
12AUG65
A89-277 (Flt Lt Smith) flew bombing practice for the Fincastle Trophy (0:40). (Source: 8)
12AUG65
A89-277 (Flt Lt Porter) flew bombing practice for the Fincastle Trophy (0:45). (Source: 8)
12AUG65
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr Ashworth & Flt Lt Eddleston) flew a skid bombing sortie (0:50). (Source: 10)
12AUG65
A89-277 (Flt Lt Eddleston & Sqn Ldr Ashworth) flew a skid bombing sortie (0:45). (Source: 10)
13AUG65
A89-277 (Flt Lt Banfield) provided SAR at Mornington Island for Mirage and Sabre. (Source: 2)
17AUG65
A89-277 (Flt Lt Banfield) flew SAR for a Victa Airtourer missing between Cairns and Townsville. (Source: 2)
The aircraft was Victa 115 VH-MUB which went missing on a flight from Cairns to Townsville on 16AUG65, the flight having originated in Madang, PNG. The aircraft was presumed to have crashed into the sea as no trace of the pilot or the aircraft was ever found. (Source: 4)
09SEP65
A89-277 (Flt Lt Porter) flew Townsville-Richmond for E Service. (Source: 2)
It is likely that A89-277 was repainted light grey during this service. The first SP-2H to be repainted in light grey was A89-274 which was also the first SP-2H to fall due for an E service. A89-274 was flown to 2AD at Richmond for its E service in MAY64.
1966
   
13JAN66
A89-277 (Flt Lt Maggs) flew Richmond-Townsville after an engine change. (Source: 2)
Note: It is speculated that A89-277 completed its E service on 16DEC65 but may have required an engine change after its acceptance flight. Certainly the aircraft does not appear in the 10SQN ORB between 16DEC65 and 13JAN66 which suggests that it was at 2AD for this entire period.
21MAR66
A89-277 (Flt Lt Eddleston & Plt Off McGregor) flew Townsville-Amberley to provide SAR standby for the Queen Mother's flight Nadi-Adelaide. The aircraft returned to Townsville the next day. (Source: 2 & 10)
06APR66
A89-277 (Flt Lt Eddleston & Plt Off McGregor) flew Townsville-Amberley to provide SAR standby for the Queen Mother's flight. The aircraft returned to Townsville the next day. (Source: 2 & 10)
14APR66
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr Ashworth) flew Townsville-Laverton to represent the squadron at the graduation parade of No 1 Air Electronic Officer Course. The aircraft remained for the working weekend of No 21 City of Melbourne Squadron returning to Townsville on 18APR66. (Source: 2)
05MAY66
A89-277 (Flt Lt Winn) along with A89-271 & 273 participated in the search for the missing yacht Packi in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Search concluded on 07MAY66. (Source: 2)
22MAY66
A89-277 (Flt Lt Eddleston & Plt Off McGregor) flew Townsville-Richmond along with A89-272 & 281 for a SUBEX with HMS Taciturn. (Source: 2 & 10)
25MAY66
A89-277 (Flt Lt Eddleston & Plt Off McGregor) flew a SUBEX (5:30). (Source: 10)
17JUN66
A89-277 (Flt Lt D.H. Porter) flew Townsville-Williamtown-Richmond. (Source: 2)
04JUL66
A89-277 (Flg Off P. Smith) along with A89-281 participated in the flying phase of No 62 JUC concluding on 10JUL66. (Source: 2)
13JUL66
A89-277 (Flt Lt Gunton) flew an RHS conversion (2:00). (Source: 8)
11AUG66
A89-277 (Flg Off Smith) flew an air test (2:05). (Source: 8)
14AUG66
A89-277 (Flg Off P.A. Smith) along with A89-271, 273, 275, 278 & 281 flew Townsville-Richmond for a SUBEX from 15-16AUG66. (Source: 2)
16AUG66
A89-277 (Flt Lt Eddleston & Plt Off McGregor) flew night SUBEX #13 (6:05). (Source: 8 & 10)
24AUG66
A89-277 (Flt Lt D.H. Porter) made a periodic supply drop to personnel on Willis Island. (Source: 2)
14SEP66
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr P.K. Brown) flew Townsville-Richmond where Sqn Ldr Brown joined the C.O. as a course member on No 23 JTC. (Source: 2)
14SEP66
A89-277 (Flt Lt D.H. Porter) flew Richmond-Nowra-Richmond-Laverton-Townsville arriving on 15SEP66. (Source: 2)
23SEP66
A89-277 (Flt Lt Eddleston & Plt Off McGregor) flew a continuation sortie (2:10). (Source: 10)
06NOV66
A89-277 (Flt Lt P.A. Smith) along with A89-271 flew Townsville-Richmond to participate in the flying phase of No 64 JUC. (Source: 2)
15DEC66
A89-277 (Flt Lt Eddleston & Flt Lt Perske) flew UHF/IFF trials (2:20). (Source: 10)
1967
   
08MAR67
A89-277 (Flt Lt Eddleston & Plt Off Crowe) flew a low level bombing sortie (0:50). (Source: 10)
27MAR67
A89-277 (Flt Lt Eddleston & Plt Off Crowe) flew an air test formation (2:05). (Source: 10)
28MAR67
A89-277 (Flt Lt Eddleston & Plt Off Crowe) along with A89-276, 278 & 281 flew Townsville-Nadi (9:35) to participate in Exercise "Hawaiian Grampus". (Source: 2 & 10)
30MAR67
A89-277 (Flt Lt Eddleston & Plt Off Crowe) along with A89-276, 278 & 281 flew Nadi-Canton Island (6:00) to participate in Exercise "Hawaiian Grampus". (Source: 2 & 10)
30MAR67
A89-277 (Flt Lt Eddleston & Plt Off Crowe) along with A89-276, 278 & 281 flew Canton Island-Barbers Point, Hawaii (9:00) to participate in Exercise "Hawaiian Grampus". (Source: 2 & 10)
04APR67
A89-277 (Flt Lt Eddleston & Plt Off Crowe) flew a SUBEX ex Barbers Point (4:15). (Source: 10)
11APR67
A89-277 (Flt Lt Eddleston & Plt Off Crowe) flew Barbers Point-Canton Island (9:15). (Source: 10)
12APR67
A89-277 (Flt Lt Eddleston & Plt Off Crowe) flew Canton Island-Nadi (5:25). (Source: 10)
14APR67
A89-277 (Flt Lt Eddleston & Plt Off Crowe) flew Nadi-Townsville (9:10). (Source: 10)
24MAY67
A89-277 along with A89-270, 273 & 275 flew Townsville-Richmond for a SUBEX. (Source: 2)
24MAY67
A89-277 (Flt Lt Eddleston & Flg Off James) flew Townsville-Richmond (5:20). (Source: 10)
26MAY67
A89-277 (Flt Lt Eddleston & Flg Off James) flew an opposed transit (8:45). (Source: 10)
31MAY67
A89-277 (Lt Cdr J. Mueller, USN exchange) along with A89-273 flew Richmond-Townsville. (Source: 2)
01JUN67
A89-277 along with A89-270 & 280 flew Townsville-Richmond with replacement crews for SUBEX. All three aircraft returned to Townsville on 09JUN67. (Source: 2)
07JUN67
A89-277 (Flt Lt Eddleston & Flg Off James) flew an opposed transit (8:10). (Source: 10)
15JUN67
A89-277 (Plt Off John "Bunter" Foran) continuation instrument flying (2hr 55min day). (Source: 9)
18JUL67
A89-277 along with A89-273 operated three SAR sorties searching for a lost Bush Pilots Airways Cessna near Cairns. The search concluded on 20JUL67. (Source: 2)
The aircraft was Cessna 172 VH-BPG which crashed near Mount Molloy with the loss of the pilot and two passengers. (Source: 3)
19JUL67
A89-277 (Flt Lt Eddleston & Flg Off James) flew a SAR sortie for Cessna 172 VH-BPG (6:40). (Source: 10)
19SEP67
A89-277 (Flt Lt K. Keir, RCAF exchange) flew a supply drop to Willis Island. (Source: 2)
20SEP67
A89-277 (Flt Lt Graeme Smith) conversion training (1hr 30min). (Source: 9)
01OCT67
A89-277 (Flt Lt K. Keir, RCAF exchange) along with A89-271 flew a NAVEX Townsville-Richmond-Edinburgh-Pearce-Townsville returning on 06OCT67. (Source: 2)
30OCT67
A89-277 (Wg Cdr K.R. Rodd - CO 10Sqn) along with A89-278 flew Townsville-Richmond to participate in the flying phase of No 67 JUC. (Source: 2)
02NOV67
A89-277 (Lt Cmdr John Mueller, USN) continuation night flying (1hr 30min night). (Source: 9)
22NOV67
A89-277 (Flg Off R. Ruming) along with A89-281 flew Townsville-Richmond for trials with HMAS Hobart. Both aircraft returned to Townsville on 24NOV67. (Source: 2)
16DEC67
A89-277 (Flt Lt G.A. Perske) along with A89-273 conducted a SAR for the trimaran Cloud. The vessel was located on Osprey Reef by Wg Cdr Rodd (CO) flying A89-273. (Source: 2)
1968
   
22JAN68   A89-277 (Wg Cdr K.R. Rodd) along with A89-281 flew Townsville-Port Moresby to participate in Exercise "Huon Sprat" returning to Townsville on 26JAN68. (Source: 2)
01APR68   A89-277 (Capt K. Keir - RCAF) flew Townsville-Alice Springs to support A89-272 which had gone u/s. A89-277 returned to Townsville on 02APR68. (Source: 2)
01MAY68   A89-277 (Flg Off R.H. Ruming) along with A89-273, 274 & 275 flew Townsville-Nadi-Pago Pago-Barbers Point to participate in ORE "Hawaiian Tuna". The aircraft returned to Townsville on 22MAY68 with the exception of A89-275 which had gone u/s at Barbers Point. (Source: 2)
03JUN68   A89-277 (Flt Lt J.R. Morriss) flew Townsville-Richmond for "minor modifications". (Source: 2)
The Aircraft Record Card refers to Mod. 321 (Source: 1)
02JUL68
  Received at 10SQN ex 2AD. (Source: 1)
13JUL68   A89-277 (Lt Cdr J.R. Mueller, USN) participated with other squadron aircraft in a surveillance of the Russian vessel Van Gogh in the Gulf of Carpentaria. The operation concluded on 18JUL68. (Source: 2)
   

The historical context of the Van Gogh incident is well summarised in this extract from the website of the Craig Mostyn Group. (Source: 6)

Matters came to a head when, to hysterical outbursts in the media, the 6,500-ton Russian vessel Van Gogh, commanded by Commodore Alexei Solyanik, entered the Gulf in mid-1968. The vessel was variously described as a “mother ship”, a “factory ship” and a “giant” reportedly equipped with a huge vacuum-cleaner device that sucked prawns up from the ocean and able to catch and process 70 tonnes in 24 hours. Australian fishermen reacted by calling for a ban on all foreign vessels in the Gulf. They warned of open slather in the area if ships such as this were allowed to enter.

“You’re lucky our defence policy is a bit vague at the moment!”

Even though the vacuum cleaner story turned out to be false, reports of the Soviet ship fishing within the 12-mile territorial limit and intimidating some of the 65 Australian prawning vessels working the Gulf seemed to be pointing to a full-scale international incident. In July RL (Robert Long Mostyn) sent a telegram to Prime Minister John Gorton saying the Van Gogh had steamed towards Australian boats blowing its siren to indicate that they should keep clear. In no uncertain terms the telegram called on the Prime Minister to step up diplomatic pressure on those powers poaching Australia’s resources:

"Without apologies, Mr Prime Minister, we expect you to take immediate action unless our government is content to be classified completely gutless."

Gorton at once asked the Soviet Ambassador, Mr N.Y. Takanov, for an explanation. At the same time RAN and RAAF patrols were stepped up in the Gulf to prevent a full-scale fish war and police were sent to Karumba to investigate reports that fishermen were taking matters into their own hands. This followed claims by Commodore Solyanik that shots had been fired at the Van Gogh from an unidentified Australian boat. By September the Van Gogh incident had blown over. The Russian vessel steamed mysteriously away from Australian waters amid speculation that she had come for more than just prawns. One claim was that she was a spy ship packed with sophisticated electronic surveillance gear with which to monitor radio and radar signals. Later it emerged that she had been carrying out a scientific study of the seabed. Whatever the vessel’s intentions, the incident highlighted the strong local feelings not only about access to the Gulf’s prawns but also about the sustainability of the fishery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
20SEP68   A89-277 (Lt Cdr J.R. Mueller, USN) along with A89-271, 273, 276 & 280 flew a CASEX off Cairns with HMAS Trump. (Source: 2)
21SEP68   A89-277 (Lt Cdr J.R. Mueller, USN) flew a CASEX off Cairns with HMAS Trump. (Source: 2)
21SEP68   A89-277 (Flg Off J.M. Foran) flew a CASEX off Cairns with HMAS Trump. (Source: 2)
03OCT68   A89-277 along with other squadron aircraft was flown by various crews on Exercise "Coral Sands" concluding on 11OCT68. (Source: 2)
Exercise "Coral Sands" was at the time the largest Australian-directed maritime and amphibious exercise held in Australian waters. Twenty-five RAN units took part in "Coral Sands" along with twenty-nine warships of the Royal Navy, Royal New Zealand Navy and United States Navy. (Source: 7)
10OCT68   A89-277 (Flt Lt Graham "Hambone" Perske) During Exercise "Coral Sands" flew ASW offensive operations in support of HMS Hermes battlegroup transitting the Coral Sea north-east of Cairns (11 hr 35 min). (Source: 9)
12NOV68   A89-277 along with A89-276 was used in practice and elimination for the 1968 Fincastle Trophy. The trophy sorties were flown in A89-276 on 14NOV68. (Source: 2)
From 1961 to 1969, the competition was flown in home waters with the results being forwarded to London for adjudication. The 1968 trophy was won by the RAAF. (Source: Wikipedia)
04DEC68   A89-277 (Flg Off S.T. James) flew Townsville-Darwin where six surveillance sorties were carried out. (Source: 2)
1969
   
14JAN69   A89-277 (Flt Lt Graham "Hambone" Perske) MAREX ex Townsville. Generally a long range triangle out from Townsville which might involve reef photography, shipping photography but mainly NAVEX (10hr 30min). (Source: 9)
15JAN69   A89-277 (Flt Lt Bill Winter) Continuation, circuits and instrument flying (1hr 35min day). (Source: 9)
16JAN69   A89-277 (Flt Lt Bill Winter) Continuation, circuits and instrument flying (2hr 00min night). (Source: 9)
20JAN69   A89-277 (Flg Off R. Ruming) along with A89-270 flew Townsville-Richmond for weighing. (Source: 2)
06FEB69
  Allotted 2AD Richmond for "reconditioning or repair". It is surmised that the need for these unspecified repairs emerged during the visit to 2AD for weighing and 277 did not return to Townsville until 17JUN69. The aircraft does not appear in the No. 10 Sqn ORB in the interim. (Source: 1)
25FEB69   A89-277 (Flg Off Ray Ruming) Flew Townsville-Richmond (4hr 40min day). (Source: 9)
17JUN69   A89-277 (Flt Lt T.W. Winter) flew Richmond-Townsville. This same crew had flown A89-275 Townsville-Richmond on 17JUN69. (Source: 2)
27AUG69   A89-277 (Flg Off T.J. Holt) flew Townsville-Nowra to provide a static display for the AJASS Joint Tactical Period. (Source: 2)
05SEP69   A89-277 (Flg Off A.J. Clancy) flew Townsville-Nowra-Richmond returning with the squadron officers who attended the AJASS JTP. (Source: 2)
12OCT69   A89-277 (Flg Off T. Kovacs) flew Townsville-Richmond to participate with other squadron aircraft in Exercise "Tame Shad". On transit a CASEX was carried out with HMAS Yarra south-east of Mackay. All aircraft returned to Townsville on 17OCT69. (Source: 2)
11NOV69   A89-277 (Flt Lt W.T. Winter) flew an 11 hour surveillance sortie, then flew four officers from VAP-61 to Canberra the same day! The aircraft returned to Townsville on 19NOV69. This surveillance sortie may have been connected with the presence off the east coast of a Russian Zulu Class submarine accompanied by two merchant ships. The Russian vessels were detected and photographed by A89-278 on 25NOV69. (Source: 2)
VAP-61 was a US Navy heavy photographic squadron which, at that time, was operating RA-3B Skywarriors out of NAS Agana in Guam.
1970
   
04JAN70
A89-277 (Flg Off T. Kovacs) along with A89-272 & 274 flew Townsville-Richmond to position for SUBEX "Tame Seal". (Source: 2)
13JAN70
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr D.L. Dunstan) flew a MAREX. (Source: 2)
26JAN70
A89-277 (Flg Off T. Kovacs) along with A89-271 & 281 positioned to Darwin for Exercise "Castor Oil". (Source: 2)
Exercise "Castor Oil" was designed to test the wet season defence facilities of Darwin. RAF Vulcans were flown from Singapore to take part in the exercise. RAAF aircraft taking part included Mirage, Canberra, Iroquois and Hercules. During the exercise Darwin was subjected to simulated attacks by air and ground, carried out by RAAF aircraft based at Tindal and by RAF Vulcan bombers at Darwin. (Source: 7)
01FEB70
A89-277 (Flt Lt Staff James) Flew Darwin-Darwin on Air Defence Exercise "Castor Oil" (9:15 day). (Source: 9)
03FEB70
A89-277 (Wg Cdr Ashworth & Flt Lt Eddleston) flew a surveillance sortie on Exercise "Castor Oil" (11:20). (Source: 10)
08FEB70
A89-277 (Flg Off A.J. Clancy) along with A89-273 & 274 flew Townsville-Richmond for No 76 JUC.
17APR70
A89-277 (Flg Off Tibor "Tib" Kovacs) Flew formation practice and continuation training (1hr 00min day). (Source: 9)
17APR70
A89-277 (Flt Lt Dick "Fosdike" Foster) continuation training (1hr 00min day). (Source: 9)
20APR70
A89-277 (Flg Off T. Kovacs) along with A89-273 & 281 flew a formation flypast for the Royal visit to Townsville. (Source: 2)
(Queen Elizabeth II, The Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Anne for the Captain Cook bi-centenary)
20APR70
A89-277 (Flg Off Tibor "Tib" Kovacs) Flew as No 4 in a diamond formation over the field then south-west to north-east around Castle Hill to salute Queen Elizabeth at the park in North Ward near the Hospital (2hr 30min day). (Source: 9)
22APR70
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr D.L. Dunstan) along with A89-275 & 281 flew Townsville-Richmond for a MAREX. A89-271 landed at Sydney to collect press photographers but suffered an engine fire while taxying at Sydney. A89-281 diverted to Sydney to collect the photographers and rendezvoused with A89-277 over the barque Endeavour II some 30 miles east of Barrenjoey. After photos were taken, A89-277 landed at Richmond and A89-281 returned to Sydney to drop off the photographers. All three aircraft returned to Townsville on 23APR70. (Source: 2) Image
Historical context.
Not to be confused with the 1988 replica HMB Endeavour preserved in the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney, Endeavour II was built in Vancouver, Canada in 1968 and originally named Monte Cristo. After being renamed Endeavour II she sailed across the Pacific to participate in Australia's Bicentenary celebrations in 1970. Subsequently she sailed for Auckland, NZ but was wrecked on the bar at the entrance to Parengarenga Harbour on 22FEB71. (Source: Wikipedia)
09JUN70
A89-277 (Flt Lt Eddleston & Plt Off Vanbelningen) flew an air test after D Service (3:00). (Source: 10)
14JUN70
A89-277 (Wg Cdr N.F. Ashworth) along with A89-271, 275 & 276 flew Townsville-Port Moresby-Guam-Honolulu for Operation "Hawaiian Carp". Three aircraft returned to Townsville on 04JUL70 and the fourth on 05JUL70 after attending the operation debrief. (Source: 2)
21JUL70
A89-277 (Flt Lt L.W. Foster) flew a MAREX to the south of Townsville. (Source: 2)
20AUG70
Allotted to 2AD Richmond for unspecified repair. (Source: 1)
02SEP70
Allotted to 10SQN ex 2AD. (Source: 1)
10SEP70
A89-277 (Flt Lt G.J. Harvey) flew a MAREX through the fishing areas of the north. (Source: 2)
11SEP70
A89-277 (Flg Off T.J. Holt) flew Townsville-Avalon to represent No 10 Sqn at the presentation of the Squadron Standard to No 21 Sqn CAF. The aircraft returned to Townsville on 14SEP70. (Source: 2)
07OCT70
A89-277 (Flg Off P.A. Ware) dropped a storepedo on Willis Island and then continued with a MAREX. (Source: 2)
12NOV70
A89-277 (Flg Off T. Kovacs) was deployed to Port Moresby for a SAR sortie the following day for a 14 foot outrigger canoe with a crew of four missing in the Solomon Sea. A visual search was made in good conditions but no trace of the canoe was found. The aircraft returned to Townsville after completing the search. (Source: 2)
20NOV70
A89-277 (Flg Off T. Kovacs) launched to escort A89-278 back to Townsville after the No 2 engine was shut down as a result of carburettor failure. (Source: 2)
1971
   
04FEB71
A89-277 (Flg Off H.A.M. Van Beuningen) flew a night MAREX. (Source: 2)
07FEB71
A89-277 (Flt Lt L.W. Foster) flew a SUBEX. (Source: 2)
15FEB71
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr A. Eddleston & Flt Lt Warner) along with A89-270, 273, 275 & 276 were flown to Amberley (277, 4:00) for safety in advance of Cyclone Gertie. All aircraft returned to Townsville (277, 3:15) on 16FEB71 except A89-275 which flew to Richmond also on 16FEB71. (Source: 2 & 10)
26FEB71
A89-277 (Flt Lt A. Q. Shorthouse) flew a SAR sortie for the Norwegian freighter Slidre Timur which had run aground on Parker Reef. The crew of 24 were unable to lower life boats or rafts but were eventually rescued by sister ship Thorscope. Three helicopters from No 5 Squadron on standby at Proserpine were recalled without being used. (Source: 2)
28MAR71
A89-277 (Flt Lt G.J. Harvey) flew a SAR sortie at the request of Rockhampton Police for the 19 foot powerboat Skippy missing south-east of Mackay with three men on board. Weather was very poor with cloudbase at 800 feet dropping to 300 feet in showers. The search was abandoned after one hour because of the hazard of many small islands in the area. A second sortie was flown by A89-281 the next day but called off after advice from the Police that the boat and its crew had been found safe on Long Island. (Source: 2)
29MAR71
A89-277 (Flt Lt L.W. Foster) participated in a mercy mission for an injured seaman on board the Greek freighter Pholegondros. The mission had begun the previous day (28MAR71) when the RAAF crash launch attempted to recover the injured sailor in the Magnetic Passage. The weather was worse than forecast and the launch had to shelter overnight. Weather was still bad the next morning and A89-273 was diverted from a local flight to provide the launch with a course to steer to rendezvous with the freighter. At this point A89-273 suffered an engine failure and was forced to return to base. The launch was again forced to seek shelter without having sighted the freighter in rough seas. A89-277 was despatched and assisted the launch to locate the freighter. Seas were too rough to attempt a transfer so the RAAF crash launch proceeded to lead the freighter through the Magnetic Passage as the ship had no charts. A89-277 continued to provide navigational assistance until both vessels were clear of the reef. The injured sailor was eventually transferred in the shelter of Cape Cleveland. (Source: 2)
24MAY71
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr A. Eddleston) along with A89-273 departed on a "Galley Slave" trip to Pearce and Cocos Island. The trip provided useful information on shipping movements in the Indian Ocean. Both aircraft returned to Townsville on 31MAY71. (Source: 2)
01JUN71
"Flying was severely restricted throughout the month of June due to the reduction in flying hours imposed after the decision to reduce defence expenditure. Because of the requirement to retain hours for SAR and exercise commitments none were available for normal Squadron flying." (Source: 2)
17JUN71
A89-277 (Plt Off G.C. Mowbray) departed Townsville at 0231 hours local to join the search for the RAAF F-4E Phantom 69-7203 which went missing off Evans Head, NSW the previous day (16JUN71). The search had been begun by A89-270 which departed Townsville at 0006 hours local on 17JUN71. Conditions in the search area were poor (6/8 Cb at 200 feet). A89-270 landed at Brisbane at 0755 hours local (17JUN71) to refuel and then flew to Amberley, returning to Townsville the next day. Once in the search area, A89-277 was unable to assist Orion "Rescue 161" in identification of wreckage due to bad weather so the aircraft landed at Amberley and returned to Townsville the next day (18JUN71). (Source: 2)
22JUN71
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr A. Eddleston & Plt Off Hickerton) flew an air check (1:30). (Source: 10)
20JUL71
A89-277 (Flt Lt M.J. Warner, RAF exchange) flew Townsville-Richmond carrying out torpedo trials en route. The aircraft returned to Townsville the next day carrying out a MAREX en route. (Source: 2)
23AUG71
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr A. Eddleston & Plt Off Ward) flew a carburettor air check (1:00). (Source: 10)
02SEP71
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr A. Eddleston & Plt Off Ward) flew a RADEX (5:00). (Source: 10)
07SEP71
A89-277 (Flt Lt G.C. Mowbray) flew Townsville-Darwin for training purposes returning the next day. (Source: 2)
30SEP71
A89-277 (Flt Lt I.W. Foster) flew a PHOTEX. (Source: 2)
03OCT71
A89-277 (Flg Off G.C. Mowbray) flew a SAR sortie for the ketch One and All which had sent out a MAYDAY off the northern NSW coast stating that the crew were abandoning the vessel. There were no sightings and A89-277 returned to Townsville on 04OCT71.The search had begun on 02OCT71 when A89-274 deployed to Amberley, returning to Townsville on 03OCT71. The crew were eventually located adrift in a rubber raft near Middleton Reef by A89-274 (Flt Lt Shorthouse) on 07OCT71. A89-274 was relieved by A89-276 which maintained a night watch over the raft and assisted in vectoring HMAS Otway to pick up the survivors. (Source: 2)
The crew were rescued on 08OCT71 by submarine HMAS Otway which had sailed from Brisbane at short notice minus some of her crew. (Source: Wikipedia, HMAS Otway)
06OCT71
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr A. Eddleston) flew the OC (Group Captain V.B. Cannon as second pilot) to Fairbairn (5:15). (Source: 2 & 10)
14OCT71
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr A. Eddleston) flew the OC (Group Captain V.B. Cannon as second pilot) Fairbairn-Richmond-Townsville (7:45). (Source: 10)
14OCT71
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr A. Eddleston & Plt Off Ward) flew a RADEX (4:10). (Source: 2 & 10)
21OCT71
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr A. Eddleston & Plt Off Ward) flew a night continuation (1:40). (Source: 10)
24OCT71
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr R.R. Tayles) flew Townsville-Amberley-Townsville. (Source: 2)
02NOV71
A89-277 (Flt A.Q. Shorthouse) flew a training exercise to Cairns. (Source: 2)
08NOV71
A89-277 (Flt Lt P.A. Ware) flew Townsville-Brisbane with spares and ground crew for A89-276 which was u/s at Eagle Farm. A89-277 was flown back to Townsville by Sqn Ldr R.R. Tayles the same day. (Source: 2)
1972
   
08FEB72
  A89-277 "Rescue 131" (Flt Lt M.J. Warner, RAF exchange) flew a SAR sortie in search of a fisherman whose boat was found wrecked on Brampton Island on 04FEB72. The search included all the beaches of the islands between Penrith Island and Lindeman Island but no trace of the missing fisherman was found. (Source: 2)
The use of "Rescue" call-signs appears to have been adopted around this time.
04APR72
  A89-277 "Rescue 133" (Flt Lt P.A. Ware) along with A89-275 & 280 joined the search for survivors of the trawler Kotuku wrecked near Lady Musgrave Island. The search had begun on 02APR72 when A89-276 dropped Lindholme Mk 3 equipment to a survivor. A89-275 spotted a second survivor clinging to a plank off Lady Elliott Island on 03APR72 and circled the position until the survivor was picked up by HMAS Barricade. There were no sightings on 04APR72. (Source: 2)
10APR72
  A89-277 (Flg Off E. Fice) along with four other aircraft carried out bombing practice in the local training area. (Source: 2)
12APR72
  A89-277 (Sqn Ldr G.C. Smith) flew Townsville-Nowra returning on 13APR72. (Source: 2)
18APR72
  A89-277 (Flg Off W.R. Parsons) flew a TACEX. (Source: 2)
04MAY72
  A89-277 (Flg Off G.C. Mowbray) along with A89-272, 275 & 280 departed to Darwin for Exercise "Top Limit". All except A89-272 returned on 15MAY72. (Source: 2)
Exercise "Top Limit", was the first major air exercise staged in Australia since the RAAF ended its operations in Vietnam. The air defences of Northern Australia were tested by strike aircraft from three countries, playing the role of the enemy aircraft. Darwin air base was defended by Mirage fighters of the RAAF. More than 50 aircraft took part in the exercise, including RAF Vulcan bombers from the U.K., Douglas A-4 Skyhawks from New Zealand, and RAAF F-4E Phantoms, Neptunes, Hercules and Caribou aircraft. Over 1,500 men were based at Darwin and Tindal, 200 miles to the south for the duration of the exercise. (Source: 7)
18MAY72
  A89-277 (Flg Off J.A. Parkinson) departed on a training exercise to East Sale. The aircraft flew to Richmond on 21MAY72 for fuel and departed for Townsville on 22MAY72. En route the aircraft was asked to search the Whitsunday Passage for three people missing in a small boat. All three were located on Eshelby Island and the aircraft circled overhead until they were picked up by a rescue boat. (Source: 2)
24MAY72
  A89-277 (Flg Off J.A. Parkinson) flew a RADEX. (Source: 2)
29MAY72
  A89-277 (Flt Lt J. Foran) departed for Darwin undertaking pilot conversion training. The aircraft returned to Townsville on 02JUN72. (Source: 2)
20JUN72
  A89-277 "Rescue 135" (Sqn Ldr G.C. Smith) joined the search begun on 16JUN72 for the Chinese fishing vessel Tien Loon reported in difficulties approximately 200 miles east of New Guinea. After an unsuccessful search, the aircraft recovered to Port Moresby and returned to Townsville on 21JUN72. (Source: 2)
30JUN72
  A89-277 (Flg Off G.C. Mowbray) flew Townsville-Mackay-Townsville. (Source: 2)
04JUL72
  A89-277 (Flg Off J.A. Parkinson) flew a RADEX. (Source: 2)
07JUL72
  A89-277 (Flg Off G.C. Mowbray) flew a TACEX. (Source: 2)
10JUL72
  A89-277 (Flg Off J.A. Parkinson) flew a TACEX. (Source: 2)
11JUL72
  A89-277 (Sqn Ldr G.C. Smith) flew a TACEX. (Source: 2)
14JUL72
  A89-277 (Flg Off W.R. Parsons) flew Townsville-Darwin-Townsville. (Source: 2)
16JUL72
  A89-277 (Flg Off J.A. Parkinson) flew Townsville-Richmond for an E service. (Source: 2)
03NOV72
  A89-277 (Flg Off W.R. Parsons) flew Richmond-Townsville on completion of E service at 2AD. (Source: 2)
1973
   
19MAY73   A89-277 (Flg Off R.A. Bishop) flew Townsville-Richmond-Townsville. (Source: 2)
21MAY73   A89-277 (Flg Off R.A. Bishop) flew a NAVEX Townsville-Richmond-Townsville. (Source: 2)
22MAY73   A89-277 (Flt Lt C.M. Montgomery, RAF exchange) flew formation and a MAREX with A89-278. (Source: 2)
30MAY73   A89-277 (Sqn Ldr G.C. Smith) flew a TACEX. (Source: 2)
01JUN73   A89-277 (Flg Off R.A. Bishop) flew a TACEX. (Source: 2)
04JUN73   A89-277 (Flg Off R.A. Bishop) flew a TACEX. (Source: 2)
11JUN73   A89-277 (Flt Lt M.A. Thomas) flew Townsville-Richmond for Exercise "Tame Shovel Nose" along with A89-270, 274 & 281. During the exercise a fly-off was held with No 11 Sqn to choose the RAAF representatives for the Fincastle Trophy. Overall honours were won by No 10 Sqn. All aircraft returned to Townsville on 15JUN73. (Source: 2)
21JUN73   A89-277 (Flt Lt M.A. Thomas) flew a MAREX. (Source: 2)
27JUN73   A89-277 (Plt Off G.J. Milliner) flew Townsville-Richmond-Townsville. (Source: 2)
31JUL73   A89-277 (Flg Off W.R. Parsons) flew a MAREX. (Source: 2)
01AUG73   A89-277 (Flt Lt M.A. Thomas) flew a MAREX. (Source: 2)
10AUG73   A89-277 (Sqn Ldr J.R. Morris) flew maritime operations staff to Richmond and returned via a NAVEX. (Source: 2)
16AUG73   A89-277 (Flt Lt M.A. Thomas) flew a TACEX. (Source: 2)
20AUG73   A89-277 (Flg Off W.R. Parsons) flew Townsville-Mt Isa-Townsville on a TACAN check. (Source: 2)
11SEP73   A89-277 (Flt Lt M.A. Thomas) flew Townsville-Mackay-Townsville. (Source: 2)
14SEP73   A89-277 (Wg Cdr W.R. Holland) along with A89-270 & 278 departed for New Zealand to participate in exercise "Longex 73". The three aircraft returned to Townsville on 06OCT73. (Source: 2)
Exercise "Longex 73" involved vessels from the RNZN, RAN, RN, USN and Royal Netherlands Navy.
10OCT73   A89-277 (Sqn Ldr J.R. Morris) flew Townsville-Amberley with parts for A89-271 which had diverted to Amberley with an engine shut down while returning to Townsville from Richmond on 08OCT73. A89-277 flew back to Townsville on 10OCT73 under the command of Flg Off J.A. Parkinson. Sqn Ldr Morris flew A89-271 to Richmond after repairs were effected and returned to Townsville the same day. (Source: 2)
11OCT73   A89-277 (Flt Lt J.M. Foran) flew a MAREX to Pearce. Plt Off N.A.B. Clark flew the aircraft back to Townsville on 15OCT73. (Source: 2)
23OCT73   A89-277 (Flg Off W.R. Parsons) flew to Mackay for Royal SAR standby duty. (Source: 2)
29OCT73   A89-277 (Flt Lt M.A. Thomas) flew Townsville-Mt Isa-Townsville for a TACAN check. (Source: 2)
04NOV73   A89-273 departed Townsville on a conversion training sortie to Darwin, Learmonth, Pearce and Cocos Island but the aircraft compass went u/s in Darwin. (Source: 2)
05NOV73   A89-277 (Flg Off R.A. Bishop) was positioned from Townsville to Darwin to allow the crew of A89-273 to resume their task in A89-277. Flg Off Bishop flew A89-273 back to Townsville on 06NOV73. (Source: 2)
14NOV73   A89-277 (Flt Lt J.M. Foran) returned to Townsville. On the return flight from Cocos to Darwin (date uncertain), the port engine was shut down due to generator failure. (Source: 2)
17NOV73   A89-277 (Plt Off N.A.B. Clark) flew Townsville-Mt Isa-Townsville for a TACAN check. (Source: 2)
24NOV73   A89-277 (Plt Off N.A.B. Clark) flew Richmond-Canberra-Williamtown-Richmond in support of the Fincastle Trophy competition. (Source: 2)
The Fincastle Competition was held at RAAF Edinburgh, SA. (Source: Wikipedia)
26NOV73   A89-277 (Flt Lt J.M. Foran) along with A89-276 & 281 commenced the flying phase of No 90 JUC. All three aircraft returned to Townsville on 07DEC73. (Source: 2)
01DEC73   A89-277 (Flg Off R.A. Bishop) flew Richmond-Townsville at the conclusion of the Fincastle Tropy competition (which was won by an RAF Nimrod with the RAAF crew a close second). (Source: 2)
The identity of the Neptune flown in the competition is not clearly stated but it is believed to have been A89-278 with A89-271 as the spare.
07DEC73   A89-277 "Rescue 131" (Sqn Ldr J.R. Morris) was called out for a SAR sortie to look for a 21 foot motor boat with four crew in the vicinity of the reefs 40 nautical miles north-east of Townsville. A flare was sighted and the aircraft remained on station until the Coast Guard vessel Salmay had the boat in sight. (Source: 2)
1974
   
18JUN74
A89-277 (Flt Lt Foran & Sqn Ldr Eddleston) flew an IF continuation (1:00). (Source: 10)
19JUN74
A89-277 (Flg Off G.J. Milliner & Sqn Ldr Eddleston) operated a SAR sortie (10:00) for a 17 foot bondwood boat in the Cairns area. The search was unsuccessful as was a search the following day. (Source: 2 & 10)
24JUN74
A89-277 (Flg Off Milliner & Sqn Ldr Eddleston) flew a SAR sortie (9:00) for a 17 foot speedboat near Mackay.. (Source: 10)
09JUL74
A89-277 (Wg Cdr W.R. Holland) along with A89-280 departed on a long range NAVEX to Cocos Island via Darwin and Learmonth. Both aircraft returned to Townsville on 17JUL74. (Source: 2)
14AUG74
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr Eddleston & Flg Off Knudsen) flew a SAR check (2:10). Source: 10)
15AUG74
A89-277 (Plt Off N.A.B. Clark) departed Townsville with parts for A89-273 which was u/s in Darwin with nosewheel extension problems. However A89-277 developed a fuel leak and was forced to return to Townsville. The crew completed the task in A89-275. (Source: 2)
20AUG74
A89-277 (Flt Lt C.M. Montgomery, RAF exchange) flew a MAREX.
25AUG74
A89-277 (Flt Lt G.J. Harvey) along with A89-274, 275 & 278 deployed to Richmond to participate in Exercise "Tame Echo".
01SEP74
Log books changed from hours and minutes to decimal time. (Source: 10)
09SEP74
A89-277 (Flg Off N.A.B. Clark) flew to Mount Isa to aircheck the TACAN beacon.
11SEP74
A89-277 (Wg Cdr W.R. Holland) flew to Richmond with support personnel for the Fincastle Competition fly-off with No 11 Sqn. The aircraft returned to Townsville on 12SEP74. (Source: 2)
The competition was flown at Whenuapai, NZ in November and the trophy was won by the RNZAF flying a P-3B Orion. (Source: Wikipedia)
16SEP74
A89-277 (Flg Off N.A.B. Clark) participated in a search for a small disabled yacht in the Gulf of Carpentaria between Thursday Island and Darwin. The search was unsuccessful and the aircraft recovered to Darwin. (Source: 2)
17SEP74
A89-277 (Flg Off N.A.B. Clark) continued the search for the disabled yacht in the Groote Eylandt area. The search was unsuccessful and the aircraft recovered to Townsville. (Source: 2)
23SEP74
A89-277 (Flg Off M.G. McLean) flew a NAVEX to Darwin, Pearce and Edinburgh returning on 27SEP74. (Source: 2)
02OCT74
A89-277 (Flt Lt G.J. Harvey) along with A89-275 operated a long range NAVEX to Cocos Island via Darwin and Learmonth. The aircraft returned to Townsville on 11OCT74. (Source: 2)
14OCT74
A89-277 (Flg Off M.J. McLean) flew a night NAVEX. (Source: 2)
17OCT74
A89-277 (Flg Off M.J. McLean) flew a TACEX. (Source: 2)
20OCT74
A89-277 (Sqn Ldr J.R. Morris) flew to Amberley to provide Royal SAR standby for Prince Charles for three days. The aircraft returned to Townsville on 23OCT74. (Source: 2)
02DEC74
A89-277 (Flg Off G.J. Milliner) along with A89-275 & 279 flew to Richmond for Exercise "Tame Golf" in which nine sorties were flown. The aircraft returned to Townsville on 05/06DEC74. (Source: 2)
05DEC74
A89-277 (Flg Off N.A.B. Clark) flew Townsville-Mt Isa-Richmond-Canberra continuing to East Sale on 06DEC74. The aircraft returned to Townsville via Richmond on 09DEC74. (Source: 2)
1975
   
20JAN75   A89-277 (Flg Off M.G. McLean) along with A89-275 departed to participate in Exercise "Tame Alice" with No 11 Sqn and HMAS Oxley. The aircraft returned to Townsville on 23/24JAN75. (Source: 2)
The location is not recorded but it is presumed that it was Richmond.
02FEB75   A89-277 (Flt Lt G.L. Dutton) along with A89-271, 272 & 274 flew to Richmond for Exercise "Tame Bernadette" in which eleven sorties were flown. The aircraft returned to Townsville on 07FEB75. (Source: 2)
18FEB75   A89-277 (Flg Off M.G. McLean) flew to Amberley to participate in a SHADEX. The aircraft returned to Townsville on 21FEB75. (Source: 2)
22FEB75   A89-277 (Flg Off M.G. McLean) operated a SAR mission for the disabled freighter Manautea north-east of Townsville. The search was successful and the aircraft returned to Townsville the same day. (Source: 2)
03MAR75   A89-277 (Wg Cdr Eddleston, CO & Sqn Ldr Foran) along with A89-270 departed to Learmonth (10.3) on a long range NAVEX to Cocos Island. (Source: 2 & 10)
04MAR75   A89-277 (Sqn Ldr Foran & Wg Cdr Eddleston) flew Learmonth-Cocos Island (7.4). (Source: 10)
05MAR75   A89-277 (Wg Cdr Eddleston & Sqn Ldr Foran) flew a sortie ex Cocos Island (8.8). (Source: 10)
10MAR75   A89-277 (Sqn Ldr Foran & Wg Cdr Eddleston) flew Cocos Island-Pearce (9.5). (Source: 10)
11MAR75   A89-277 (Wg Cdr Eddleston & Sqn Ldr Foran) flew Pearce-Townsville (10.1). (Source: 10)
16MAR75   A89-277 (Flg Off D.P. Kendrick) participated with three other squadron aircraft in a month-long joint RAN, RAAF & Fisheries exercise named "Operation Trochus" in which a total of twelve sorties were flown. Participation by A89-277 concluded on 22MAR75. (Source: 2)
"Operation Trochus" involved the surveillance of an estimated 150 Taiwanese and 40 Indonesian fishing boats scattered over 200,000 square kilometres of the Indian Ocean from the Ashmore and Cartier Reefs, approximately 320 km north of Broome, to south-west of Port Hedland. As a result, two Taiwanese vessels were apprehended and escorted to Darwin by the RAN. (Source: Sydney Morning Herald, 12AUG75)
15APR75   A89-277 (Flg Off G.J. Milliner) flew a SURVEX. (Source: 2)
21APR75   A89-277 (Flg Off G.J. Milliner) flew a TACEX recovering to Richmond. The aircraft returned to Townsville on 22APR75. (Source: 2)
01MAY75   A89-277 (Flg Off G.J. Milliner) flew a CASEX and recovered to Richmond. The aircraft returned to Townsville on 02MAY75. (Source: 2)
24MAY75   A89-277 (Flg Off D.P. Kendrick) flew a SAR sortie in the Swains Reef area for a seaman washed overboard from a Taiwanese fishing vessel. The search was unsuccessful. (Source: 2)
26MAY75   A89-277 (Flt Lt G.L. Dutton) flew to Darwin and conducted a SURVEX ex Darwin the following day, The aircraft returned to Townsville on 30MAY75. (Source: 2)
19JUN75
  Request for A89-277 to be allotted for E service. (Source: 1)
26JUN75   A89-277 (Flt Lt W.H. Mott, RAF exchange) along with A89-272 departed on a longe range NAVEX to Darwin, Butterworth, Cocos Island & Learmonth. Due to an engine malfunction on the Darwin-Butterworth leg, A89-277 made an emergency diversion to Juanda Airfield, Surabaya, Indonesia where it required an engine change. (Source: 2)
04JUL75   A89-277 (Flt Lt W.H. Mott, RAF exchange) flew from Juanda to Darwin after an engine change and an air test. The remainder of the NAVEX was abandoned. The aircraft returned to Townsville from Darwin on 05JUL75. (Source: 2)
A89-277 does not appear in the No 10 Squadron ORB from this point so it is likely that the aeroplane was placed in storage. It will be noted that the aeroplane was due for an E service but this was not proceeded with.
03SEP75
  Request for E service allotment cancelled. (Source: 1)
1976 -
   
21FEB77
  Requesting approval to declare for disposal. (Source: 1)
05APR77
  Disposal approved. (Source: 1)
18JUL77
  Declared to Department of Administrative Services (DAS) for disposal. (Source: 1)
29SEP77
  Tenders closed for removal ex Garbutt, Townsville. (Source: 1)
78
  Acquired by Syd Beck and displayed with his aircraft collection at Townsville. Later moved to Mareeba, QLD.
04DEC13   Syd Beck passed away in Townsville at age 75. (Source: DLP)
30SEP15   Sold to the Queensland Air Museum, Caloundra. Delivery by road planned for early 2016.
14JAN16   QAM made the final payment for the aircraft.
06FEB16   The QAM recovery crew departed for Mareeba.
15FEB16   All components, apart from the forward fuselage, wing centre section, bomb bay doors, fin and radome arrived at Caloundra.
21FEB16   The bomb bay doors, fin and radome arrived at Caloundra.
11MAR16   The forward fuselage arrived at Caloundra.
21MAR16   The centre section arrived at Caloundra.
23MAR16   The engine nacelles arrived at Caloundra. This was the final load.
28NOV17
The newly repainted fin and rudder were reattached.
13DEC17
The aircraft was fitted with its wings having been without them for many years.

 

Watch a time lapse video of the disassembly.

 


ACRONYMS
AEO Airborne Electronic Officer
AJASS Australian Joint Anti-Submarine School (located at Nowra)
CASEX Coordinated Anti-Submarine Exercise
FISHEX Fisheries Exercise
GCA Ground Controlled Approach
JTC Joint Tactical Course
JUC Joint Unit Course
MAD Magnetic Anomaly Detector
MAREX
Marine Exercise
NAVEX Navigation Exercise
ORE Operational Readiness Evaluation
PHOTEX Photo Exercise
RADEX Radar Exercise
SAR Search and Rescue
SHADEX Shadowing Exercise
SUBEX
Submarine Exercise
SURVEX Surveillance Exercise
TACAN Tactical Air Navigation
TACEX Tactical Exercise

 

 

SOURCES
1
RAAF Aircraft Record Card
2
NAA: A9186, 28. RAAF Unit History sheets (Form A50) [Operations Record Book - Forms A50 and A51] Number 10 Squadron Jan 62 - Dec 76.
© Commonwealth of Australia (National Archives of Australia) 2015.
3
"Bushies - A History of Bush Pilots Air Queensland" Ron Entsch 2001.
4
aviation-safety.net
5
"The Furious Days" by Major-General Alan Bishop Stretton AO CBE (30 September 1922 - 26 October 2012) published by William Collins 1976.
6
http://www.craigmostyn.com.au/history-1963/
7
Australian War Memorial Collection.
8
Log Book of David Charles, a Navigator on 10SQN.
9
Log Book of Alex Taylor, an AEO on 10SQN (APR67-OCT70).
10
Log Book of Wg Cdr Anthony Eddleston (A216911) held in the QAM Library (Barcode Number 006468). Wg Cdr Eddleston was CO of 10SQN from JAN75 to JAN77. The log book does not record any flying between NOV71 and JAN74.

 

 

Compiled by Ron Cuskelly

 

To view this page as it was designed please click HERE

 

 

 

 


ISSUE
DATE
REMARKS
26
09JUL19
Added flights from the log book of Wing Commander Anthony Eddleston. See Source: 10.
25
20JAN19
Added an account of the recovery. See button above.
24
14DEC17
Added an image of the wings being fitted. Thanks to Angelo Calleja.
23
03DEC17
Added an image of the fin and rudder being reattached. Thanks to Angelo Calleja.
22
05NOV17
Added an image of the aircraft and crew at Sangley Point, Philippines in April 1963 thanks to Bob Howe.
21
23SEP17
Added two recent images of the aircraft being painted. Thanks to Angelo Calleja. Image 1 Image 2
20
30JUN17
Added a recent image of the cockpit thanks to Nick Sayer.
19
22MAY17
Added a recent image of the aircraft undergoing reassembly and restoration.
18
11NOV16
Added an image of the aircraft with engines and props fitted. Thanks to Nick Sayer.
17
17OCT16
Added a recent image
16
04SEP16
Added an image of the aircraft back on its wheels. Thanks to Colin Campbell.
15
06APR16
Added the date of the final load, 23MAR16.
14
11MAR16
The forward fuselage arrived at Caloundra.
13
27FEB16
Added a time lapse video of the disassembly. Thanks to Dave Geck.
12
23FEB16
Added flights from the log book of AEO Alex Taylor (Source: 9)
11
17FEB16
Added an image of the recovery.
10
09FEB16
Added a reference to the commencement of the recovery from Mareeba.
9
24JAN16
Added flights by A89-277 from the log book of David Charles (Source: 8)
8
07NOV15
Added an image of A89-277 overflying Magnetic Island.
7
01NOV15
Elaborated on some of the exercises in which the aircraft participated.
6
25OCT15
Elaborated on the surveillance sortie flown on 11NOV69 and Operation "Trimdon" on 29MAY65.
5
23OCT15
Added an image of A89-277 overflying the barque Endeavour II. Thanks to the Office of Air Force History.
4
22OCT15
Added further detail on the barque Endeavour II.
3
20OCT15
Added further detail of the Van Gogh incident (see 13JUL68)
2
18OCT15
Added four colour images of the aircraft in the original Seaplane Grey colours. Thanks to Eric Allen.
1
12OCT15
Original issue.