Appeal to safeguard the very
last British, Commonwealth and
South American Second World War Aircraft Carrier
Preservando a História da Naval Aviação Brasileira
PRESS RELEASE: 20 July 2002
SAVE THE VENGEANCE APPEAL PASSED FIRST HURDLE TO PURCHASE BRITAIN'S LAST WW2 AIRCRAFT CARRIER
The Save the Vengeance Apeal was told by the Brazlian Navy President of the Bidding commission that it has passed the first stage in the formal procedure to win the tender for HMS VENGEANCE, the last British WW2 aircraft carrier, once the pride of the Royal Navy. Twelve bids were submitted including many from scrap merchants around the world. We have to wait till 2pm 22 July 2002 Brazilian time to hear if we have won the bid. There is now a serious possibility that HMS Vengeance is about to be scrapped unless she can be rescued, and Save the Vengeance appeal has received sufficient commercial backing to be able to ensure her survival. The offer by the Save the Vengeance Appeal was hand delivered on Thursday by the Save the Vengeance local Rio Agent.
Exactly 60 years ago HMS Vengeance was launched to lead the fight against the terrors of the Nazis and Japanese evils in the Pacific. Today, she lies forgotten in South America awaiting her fate and eventual scrapping. The British Nation must await Monday's final deadline of 22 July 2002 to fund out who submitted the highest bid to purchase the ship from the Brazilian Navy. If all goes well and theSabve the vengance Appeal wins the bid the ship will sail back to the UK and be berthed in the Fal Estuary between Falmouth and Truro. Discussions have been made by the Appeal co-ordinators Graham Falkner-Drucker and Martin Hill for the ship to be ultimately berthed in Southampton Water although others offers are now coming in for her to be moored in the North.
HMS VENGEANCE is of unique historic, educational, touristic and commercial value. She was commissioned in the Royal Navy and served in the Mediterranean and Pacific in WW2, she was subsequently loaned to Australia as HMAS Vengeance during the Korean war and finally sold to the Brazilian government where she served in the Brazilian Navy as NAeL MINAS GERAIS during the Cold War. She subsequently remained there until she was finally decommissioned on 16th October 2001 and stricken from the Naval Vessel Registry, her fate unknown.
The plan is to rescue the ship and bring her back to the UK and turn her into one of the world's largest floating education centre, naval aviation museum, trade exhibition area and tourist attraction. Displays will illustrate the leading role that Britain took in the development of ship borne naval aviation, as well as to provide opportunity for training schemes with local industry, engineering firms and universities, and show her long history with the Royal Navy, Australia and Brazil. In addition to displaying historic naval aircraft on her flight deck, she will have a cinema and theatre, and provide attractive venues for conferences and trade fairs. She will also come alive as the flagship for boat shows and tall ship races as well as provide a unique focus in the UK for airshows, and as a magnet attracting film producers and documentaries.
The Appeal website can be found at http://www.fleetairarmarchive.net/vengeance
About the Save the Vengeance Appeal
The Save the Vengeance Appeal is masterminded by two enthusiastic naval aviation experts, Martin Hill, a retired Merchant Navy Officer, of the Battle of the Atlantic Memorial Ships, and Graham Falkner Drucker, Director of the Fleet Air Arm Archive. Mr Drucker's uncle was one of the great Fleet Air Arm heroes, Lt Cdr Roy Baker-Falkner DSO DSC RN, killed in WW2 whilst attacking the German Battleship Tirpitz, and he believes this great ship will be a fitting tribute to all those who have died to protect our freedom - past and present - as well as provide a wonderful attraction for education and enjoyment alike.
Here again we appeal for any help from the business community, private sponsorship, or the public. If you wish to contribute to saving the ship or require information please contact:
Save the Vengeance Appeal.
HMS Vengeance in 1946 (Photo courtesy of the HMS Vengeance Veterans association)
NAeL Minas Gerais (ex HMS Vengeance) in late 1990s after
refit (Photo courtesy of HMS Vengeance website)