Canadian Warplanes 3: Lockheed Ventura

Lockheed Ventura

The Ventura was built by the Vega Aircraft Company division of Lockheed. The Ventura first entered combat in Europe as a bomber with the RAF in late 1942.  British Commonwealth forces also used it in several guises, including anti-shipping and antisubmarine search and attack. The Ventura was developed from the Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar transport, as a replacement for the Lockheed Hudson bombers then in service with the Royal Air Force. Used in daylight attacks against occupied Europe, they proved to have weaknesses and were removed from bomber duty and some used for patrols by Coastal Command.

A total of 157 Ventura G.R. Mk. Vs were used operationally by the RCAF from 16 June 1942 to 18 April 1947 in the home defence coastal patrol role in both Eastern and Western Air Command. They were flown by 8, 113, 115, 145, and 149 Squadrons. A further 21 Ventura Mk. Is and 108 Ventura Mk. IIs were used in a training role at 1 Central Flying School, Trenton, Ontario, and at RCAF Station Pennfield Ridge, New Brunswick (RAF No. 34 Operational Training Unit) as part of the BCATP. A total of 21 Mk. Is, 108 Mk. IIs, and 157 G.R. Mk. Vs were in service during this period for a total of 286 aircraft.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4948338), (IWM Photo, C 3404)

Lockheed Ventura Mk. I (Serial No. AE742), coded YH-M, of No. 21 Squadron, RAF, flown by Warrant Officer L.L.G. Jones and crew, over the docks at Ijmuiden, Holland, during the second of two daylight attacks, on the coke ovens of the Royal Dutch Steel Works, made by the Squadron on 13 Feb 1943. Both raids, each consisting twelve aircraft escorted by fighters, were led by the Commander Officer, Wing Commander R.H. S King.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA114760)

Lockheed Ventura Mk. I, awaiting delivery to the RCAF at Dorval Airport, Montreal, Quebec.

(RCAF Photo)

Lockheed Ventura, seagull white cam.

(RCAF Photo)

Lockheed Ventura, seagull white cam.

(RCAF Photo)

Lockheed Ventura, seagull white cam.

(RCAF Photo via Chris Charland)

Lockheed Ventura G.R. Mk. V, RCAF (Serial No. FN979), No. 34 Operational Training Unit (OTU), based at Pennfield Ridge, New Brunswick,

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584084)

Lockheed Ventura GR Mk. V, RCAF, 6 Aug 1947.

(RCAF Photo)

Lockheed Ventura Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. AE658).  This was the Prototype Ventura Mk. I.  AE658 served with No. 34 Operational Training Unit (OTU), Pennfield Ridge, New Brunswick.

(RCAF Photo via the Shearwater Aviation Museum)

Lockheed Ventura G.R. Mk. V, RCAF (Serial No. FN974), on the flight line at No. 34 OTU, Pennfield Ridge, New Brunswick.

Lockheed Ventura Mk. I (21), (Serial Nos. AE658, AE659, AE661, AE663- AE674, AE676- AE678, AE696, AE703, AE728), Mk. II (108), (Serial Nos. AE849, AE851, AE860, AE866- AE869, AE871, AE872, AE874, AE878, AE879, AE882, AE886, AE889, AE893, AE905, AE907, AE911, AE912, AE922, AE923, AE925, AE926, AE928- AE932, AE934, AE936, AE942- AE944, AE946, AE950, AE952- AE954, AJ164, AJ173, AJ186, AJ194, AJ211, AJ230, AJ247, AJ270, AJ302, AJ335, AJ358, AJ373, AJ375, AJ383, AJ388, AJ389, AJ402, AJ404, AJ407, AJ409, AJ429, AJ430, AJ448, FD572, FD574, FD621, FD637, FD643, FD645, FD646, FD649, FD654, FD660, FD662, FD668, FD675, FD685, FD688, FD689, FD692, FD693, FD697, FD699, FD700-FD702, FD705, FD707, FD710- FD714, FD721, FD728- FD733, FD738- FD740, FD742, FD752, FD754, FD755), G.R. Mk. V (157), (Serial Nos. 2141-2277, FN967, FN971-FN983, FP542-FP547).  A total of 21 Mk. Is, 108 Mk. IIs, and 157 G.R. Mk. Vs were in service during this period for a total of 286 aircraft.

A total of 157 Ventura G.R. Mk. Vs were used operationally by the RCAF from 16 June 1942 to 18 April 1947 in the home defence coastal patrol role in both Eastern and Western Air Command.  They were flown by Nos. 8, 113, 115, 145, and 149 Squadrons.  A further 21 Ventura Mk. Is and 108 Ventura Mk. IIs were used in a training role at 1 Central Flying School, Trenton, Ontario, and at RCAF Station Pennfield Ridge, New Brunswick (RAF No. 34 Operational Training Unit) as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP).  


(Bill Larkins Photo)

Lockheed Ventura G.R Mk. V, RCAF (Serial No. 2247), coded R, visiting Long Beach, California, 1953.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3650941)

Lockheed Ventura G.R. Mk. V, RCAF (Serial No. 2183), D, Jan 1944.  This aircraft flew with No. 113 (BR) Squadron in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

(DND Photo)

Lockheed Ventura G.R. Mk. V, RCAF, No. 115 (BR) Squadron.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584086)

Lockheed Ventura GR Mk. V, RCAF, 6 Aug 1947.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3643732)

Lockheed Ventura G.R. Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. AE860), 6 Aug 1947.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3643799)

Lockheed Ventura G.R. Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. AE860), 6 Aug 1947.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3643732-2)

Lockheed-Vega Ventura Mk. II, (Serial No. AE860), ski trials, 1947.

(Wilma Bearman Photo via Don Smith)

Lockheed Ventura G.R. Mk. V, RCAF (Serial No. 2257), target tug.