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: 27 May 2002
HISTORIC SHIP IS OURS IF WE RAISE THE MONEY: APPEAL TO SAVE BRITAIN'S LAST WW2 AIRCRAFT CARRIER
HMS VENGEANCE, the last British WW2 aircraft carrier, once the pride of the Royal Navy is about to be scrapped in Brazil unless she can be rescued. This week a team of experts led by Graham Falkner Drucker, Director of the Fleet Air Arm Archive, and James Watling, Chairman of the HMS Vengeance Veterans Association had meetings with the Brazilian Admiralty in Rio de Janeiro who offered the ship to the Save the Vengeance Appeal if 2.5 million pounds can be raised over the next two years.
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 unless the British Nation can respond to a deadline of 31 May
2002 to raise initial finance to purchase the ship from the Brazilian Navy.
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.
Save the Vengeance Appeal spokesman Graham Falkner Drucker stated that "the mission to Brazil was an important occasion that helped to cement goodwill with the Brazilian Navy Company, EMGEPRON, which confirmed that it would be delighted to offer the ship to us for preservation as a heritage museum. All we have to do now is confirm adequate commitment of sponsorship or commercial partnerships before the end of the month, and then up to 2 years to pay the full amount. However, we urgently need even one financial backer to assist in paying the first instalment of 120,000 pounds on contract signature in one month and unless we get this minimal amount, which is now cheaper than an average house in the UK, she will 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 Appeal website can be found at http://www.fleetairarmarchive.net/vengeance
Here again we appeal for any help from the business community, private sponsorship, or the public. If you wish to contribute to purchasing the ship or require information please contact:
Save the Vengeance Appeal.
Email: drucker@ fleetairarmarchive.net
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)