The early success of the Lockheed Hudson
resulted in the development of a more advanced design for the
British, to be named the B-34. These first entered service in
October 1942. As aircraft were transferred between the Lend-Lease program,
the USAAF, and the U.S. Navy, designations went from B-34 to R-37 to B-37
to PV-3. The Navy received it's first quantities in December 1942 as the PV-1
The RNZAF operated 139 aircraft of this type - 82 PV-1 (NZ4501-82,
NZ4606-39) and 57 B-34 (NZ4583-4605), although all were known as Venturas.
aircraft arrived in 1943 as Hudson replacements.
Eventually the aircraft were operated by No.s 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, & 9 BR Squadrons
and No.1 (B) OTU. The bomber force was being wound down at the end of the
at that time only three squadrons were operational. After WWII, No.2 Squadron
operated 12 Venturas from Ohakea until June 1946 when they were
withdrawn, to be replaced by the Hudson again.
In June 1943 the Navy ordered a new version under the designation
PV-2 and with the name Harpoon. This version had the wingspan
increased by 9 feet, increased fuel capacity, greater fin and
rudder area, and improved armament (five .50 cal forward firing
machine guns in the nose, two 50 cal machine guns in both dorsal
turret and ventral position, and up to four 1000 lb. bombs internally
with two 1000 lb. bombs externally). The PV-2 served primarily
in the Pacific theater, and was well-used until the end of the
Engine 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800-31 2,000hp engines
Span 65' 6"
Length 51' 9"
Height 11' 11"
Maximum Speed 164 mph
Range 1,660 miles
Armament 2 x .50 caliber machine guns
in nose and dorsal turret 2 x .30 caliber machine guns ventral position
Bombload up to 2,000 lbs of bombs