Heritage: Sea Fury Airframe History

The following information is provided by ADF Serials, to whom we extend our grateful thanks.  The job would have been immeasurably harder if it had not been for them. 

RAN/RN Serial RAN Code Type Delivered Aircraft History
TF925 110/JR 25/05/49 07/11/49, Reduced to Spares and produce.
It is possible some of this aircraft lives on with VX730 at the Australian War Memorial.
VW232 100/K FB.11 25/05/49 805 Sqdn 24/49.
Whilst being flown by 805 Sqdn Senior Pilot LEUT(P) Cunningham during gunnery practice on a splash target the aircraft was sprayed with 20mm ball shot by his number two. The aircraft was ordered to land at Lossiemouth where it was found to be a write off.
Ground instructional airframe 30/03/51,NAS Nowra.
Rebuilt in RAN service using rear fuselage, outer wings and stern post of TF925.
To Australian War Memorial, Canberra displayed on carrier deck diorama as RAN VX730/109K.
VW543 105/K RN aircraft loaned to RAN
Served aboard HMAS Sydney.
VW582 111/K RN aircraft loaned to RAN
Served aboard HMAS Sydney.
VW622 101/K 25/05/49 16/07/52, being flown by the Commanding officer of 805 Squadron while doing a low level roll practising aerobatics for an Air Day it crashed on the runway at RANAS Nowra killing the pilot LCDR(P) D.R Hare, RAN.
VW623 108/K

102/K

FB.11 25/05/49 Construction number 41H/613993
Withdrawn as Gate Guard HMAS Albatross 1965 to 1972. Marked as 102K.
To Naval Aviation Museum, Nowra 1974-1995.
RAN Historic Flight Nowra 1996 to 2002. Registered as VH-NVS.
Reassembled and repainted in 2011 for Commissioning Ceremony of 808 Squadron.  Moved to FAA Museum in December 2018 and is now on permanent static display. Advice from the FAAM Mar19 was that the engine that was in this aircraft was removed placed in WG630 prior to its sale to the Historic Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) purchase towards the end of 2018.  The engine that was in WG630 is reserved for future exhibition in the Museum.
VW624 103/K
131/K
25/05/49 08/01/54, Spares and Produce.
VW625 104/K
112/K
25/05/49 06/03/59, Sold to T.Carr & Co. for scrap.

 

VW626 105/K 25/05/49 04/06/57, Sold to Fitzgibbon & Garthon for scrap.
VW627 106/K 25/05/49 04/02/52, Spares and Produce.
VW629 25/05/49 01/10/65, Fire Fighting -Struck Off Charge (SOC).
VW630 FB.11 25/05/49 26/09/60, Sold to Aluminium Ingots Co. for scrap.
VW631 110/K 25/05/49 25/10/56, Sold to A.G. Simms for scrap.
VW632 102/K
108/K
25/05/49 06/03/59, Sold to T. Carr & Co for scrap.
VW634 105/K
107/K
25/05/49 Damaged 12/11/55 whilst with 805 Sqdn RAN.
Wheels up landing at Camden NSW.
Fire Fighting S.O.C.
VW635 114/K 25/05/49 02/11/56, Sold for scrap.
VW636 115/K
165/K
165/Q
25/05/49 02/11/56, Sold for scrap.
VW637 116/K 25/05/49 26/09/60, Sold to A.L Ingots Co. for scrap.
VW638 117/K
167/K
25/05/49 Damaged 13/10/54, Nowra.
18/10/55, Spares and produce.
VW639 118/K 25/05/49 Damaged 13/02/54, HMAS Melbourne.
15/11/55, Spares and produce at RANAS Schofields.
VW640 101/K
119/K
25/05/49 18/5/53,aircraft written off after having crashed on take off from airfield at HMAS Albatross Nowra when the engine failed.
Pilot LEUT(P)Bolton RAN severely injured.
Reduced to spares and produce.
VW642 106/K
109/K
121/K
25/05/49 26/09/60, Sold to Aluminium Ingots Co. for scrap.
VW643 124/K 25/05/49 03/59 Sold to T Carr & Co for scrap
VW644 123/K 25/05/49 02/11/56, Sold to Aluminium Ingots Co. for scrap.
VW645 107/K
109/K
25/05/49 On Tuesday the 30/08/55 the aircraft whilst being flown by LEUT(P)J.R Bluett RN in company with Sea Fury WZ-650 was credited with the shooting down of a pilotless Auster J/4 Archer aircraft into the sea off Broken Bay. The aircraft had a yellow “Kill” symbol representing the Auster painted onto the fuselage.
04/06/57, Sold to Fitzgibbon & Garthon for scrap.
VW646 103/K
110/K
117/K
25/05/49 22/11/50,the pilot LEUT(P) W.G Bowles RAN on having an engine failure bailed out 9.5 miles from RANAS Nowra landing in a tree.
A passing motorist cut him down unhurt.
The aircraft crashed and was destroyed nearby.
VW647 100/K
127/K
25/05/49 15/11/59, Sold to Experimental Building Station, Ryde, NSW,
Currently located at the Camden Museum of Aviation
This is a privately owned collection and is not open to the public.
VW648 112/K 25/05/49 17/07/51, Ditched in sea off HMAS Sydney by LEUT Goldrick, RAN.
VW660 120/K
972/NW
25/05/49 04/06/57, Sold to Fitzgibbon & Garthon for scrap.
VX627 100/K
161/K
1950 25/10/56, Sold to A. G. Simms for scrap.
VX661 126/K 1950 02/11/56, Sold to Aluminium Ingots Co. for scrap.
VX687 115/NW Very little information on VX687 except our photo showing RAN tiles and codes.
Maybe RN aircraft loaned to RAN?
Scrapped at Gosport, UK 04/51 after a forced landing
VX707 10/12/50 14/2/58,with 805 Sqdn RAN, birdstrike during low level cross country exercise.
Firefighting . S.O.C.
VX724 10/12/50 11/11/1951 808 Sqdn HMAS Sydney. Did not lower hook and entered No2 barrier on touchdown.
29/07/54, Spares and produce.
VX725 100/K 10/12/50 25/10/56, Sold to A.G. Simms for scrap.
VX726 101/K 10/12/50 29/12/53, the aircraft on being launched from HMAS Sydney crashed into the sea ahead of the ship killing the pilot SBLT(P) Beardsall,RN of 850 Squadron.
VX727 102/K 10/12/50 08/62,Fire Fighting -S.O.C. 10/65
VX728 103/K 10/12/50 22/10/51, LEUT(P) Knapstein, RAN. Hit by flak and force landed onto a mud flat on the South bank of the HAN River.
Rescued by a boat from HMS Amethyst.
VX729 132/K 10/12/50 09/12/55, Spares and produce.
VX730 100/K

109/K

10/12/50 18/6/57,with 805 Sqdn RAN, engine failure and forced landing onto Currarong Beach NSW.09/03/59,
Sold to NSW Department of Education
Sea Fury marked VX730 on display in the Australian War Memorial.
Some parts of this machine could be from TF925 and VW232.
VX748 10/12/50 During exercises aboard HMAS Sydney in the Hervey Bay area Lt Campbell of 808 Squadron did not flare out on landing and crashed into No.2 barrier. The aircraft flipped over and the pilot suffered superficial head injuries and shock. The aircraft was a complete write off
01/11/51, Spares and produce.
SOC 10/12/51
VX749 10/12/50 14/06/62, Fire Fighting – S.O.C.
VX750 10/12/50 20/01/56, Spares and produce.
VX751 106/K 10/12/50 10/09/52,the pilot SBLT(P) Ian McDonald, RAN, had an engine failure and force landed on an airstrip at Cape Gloucester, New Guinea, pilot uninjured.
Aircraft later salvaged and reduced to spares.
VX752 105/K
131/K
951/K
10/12/50 14/06/52, Fire Fighting. S.O.C.
VX753 132/Q 10/12/50 16/09/54,this aircraft spun in from low level at Jervis Bay airfield killing the pilot LEUT(P)R.G Owen RN
VX754 10/12/50 03/05/51, Crashed into sea after RATOG take off from HMAS Sydney. LEUT(P)R.W Barnett, RAN killed.
VX755 10/12/50 08/02/56, Spares and produce.
VX756 100/K
164/K
10/12/50 01/10/65, Fire Fighting – S.O.C.
VX757 10/12/50 26/09/60, Sold to Aluminium Ingots Co. for scrap.
VX758 10/12/50 19/04/58,aircraft had an engine failure ditched and pilot LEUT(P) Williams, RN rescued.
VX759 10/12/50 02/11/56, Sold to Aluminium Ingots Co. for scrap.
VX760 10/12/50 25/10/56, Sold to A.G. Simms for scrap.
VX761 131/K 10/12/50 11/09/51,Oil pressure dropped and pilot elected to land on HMAS Sydney on transit to Korea.
Engine failed downwind with wheels and flaps down.
Aircraft ditched.
LEUT(P) Webster,805 Sqdn RAN – rescued.
VX762 10/12/50 17/05/53, Mid-air with a Tiger Moth over Wagga airfield
LCDR(P) Wild, DFC,Commanding Officer of 850 Squadron RAN killed.
(Tiger Moth occupant unhurt.)
VX763 133/K 10/12/50 20/02/56, Spares and produce.
VX764 134/K 10/12/50 17/12/51, Shot down over Korea.
LCDR(P) Bowles, RAN-hit by AA fire and bailed out.Rescued by a friendly junk and conveyed to an island where he was picked up by a helicopter and returned to the ship.
WE673 103/K
135/K
10/12/50 04/06/57, Sold to Fitzgibbon & Garthon for scrap.
WE674 103/K,
105/K
10/12/50 05/11/51, LEUT(P) Clarkson, DFM, RAN killed.
Aircraft failed to pull out of a dive whilst attacking enemy transport in the Han river area, Korea.
WE675 137/K 10/12/50 23/4/57 whilst with 805 Sqdn at NAS Nowra tail wheel broke off on landing and aircraft swung of runway.
06/03/59, Sold to T. Carr for scrap.
WE676 138/K 10/12/50 08/02/56, Spares and produce.
WE677 10/12/50 11/12/51 damaged when with 805 Sqdn HMAS Sydney flared out late, bounced between Nos 2 and 3 wires and entered No 2 barrier.
16/04/52, Fire Fighting -S.O.C.
WE678 10/12/50 26/09/60, Sold to Aluminium Ingots for scrap.
WE679 10/12/50 07/12/51, Shot down in Korea . SBLT(P) Smith, RN rescued.
WE686 1950 02/01/51,launched from HMAS Sydney on a Carrier Air Patrol during the Korean war SBLT(P)R.J Coleman,RAN disappeared from his formation.
He was not found and and presumed missing, killed in action.
WE790 RN aircraft loaned to RAN during Korean War
c1951 diverted to US Marine base with battle damage.
NB. There is uncertainty about the validity of this story when more facts come to light
WE791 1950 26/07/60, Sold to Aluminium Ingots for scrap.
WE795 1951 07/12/51, Shot down by AAA over Korea.
SBLT(P) Sinclair killed whilst bailing out. His body recovered by helo and buried at sea.
WE796 1951 25/10/51, Shot down in Korea LEUT(P) Wheatley, RAN rescued.
WE797 106/K 1951 13/12/51, Shot down in Korea. SBLT(P) Cooper ,RAN bailed out and rescued.
WE799 105/K
?/NW
1951 Crash landed at Nowra on 22/8/55 engine failure on takeoff.S/LEUT(P)Henry RAN 805 Sqdn
25/10/60, Sold to A.G. Simms for scrap.
WF591 1951 06/03/59, Sold to T. Carr for scrap.
WF593 1951 26/09/53, Sold To Aluminium Ingots for scrap.
WG627 1952 26/09/60, Sold to Aluminium Ingots for scrap.
WG628 920/NW 1952 06/03/59,Attached to 723 Sqdn.
On the 22/11/55 and whilst being flown by LEUT(P)T Branson RAN the aircraft suffered a total engine failure over the Australian Alps.The aircraft glided to canberra airfield where a successful and safe landing was made. A rare green(Commendation) entry was made in appendix C of the pilots log book.The RAN accident report No 448 shows the cause as a “Defect in the Control System”
Sold to T, Carr for scrap.
WG630 FB.11 1952 15/11/59, Eperimental Building Station, Ryde, NSW, 1959-1986. Used as wind machine to test building materials.
Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT, 1986.
Purchased by Navy from AWM to serve as static display for FAA 50th Anniversary. Crudely painted and served as static display in Naval Aviation Museum, Nowra until December 2018.  Was then allocated for disposal by Tender and stored J hangar.  It was purchased as part of a lot of  RAN Historic flight aircraft by HARS in December 2018. Will be moved to the HARS facility early in 2019 for eventual rebuild – hopefully to flying status.  Advice from the FAAM (as of March 2019) was that the engine sold with this aircraft had been taken from VW623 prior to HARS’ purchase, and the engine that was in WG630 was now in the museum, pending display.
WH581 111/K
111/NW
922/NW
1952 06/03/59, Sold to T. Carr for scrap.
WH583 171/K 1952 25/10/56, Sold to A.G. Simms for scrap.
WH586 1952 12/04/56, Crashed Nowra SBLT(P) Howe, RAN of 724 Squadron killed when returning from a night flying sortie.
He dived into the ground near airfield.
WH587 105/K 1952 BOC 07/03/52
SOC 23/09/63
Sold to G Grieg of Sydney 1963-64
Lord Tefgarne 1964
Shipped to USA 1964
Grant Weaver, San Jose CA 1965-67
Registered N260X. Pylon race number 33
Stan Booker Fresno CA 1967
James R. Fugate, Aurora, OR 1969
Sherman Cooper, Merced, CA 1971-1972.
Westernair of Albuquerque, Albuquerque, NM, 1972
Ellsworth Getchell, San Jose,CA 1975 to present
WH588 114/NW FB.11 1952 Brought on charge 7/03/52.
Struck off charge 23/09/63 then became VH-BOU, N588, G-EEMV
Crashed 12/05/2001 Sywell UK, killing the owner & pilot Paul Morgan. You can see a brief report of the accident here.
The wreckage is under restoration by Dan Borgstrom in Sweden
WH589 115/NW FB.11 1952 Brought on charge M7/03/52.
Struck off charge 23/09/63.
Now in USA. Aircraft is highly modified for air racing and flies as “Furias”.
Owned by Bill Rogers and Dale Stolzer of “Everett” Washington USA.
There are two other examples of Fury/Sea Fury wearing these same markings 
The first was an ex-Iraqi Fury registered VH-HFX in 1985. It was exported to UK in 1991 returning to Australia in 2011 as VH-ORN. It has since returned to Europe.
The second is an ex-Royal Navy Sea Fury currently registered F-AZXJ. It has no Australian connection.F-AZXJ was offered for sale in France in August 2019, with advice that it had been restored in 2007 by US company Sanders Aeronautics and exported to France three years later. During a further overhaul by Sanders its engine had been replaced with a Pratt & Whitney R-2800 CB3. It flies in RAN colours (dark blue) and is being sold by Boschung Global on behalf of its current owner. No price was mentioned.
WH590 104/K
894/NW
1952 1961, Fire Fighting – S.O.C.
WJ279 101/K
102/K
1953 06/03/59, Sold to T. Carr for scrap.
WJ284 102/K

163/K

1953 26/09/60, Sold to Aluminium Ingots for scrap.
WJ294 102/K 1953 15/03/54, Ditched. LEUT(P) Brettingham-Moore, RAN rescued.
WJ297 955/NW 1953 06/03/59, Sold to T. Carr for scrap.
WJ299 105/K
110/K
1953 14/06/62, Fire Fighting – S.O.C.
WM479 106/K 1953 14/06/62, Fire fighting – S.O.C.
WN480 1953 25/10/56, Sold to A.G. Simms for scrap.
WM481 1953 06/03/59, Sold to T. Carr for scrap.
WM482 1953 26/10/56 Sold to A.G. Simms for scrap
WM490 1953 25/10/56, Sold to A.G. Simms for scrap.
WZ642 102/K FB.11 27/05/54 With 805 Sqdn 15/05/55 when being flown by LEUT(P)R Leeson RAN while landing this aircraft at the Griffith Air Show WZ642 ran into and cut off the tail of Sea Fury WZ-652.
9/12/55 sold to A.G Simms for scrap.
WZ643 113/K FB.11 27/05/54 06/03/59, Sold to T. Carr for spares.
WZ644 101/K FB.11 27/05/54 21/07/55, Flying locally from RANAS Nowra LEUT(P) Leeson, RAN of 805 Squadron crashed into Beecroft Range and was killed.
WZ645 102/K FB.11 27/05/54 14/6/57, Whilst with 805 Sqdn,and being flown by LEUT(P) Davidson RAN, engine overspeed, forced landing on Currarong Beach NSW,aircraft caught fire.
24/03/58, Spares and produce at Nowra.
WZ646 103/K FB.11 27/05/54 20/10/55, Crashed into sea off Wreck Bay LEUT(P) Henry,RAN of 805 Squadron killed.
WZ647 104/K FB.11 27/05/54 04/06/57, Sold to Fitzgibbon & Garthon for scrap.
WZ648 105/K FB.11 27/05/54 25/10/56, Sold to A.G. Simms for scrap.
WZ649 106/K FB.11 27/05/54 31/07/58, Fire Fighting -S.O.C.
WZ650 107/K FB.11 27/05/54 06/03/59,Flown by LEUT(P)McNay RN of 805 Sqdn on Tuesday 30 August 1955, the aircraft in company with another Sea Fury from 805 Sqdn was involved in the shootdown of an Auster J/4 Archer aircraft that had taken off from Bankstown Airport without its pilot.The Auster was shot down into the sea from a height of 10,000 approx 10 miles North east of Broken Bay.
Sold to T. Carr for scrap.
WZ651 108/K FB.11 27/05/54 06/03/59, Sold to T. Carr for scrap.
WZ652 102/K FB.11 27/05/54 14/06/57,With 805 Sqdn.
Sea Fury WZ-642 cut the tail off this aircraft whilst landing at the Griffith Air Show 15/05/55.
Written off 16/05/55
Sold for scrap 15/06/57.
WZ653 109/K FB.11 27/05/54 02/11/56, Sold to Aluminium Ingots for scrap.