RAAF BASE VAMPIRES
Pearce RAAF Base, located 15 miles north of Perth Airport, was home to RAAF Advanced Flying Training School. A large fleet of
DH.115 Vampire two-seat trainers were used until 1969 when the new Macchi MB.362 trainers were introduced.
These are my photographs of the disposal of the Pearce Vampires at that time
Vampire T Mk.35 A79-602 still in service at Pearce on a rainy day in August 1968. Silver with dayglo orange nose and tail
All the RAAF Vampire Trainers were built under licence by De Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd at Sydney-Bankstown NSW
Vampire T Mk.35 A79-644 on the training line at Pearce in August 1968. The line is being refuelled before the next scheduled
departure wave to the military high and low training areas in the airspace surrounding Pearce
A group of Vampires parked in reserve for AFTS at Pearce in August 1968.
T Mk.35 A79-640 was later ferried to Wagga NSW to become Instructional No.25 at the RAAF School of Technical Training
|Hawker de Havilland established
a hangar at Perth Airport to carry out major overhauls on Vampire Trainers
from RAAF Pearce.
During 1968 scheduled work on Vampires was discontinued, pending their replacement by Macchis.
This line of Vampires was outside the HdeH hangar in August 1968, waiting to be carted away by Perth scrap metal dealers
|Vampire T Mk.35 A79-652
at Perth Airport, August 1968
|Vampire T Mk.35 A79-655
at Perth Airport, August 1968
|Here's A79-823 (third
picture above) dumped at Western Trading's scrapyard in the Perth suburb
of Kenwick in April 1969.
Only military aircraft enthusiasts would appreciate such a fine view from the windows of the company office.
|At the entrance of the
same scrap yard in Kenwick in April 1969 was A79-621, hoisted up on a crane
as an eye-catcher.
A79-621 had been sold for scrap from Pearce. It was built at Bankstown as a T Mk.33 but modified in service to T Mk.35A
|Six months later in October
1969, A79-621 was on its nose in the Perth suburb of Canning Vale as an
It later had Cannington Motors painted across the wings
|A79-621 again in July
1971, same location after vandals had cut the tie-down cables and set a
fire inside the cockpit.
One can only hope this brought them great inner satisfaction
Two Vampire T Mk.35s in the museum collection of the TVW7 television studios at Mount Yokine in July 1970.
Just to confuse the unwary, A79-665 behind is fitted with the under wing fuel tanks of A79-664
|T Mk.35 A79-603 had been
instructional airframe TA-38 at RAAF Pearce.
It was later refurbished and mounted on a pole inside the base, where it was photographed in August 1975
T Mk.35 A79-821 was moved from Pearce to the Air Force Association's Bull Creek estate.
Seen parked in an open compound in March 1974, it was later displayed inside the Aviation Heritage Museum
|T Mk.35 A79-638 was taken
by road from Pearce to Beverley WA, where it is seen in June 1971 outside
the town's aviation museum
The Rotary Club at Geraldton WA had plans to mount a Vampire as a display in their town, and T Mk.35 A79-651 was moved
430 Km from RAAF Pearce. The reassembly job proved too much, and it was abandoned at Geraldton Airport by May 1971
AND SOME SINGLE-SEAT VAMPIRE FIGHTERS
In the early 1960s, single-seat fighter Vampires retired at RAAF Pearce had been allocated to Air Training Corps units in the
Perth suburbs. During 1970 these were replaced by the freshly-retired Vampires Trainers from Pearce.
Fremantle ATC before: DH.100 Vampire FB Mk.31 A79-308, painted in a bogus camouflage in April 1969.
It was carted away by Krasnosteins Metals to their scrap yard at Bayswater, Perth in June 1970
ATC after: Vampire T Mk.35 A79-664 "Training Aircraft No.36" in October
1971. Silver & dayglo orange
Belmont ATC before: FB Mk.31 A79-111 was being dismantled at the Belmont ATC compound in June 1970. White and dayglo.
Later that month Krasnosteins Metals men finished the job with axes and took it to their yard at Baywater, Perth
Belmont ATC after: Replacement was Vampire T Mk.35 A79-606 as "TA-34" delivered to the Belmont ATC in July 1970.
Silver and dayglo
at Belmont Air Training Corps
By March 1972, Belmont ATC's Vampire had been repainted white and dayglo
ATC before: Vampire FB Mk.31 A79-36 in April 1969, painted all white,
It was moved here from Pearce in February 1962, quoted on its RAAF record card as Training Aircraft No.20.
When it was repainted all white in-situ in 1966 it was inexplicably painted as "21"
Claremont ATC after: replacement Vampire T Mk.35 A79-620 from Pearce, seen in July 1970 (photo by Merv Prime)
|Claremont ATC's A79-620 was repainted with
its allocated Training Aircraft serial TA-35 by June 1971 (Photo by Merv
|This Vampire FB.31 A79-985
finished its days painted yellow as an advertising sign alongside Albany
Highway at Armadale, Perth.
It was sold as scrap less nose section after it was damaged in a forced landing near RAAF Pearce on 15 September 1956.
Weaver & Lock put it on display from January 1958 near Perth Airport, moving to the Armadale site in June 1960
Krasnosteins Metals, Bayswater, Perth
During August 1971, a detailed inspection of Krasnosteins Metals three scrap yards at Bayswater identified the following DH Vampires in various states of dismemberment:
Vampire Trainers: A79-614, -619, 622, -634, -652, -663, -667, -808
Single-seat Vampires: TA-20, and another I noted as "A79-479", but which was not a Vampire serial
The scrap dealer's office had a sign advertising Vampire sections for sale: wings $300 each, cockpit pod $100, tail booms two for $75.
Also in the yards were:
- Avro Anson Cheetah engines and cowlings: serials painted inside cowls: N5003, W2153, W2434, W2067, "4964"
- Vultee Vengeance: complete starboard wing with flap and aeleron, tailwheel, fuel tanks
- Beaufighter: chopped up fuselage sections
- Merlin engines in poor condition
- Cessna 180A VH-KIH white & black: identified by its Cessna plate 50024: crashed Jeramungup WA 8 February 1962 on ag work
- Cessna 150G VH-KPI yellow: sections discarded after rebuild at Jandakot WA Jan-April 1970