Friends to safeguard the very
last British, Commonwealth and
South American Second World War Aircraft Carrier
Preservando a História da Naval Aviação Brasileira
PRESS RELEASE: September 2002
BRITAIN'S LAST WW2 AIRCRAFT CARRIER PURCHASED BY UK ENTREPRENEUR
Official confirmation from Brazil is that HMS Vengeance has been purchased by a Entrepreneur. Active negotiations are underway to bring the ship to the UK and preserve her as a museum.
Following Brazil's deadline of 18 July 2002 to submit bids for puchasing the ship, this is the most positive news possible now with active discussions underway to see if finance can be raised to bring the ship to the UK and preserve her as a museum. If all goes well the ship will sail back to the UK and be berthed in the Fal Estuary between Falmouth and Truro. Her ultimate berth is now open for discussion with the owner, with options including the Fal Estuary, the River Thames near Greenwich, Southampton Water and Plymouth Sound.
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.
An initial berth has already been offered by the Port of Truro, and the Harbour Master is very excited to see the ship there. If we fail in the tender bid HMS Vengeance may be lost forever.
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 Friends of HMS Vengeance website can be found at http://www.fleetairarmarchive.net/vengeance
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:
Friends of HMS Vengeance
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)