RAAF B.20 - A84-235
GAF A84-235 - at RAAF Wagga, July 2000 (Photo : Bob Lawson)

This Australian built Canberra took to the air for its first flight on 3 September 1956 and was delivered to the RAAF's 2 Sqd on 22 October of the same year. Australian built Canberras were initially fiited with Avon Mk1 engines (as the RAF's B.2s). These Avons were fitted to A84-201 to A84-227. The subsequent Mk20s. A84-228 to A84-248, were fitted with the more powerful Avon Mk109 engines - the same Avons used in the RAF's B.6 and B(I)8 Canberras.

A84-235 would have transferred to RAAF Butterworth (Malaya) when 2 Sqd deployed there in 1958 as part of the British Commonwealth Strategic Reserve in Southeast Asia. And there it probably stayed until, nine years later, 2 Sqd RAAF re-deployed to Phan Rang, Vietnam, in 1967. A lot has been written in praise of the Australian Canberra's contribution to the Vietnam air-war and it is safe to assume that this particular Mk20 played its part.

Eventually however, as with most Canberras, A84-235 was relegated to ground instructional use at RAAF Wagga, where it stayed. As the photo shows, it is now a static exhibit but still wearing its 2 Sqd colours and fin flash. Bob Lawson, who took the picture in July 2000, says "As you would expect, the aircraft is in reasonably good condition with no panels missing although the paintwork is fading slightly in the brilliant sunshine." Compare its condition with, for example, A84-207.

Another view of A84-235 taken by Daniel Leahy on Sunday, July 29th, 2001 (Photo : Daniel Leahy)