Friends to save for the Nation the last British, Commonwealth and South American
Second World War Aircraft Carrier
Preservando a História da Naval Aviação Brasileira
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This website was launched in December 2001 to commemorate joint Anglo - Brazilian Anniversaries:
the first commissioning of HMS Vengeance on 16 December 1944 and her recommissioning in the Brazilian Navy on 6 December 1960 as NAeL Minas Gerais
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HMS Vengeance as Minas Gerais A-11
The HMS Vengeance's fate hangs in the balance. On Tuesday 16th October 2001, HMS Vengeance was de-commissioned as "Minas Gerais" by the Brazilian Navy and is currently at the Naval Dockyard at Rio de Janeiro. The proposal is being made to convert the ship into a floating museum in S or SW England. Finances are currently being raised for purchase and transport costs.

Vengeance Museum vision Please click here

             Vision of the proposed Vengeance Museum 

Save, Conserve, Remember

The VENGEANCE, once saved for the Nation will be scheduled to undergo some incredible changes, and will emerge as a state of the art centre of naval aviation heritage: Vengeance Naval Aviation Heritage Museum, designed not only to educate, but to entertain.

Vengeance - Minas Gerais joint heritage of Australia, Brazil and the United Kingdom

HMS Vengeance was launched in 1942 and finally payed off for the last time in October 2001 from the Brazilian Navy. What now, will she be scrapped and so the World loses a valuable link to our Global Maritime past and heritage? 

Can the answer be hopefully different? Yes, by establishing the Vengeance Naval Aviation Heritage Museum.  The Museum proposal has high hopes and aspirations for displaying and interpreting its future collection of aircraft, memorabilia, corporate and education facilities. It also has a very practical long term aim - to interpret the heritage of Naval Aviation in the UK, the Commonwealth and around the World and to display Naval aircraft of Australia, Brazil and the UK to be shown in a coherent way. 

Customised exhibition, conservation and education centre facilities will created within the walls of the Aircraft Carrier itself, which will enable the Museum to maximise physical and intellectual access to its proposed world class collections and interpretation materials. Internally, many of the ship's spaces will be restored to give visitors an interactive adventure in the floating town she once was. The display areas plan will include a large, functional exhibition space for the display of static aircraft and the history of naval aviation, but the overall museum will move away from solely a traditional aviation presentation, and principal themes to be explored will also include Peace and Security, Maritime and Naval Technology, Industry, and the Environment within a broad based interpretation of Naval and Maritime Aviation and its history in the UK, Commonwealth and around the World. Added to this will be the unique opportunities in the UK for Anglo-Brazilian and Anglo Australian exhibitions and displays of a wide ranging nature from tourism to the wonders of wildlife. 

Consequently, Vengeance Naval Aviation Heritage Museum will not be about military aircraft and naval history alone. After all, the HMS Vengeance Campaign's success to date has been built on partnerships, especially its partnership with the Fleet Air Arm and Royal Navy Associations Aeronautica, whose collection includes some very significant non-military aircraft types, and hopefully into the future with the Academic Institutions where VENGEANCE will settle. 

Quite simply, Vengeance Naval Aviation Heritage Museum will tell the story of British and World Wide Naval aviation in what we are sure will be the most exciting and inspiring display of British and Commonwealth and worldwide naval aircraft in the world. It will be a beacon project, a national resource where visitors will be able to celebrate the development of naval aviation, and the sharing of common heritage around the Globe. We expect from 200,000 to 250,000 visitors every year. 

Folowing a feasibility study for suitable locations in the UK, the initial berthing will be in the Fal Estuary whilst the ship is readied for her final home. The Port of Truro Harbour Master has confirmed her berth at the King Harry Reach (click here to see further details)

One of the preferred options for ther final home of the Vengeance is for the ship to be finally located in the Solent, although in July 2002 two new offers were made, one to the Thames and the other to the Tyne. The option being studied at present is for her to go to Southampton Water, Southern England near the city of Southampton. A berth as been offered by the port authorities, ABP Southampton. 

                                                        Large scale aerial photograph (1:50,000 scale) of the proposed anchorage of HMS Vengeance (Multimap)

The plan is for the ship to become a memorial to the Fleet Air Arm, Commonwealth and international naval aviation.

The main story will be of the Aircraft Carrier and Naval Aviation around the world, which had its roots and origins in the pioneering experiments in England in 1908. The World's first Aircraft carrier and the once largest Naval Aviation force in the world was in the United Kingdom, this will be her story and that of other pioneering nations such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, France and the USA. 

Theme One: History of the Aircraft Carrier and Naval Aviation
Theme Two: History of the ship

On the VENGEANCE'S flight deck, up to thirty aircraft will tell the story of naval aviation, while in the ship's cavernous hanger deck, a variety of exhibits and displays will provide educational interest and honour our heroes and give the public a glimpse of valuable historic aircraft and memorabilia from the past and the high tech hardware being developed to defend our common future.

World's first aircraft carrier landing, HMS Furious                Short Short 184 in the early days of Naval Aviation

As an Aircraft Carrier, the VENGEANCE has enormous potential for exhibitions and displays. Loans and acquisitions of aircraft from the Royal Navy, Fleet Air Arm Museum, Hall of Aviation, and Imperial war Museum are being proposed, as well as with industry for displays of the latest naval aviation equipment. The potential display area for aircraft and other exhibits on the Flight Deck alone is enormous, with a floor space of 7665m² - an atmospheric environment which until recently resounded to the jet engine sounds of its 35 resident aircraft which are completely exotic to British skies, including the Grumman P.16 Trackers, AF.1 (A-4KU) Skyhawks, Augusta ASH.3D/H Sea Kings,  Aerospatiale UH.13 Esquillos and Aerospatiale UH.14 Super Puma.

Impression of the Aircraft displays in the hanger of Vengeance Naval Aviation Heritage Museum 

In the cavernous hanger and in the lift area imagine large aircraft like the historic WW2 Fairey Swordfish or Hawker Sea Fury suspended from the roof, a method which will be put to spectacular effect in the Vengeance Naval Aviation Heritage Museum, and you are starting to imagine how Museum will look. Add to this the opportunity of real live visits by aircraft which actually flew or served onboard the VENGEANCE when she served with the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy, including the Fairey Firefly of the Royal Navy Historic Flight based at RNAS Yeovilton or the Vought Corsair of the Fighter Company (TFC) at Duxford - there becomes the real opportunity for spectacular deck landing displays and airshows with a naval aviation and maritime theme.

The extant Fairey Firefly WB271 of the Royal Navy Historic Flight, Yeovilton (UK) flew from HMS Vengeance 1949-1950

The Vengeance Naval Aviation Heritage Museum will maintain close links with the Veteran's associations and the modern navies of Australia, Brazil, and the UK. A treasure trove collection of memorabilia will be displayed on the ship, showing her 59 years of history, as well of her sister ships.

Vengeance and Minas Gerais archives and Memorabilia displays ("The H.M.S. Vengeance Association")

A tour round this huge and complex warship will take you from her Flight Deck up to the Bridge and all the way down via the aircraft lifts to the aircraft displays and exhibition in the hangers. From there you will pass through many decks to her massive Boiler and Engine rooms. On the way you will see her ten 40 mm Bofors, and AA. 3 Matra SIMBAD twin launchers for Mistral missiles, the heavily armoured Ammunition Rooms and Magazines, and experience what life was like for her crew by visiting the Ops Room, cramped Mess decks, Officers' Cabins, Galley and Sick Bay and even the Dentists. In general  tours will last approximately 60-80 minutes. Shorter tours to areas of notable interest would last approximately 20 minutes. 

Visit the Vengeance's Two Parsons geared steam turbines,
and 4 Admiralty three drum type boilers

The Aircraft Carrier will be a living museum and include a number of naval aircraft restoration projects, they will be separate from the hanger exhibition space, but will include viewing areas for visitors. This work will be a unique partnership between volunteers, commercial companies and engineering students.

Restoration project on a Skua cockpit at the Fleet Air Arm Museum

Get ready to come aboard the world's largest floating classroom, where everyday is an adventure. Education is an important aspect of the Museum's future role, education and the team who put together the concept of the Vengeance Naval Aviation Heritage Museum have not forgotten that. Ships and planes can excite young minds. They inspire questions such as "How do boats float?" and "How do planes fly?. "The Vengeance Naval Aviation Heritage Museum Education Centre will provide purpose built, self-contained facilities for educational groups of all kinds. Proposals include for up to 20-40,000 children visiting the VENGEANCE in organised school parties, as well as special needs and adult education groups. As with the extremely successful approach in the preserved carriers in the USA such as USS Hornet and USS Lexington, it is proposed to have organised "Live aboard" programmes for supervised groups where you can sleep in restored berthing compartments, where the real VENGEANCE crew lived, eat in the Ship's galley, sea old movies and hear real ghost stories and sea stories. The ship will also be made available for use by the MVS and Sea Cadets.

Unique to the UK will be a major Ango-Brazilian, and Commonwealth exhibition to complement and assist in teaching courses for the National Curriculum on Geography, and to generally strengthen the ties between these two great countries.

 The VENGEANCE Flight Simulator                       The US carriers have a proven record in educating kids (USS Lexington) 

This Centre will provide not only history but also science & technology related teaching courses, with virtual reality and high-tech equipment - watch live on radar the ships entering Southampton Water. An Internet cafe will provide the opportunity to explore the world of  the world-wide web.

To enrich the visit we we create a specially designed gallery to give kids and adult visitors free access to our unique purpose built exhibits, and for kids of all ages to climb in our aircraft cockpit or to fly in our 12 seater Naval Aircraft Flight Simulator - climb in, grab the joystick and test your skill at a landing the Harrier onboard our aircraft carrier's flight deck. Our handling collection of original documents and helmets, flying jackets and uniforms from three Navies will become available for school children to touch and wear. 

Whether it's for a high profile function, a news conference, seminar, corporate event, or other social   gathering, the Vengeance Naval Aviation Heritage Museum will have a host of facilities and services
available for all needs. With such a large ship, wide potential audience and catchment area in South England, for both Corporate, University and tourist venues, we are proposing a onboard purpose built Cinema Theatre, state-of-the-art multimedia venue and Conference facilities. Happily we can learn and build on the experience from the excellent work already carried out in the preserved aircraft carriers of the USA. With a 200-250 seat capacity, the cinema will feature full surround sound and digital projection and screen action packed film presentations featuring aircraft carrier take-offs and recoveries aboard modern aircraft carrier, as well as showing historic archive footage about the history of naval aviation, or shows about the natural heritage of Australia and Brazil. Learn all about the sophistication and training of flight deck operations including the highly specialized roles of crew members.  The theatre will also be available for rent for meetings and conferences, being fully equipped including for Video Conferencing and Translation Services.

Opportunities for a purpose built Cinema Theatre, state-of-the-art multimedia venue and Conference facilities
(example of the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier theatre seen here) 

Guest Speakers - Arrangements can be made for retired Fleet Air Arm, Naval Aviation and Royal Navy officers and former crew to speak at your event. Opportunities will include illustrated presentations by eminent members of the RNHF Leeds Support Group. Hear from one of the 4 surviving veterans of the Greatest Fleet Air Arm Battle of how Fairey Swordfish biplanes decimated the Italian Fleet at Taranto, a lesson which was closely watched by the Japanese for their attack on Pearl Harbor. Get the inside story on history from the veterans themselves!.

A cafe and shop will be on board selling model kits, videos, books, hats and other goods associated with the ship, aircraft and naval aviation.

Of course, if you want to do something well it always costs a good deal of money and the cost of Vengeance Naval Aviation Heritage Museum will be many millions. The intention is for the project to promote partnerships, both commercial and through grant aid. We are discussing the opportunity for allocations from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which has funded significant amounts to other Aviation related museums such as the Imperial War Museum at Duxford which was generously provided £15 million towards its projects. 

Heritage Lottery Fund

As we have said, the Save the Vengeance Campaign to date is all about partnerships and a major player in the world's marine and aerospace industry, BAE SYSTEMS, has had discussions about joining us in saving the VENGEANCE and hopefully assisting in the Vengeance Naval Aviation Heritage Museum venture. It has held meetings with the Save the Vengeance Campaign Team and made visits to Brazil. Recognising the importance of, and need for, a showcase centre for British naval aviation and maritime heritage, the company is looking at options to assist in the project. Again by comparison they put recently £5 million into the Air Space project at Duxford. 

The potential for BAE SYSTEMS support in future is optimistic. BAE SYSTEMS had for some time been seeking a centre on which to focus their heritage activity and has already selected Duxford as one of its leaders in the field. Chairman Sir Richard Evans, CBE said he was impressed by the scale and quality of their operation and dynamic, hands-on approach to education. It is hoped that BAE Systems recognise that Vengeance Naval Aviation Heritage Museum will be central to preserving Britain's naval aviation and maritime heritage and educating the engineers of tomorrow as a project of national importance. A proposed special section on BAE SYSTEMS' own heritage will include exhibits tracing back its corporate predecessors involvement in Naval Aviation and Maritime History.

Associated British Ports (ABP) Southampton, and the Port of Truro have both offered a berth for VENGEANCE on delivery. The Vengeance Naval Aviation Heritage Museum venture will also help to promote the maritime and port's industry's future in the region with a centre where current and trainee aerospace engineers will be able to gain nationally and internationally recognised qualifications. We hope that the provision of this facility will raise the profile of this career path and help to redress the national shortage of maritime engineers. 

PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE FUTURE: SOUTHAMPTON UNIVERSITY AND INSTITUTE, & THE WARSASH MARITIME CENTRE AND THE VENGEANCE? Warsash Maritime Centre is renowned for providing high quality education, training, research and consultancy services to the maritime industry.
Southampton has a leading worldwide reputation for Maritime naval and engineering expertise and higher education. University of Southampton, with its Wolfson Unit for Marine Technology and Industrial Aerodynamics, the Department of Engineering and Naval Architecture at the Southampton Institute of Higher Education and its associated Warsash Maritime Centre, form a formidable pool of high quality education, training, research and consultancy services to the maritime industry. The Vengeance Naval Aviation Heritage Museum venture will promote the opportunity to collaborate these learned institutions and assist towards training of maritime engineers.

There are certain occasions which demand special treatment, the choice of venue is crucial, seldom will you find one as unique as VENGEANCE. Whether its for a high profile function, News Conference, Corporate Event, Concerts or Reunions the VENGEANCE will be a unique attraction and has a host of facilities and services available for between 5 and 2,000 people . 

Vengeance Naval Aviation Heritage Museum will partner with Southampton's foremost specialists in catering for prestige events. The Captain's Quarters, Wardroom, the Ship's Company Dining Hall and Mess room, and newly converted banqueting suites will available to be hired for receptions, lunches, dinners and conferences, and a full catering service will become available. 

Proposed Corporate entertainment on VENGEANCE     Trade shows feature on the US preserved Carrier USS Hornet

Through our proposed agreement with local ferry companies in Truro, Falmouth and Southampton, such as Blue Funnel Ferry Cruises, your group can travel to the VENGEANCE via ferry or bus, or provide a stop over on the existing harbour cruises, Howard's Way scenic cruise, or Three Rivers Cruise. If you are driving, there is proposed to be excellent parking for the VENGEANCE pier entrance. VENGEANCE will certainly be high on the British tourist sites itinerary of the Coach Tourism Council.  Southampton is one of the most important ports for Cruise ships, and VENGEANCE will form a valuable asset to Cruise stop overs. Local tours will link into the existing Southampton City WWII Trail amongst others.

Detailed planning permission for the project has yet to be obtained, and can only start once the VENGEANCE is returned to the UK. However, once back home work on Vengeance Naval Aviation Heritage Museum will turn this venerable aircraft carrier into Europe's largest naval aviation heritage exhibition space, and all goes well can start in mid 2002. Given the high quality and good condition of the ship final completion is due in 2004-2005. 

We need to secure immediately finance towards the Save the Vengeance project, leaving further funding in the short-term to establish the Museum, and for maintenance costs. We are confident that, with help, this gap can be closed. If you would like to support Vengeance Naval Aviation Heritage Museum and the Friends of HMS Vengeance to get this historic ship back to the UK, please contact Email:

July 2002
(first version December 2001)

Many thanks to the Vengeance photographs from Ron Davis author of the HMS Vengeance with 1850 and 812 Squadrons website

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