The Vultee Model 72 two-seat dive bomber was designed to a British specification by Vultee and was put into production by both Vultee and Northrop. When the US entered the war, the Vengeance was given the USAAF designation A-31.
Vengeance I deliveries to Britain began in 1942 and these, like later Vengeance II and Ill, were powered by the 1,192.3kW Wright R-2600-19 Cyclone radial engine. British armament and equipment consisted of four 7.7mm machine-guns in the wings and two on a flexible mounting in the rear cockpit. Eventually the USAAF ordered the Vengeance II as the A-31A but in the event received only a few for non-operational use. The RAAF also received some early Vengeance I.
The A-35 version of the Vengeance was powered by a 1,267kW Wright R-2600-13 engine and was ordered by the USAAF. The first 100 delivered retained the earlier 7.7mm guns. With four 12.7mm guns fitted they became A-35A. The A-35B was the first fully American version fitted with US equipment and six 12.7mm wing guns as standard. Eight hundred and thirty one were built: 562 were supplied to Britain as Vengeance IV, a small number were delivered to the Brazilian government, and the rest went into USAAF service.
The Vengeance was used operationally only by the RAF and the Royal Indian Air Force in the India-Burma theatre. The USAAF A-35 were mainly used as high-speed target tugs. Production of the Vengeance ceased in the autumn of 1944 after 1,528 had been built.
| ENGINE||1 x Wright R-2600-13 Cyclone, 1268kW|
| Take-off weight||7439 kg||16400 lb|
| Empty weight||4672 kg||10300 lb|
| Wingspan||14.63 m||48 ft 0 in|
| Length||12.12 m||40 ft 9 in|
| Height||4.67 m||15 ft 4 in|
| Wing area||30.84 m2||331.96 sq ft|
| Max. speed||449 km/h||279 mph|
| Ceiling||6795 m||22300 ft|
| Range||3701 km||2300 miles|
| ARMAMENT||6 x 12.7mm machine-guns, 900kg of bombs|
|A three-view drawing (1388 x 1000)|
This baby did get some undeserved "bad press". When initially deployed to India it took a long time to get up to operational standard. In fact after receiving it's aircraft in autumn 1942 it wasn't until April 1943 that the C.O. of 82 squadron (the first Vengeance unit) could report that he had serviceable aircraft that could be used every day. The four wing guns would overheat and jam and the rear gun mounting was just the other side of inadequate. Coupled to this there was constant oil leaks, faulty piston rings and problematic electric fuel pumps with which to be contended. However, at the end of the day it was a very accurate bomber and suffered a low attrition rate whilst fighting the Japanese, possibly helped by the lack of fighter opposition. Of all the bombers serving in the far East the Liberator enjoyed 50% accuracy, the Mitchell 60% but the unwanted Vengeance achieved 100%.
|Peter Herlihen, 14.05.2016|
My uncle, William Pedersen, was a photographer with 12 squadron RAAF witch flew Vengeance from Batchelor in the Northern Territory Australia. There are some photos in the Australian War Memorial.
The Vengeance was ordered by the British in reply to the success of Germany's Junkers Ju-87 Stuka dive bombers early in World War II. However, by the time the Vengeance became available, the idea of using large, singe-engine, two-seat dive bombers had been discredited, and the Vengeance had become largely redundant. Consequently, they were relegated to service in Burma and New Guinea, mainly with the Indian Air Force and RAAF. The U.S. Army Air Force did not use them at all, and the AAF designations A-31 and A-35 were applied to aircraft that were really slated for lend-lease to the British or Australians.
|Neil Kershler, 13.01.2014|
There is a Vengeance in a private collection just outside Sydney Australia (Narellan). On a visit to the US Air Force Museum at Dayton some years back they told me that they were very interested in acquiring the aircraft. The only other example, they told me , was in Perth Western Australia.
|David Parcell, 13.04.2012|
My father flew the Vengeance for the RAF in India during the war. I have a few pictures of some in flight, e-mail if interested.
|Tim Holliday, 20.09.2011|
My Uncle "Sandy" Morrison of Perth, Western Australia was a backseater with the RAAF during WWII. I know very little of his time in service but survived the war.
|barry mayner, 04.08.2011|
I have a picture of FD108 Vengeance 111 in RAF markings (no unit code), does anyone have any references to this aircraft. The picture shows the aircraft armed with gunners machine gun so may be in India/burma. Dakota in background, second picture front view with grouncrew on aircraft. Possibly type c'ish hangar also in background
|piers beeland, 17.06.2011|
Trying to ascertain involvement of father-in-law, Sidney Staton, RAF, who worked with a, in his words, flight of Vultee Vengeances in Burma. Beyond that, he isn't saying much. Before Burma he served in UK, various locations, recalling 214 Sq'n also some time in Nova Scotia.
Can anyone help me?
|charlie ness, 26.11.2010|
Nice article, but I do wish the writer would use the proper names for the guns, in this case 0.303 and 0.50. They were made by Browning,and that's what Browning called them .
There are many photos of Vengeance in RAF service, in the 84 Sqn Museum (if it still exists). It was used by 45,82,84 and 110 as a bomber in the far east and by at least 5 squadrons in England as a target tug. I remember a very involved discussion of it in Salalah (Oman) in '66 with 3-4 RAF personnel on 84 and an American oilman who had flown them in USN. -Remembered then to be a very tough,capable aircraft.
|Almont Baltzer, 27.10.2010|
Anyone having photos of the Vultee Vengeance in the RAF please contact me
|Sara Mosher, 26.06.2009|
My father Ken Mosher was a WOp/Air Gunner with 110 Hyderabad Squadron. I'm in contact with Edward Helliwell, another pilot Reg Duncan and relatives of others who flew with the squadron. Learning much and always looking for more information on the squadron and the Vultee Vengeance! Thanks for this page!
|Edward Helliwell, 28.10.2008|
I flew Vengeances with 110 Squadron and found it stable and easy to fly. The accuracy of bomb placement was amazing, we often had to hit one end of a bridge; at the battle of Kohima the target was two adjacent sides of the tennis court, the other two being occupied by our troops. I do remember one catching fire though at start up!
|Richard Miller, 29.05.2008|
There was a Vultee aircraft plant and airport (Now "queen city" airport, on Lehigh Street) built near Allentown, PA during the war, in the early 1940s. Little was advertised about it, of course. However, rumor has it they never produced a single plane. Does anyone know anything about that operation?
|David Foster, 10.02.2008|
The Veangence was used operationally by the RAAF, as Paul's note implies. Not just by the RAF and RIAF.
A very accurate dive bomber, it was loved by the army but out of favour with air forces who preferred fighter-bombers that were far less accurate. The correct use of this aircraft could've saved a lot of Australian and US soldiers lives in New Guinea.
|Bill Cole, 23.01.2008|
There is a color photo of a woman building a Vengeance in 1943 at the following url.
My Grandfather, Bill Simpson was an aircraft engine fitter in Burma during the war and I remember him telling me that the Vengeance was a bl**dy awful aircraft! I remember him saying that the pilot had to press a whole assortment buttons instantaneously to start the engine and that if he did not do this correctly the engine would quite often burst into flames. He said this happened so often that every time one was started up blokes had to stand around it with fire extinguishers just in case!
|Paul Eden, 05.11.2007|
My Uncle Charles McAllister died when his RAAF Vengeance went down in New Guinea on 24 Feb 1944 after a bombing raid at Alexishafen. His plane was A27-276 which Pacificwrecks believed was found in 1997 but is yet to be validated by Australian government. I am interested in any information on the Vengeance model as my research paints a picture of a very unreliable aircraft which was prone to engine failure particularly due to overheating in the tropics.
|Graham Sullivan, 22.10.2007|
Greetings Donald, I've had to post here as the link to your Email is duff. Could you send me more details of the Vengeance paperwork? Look forward to hearing from you. Graham.
|Donald Vaughan, 25.07.2007|
I have the erection and maintenance instructions
for Army model RA-35B British model Vengeance IV
airplane. I was wondering if you would be interested
in purchasing it. Its dated March the 15 1944.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?