Early 1942 the US navy needed a fast maritime patrol aircraft. It was likely to be based upon an existing type, such as the Lockheed (Vega) Model 37 Ventura.
This type was ordered by the British in 1940 to replace the Hudson and the Bristol Blenheim and was developed from the civil Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar. [Compare it with the Lockheed Hudson, which was developed from the Lockheed Model 14 Super Electra.]

Some of the almost 700 ordered Ventura’s went to the US.Navy under the designation PV-1 (1 = First; V = Vega-produced; P= Patrol-type).
The PV-1’s didn't have the glass nose configuration like the British Ventura's, but a solid nose, with ASD-1 radar.
A negative point was the rather small bomb compartment and the fact that there were only three position for placing bomb racks under the wings.
This was caused by its descent from the Lockheed Model 18. Also the range for the Ventura was to small for operational use in the Pacific area. For long distance missions two non self sealing fuel tanks of 200 gallon each were added and also two 165 gallon drop tanks could be carried under the wings.

Soon after the introduction of the PV-1 a team started with the development of the PV-2 harpoon, which would better comply with the needs of the US Navy.

Modifications of the PV-1 to get a PV-2

First the wing span was enlarged from 65 foot, 6 inch to 75 foot, so the internal fuel load was increased from 1345 to 1863 US Gallon and the wing load was lowered.
To keep the plane manoeuvrable with the enlarged wing, de tail was redesigned and enlarged.
Also the tail end was enlarged, thus improving the handling on the ground.
Furthermore some smaller improvements and changes were added:

  • Larger bomb space, so two, in stead of one ‘Tiny Tim’ rockets could be carried. The doors were also changed.
  • The canopy was change, to improve the sight for the crew.
  • The interior was revised, so windows were re-located.
  • The engine exhaust (inclusive interior heating system) where changed. Involving this modification the exhaust become longer and ended under the wing.
  • The armament was extended to eight fixed forward firing .50 machine guns plus two moveable machine guns in a turret.

Due to the larger weight of the new plane its maximum speed was about 20 - 30 mph lower than the speed of the Ventura (because the same engines were used). Spring 1943 the new aircraft was handed over to the US Navy under the designation PV-2. The Navy accepted the airplane and ordered for 300 examples.
The first of this new order was delivered in March 1944. Soon problems occurred with the self sealing tanks in the wings. The 30 PV-2's already delivered received the designation PV-2C and were use for training purposes only, because the wing tanks could not be used.
Also the skin might wrinkle under certain flying conditions, so limitations of the diving angle and maximum speed were ordered.
This problem was soon solved and the aircraft already in use could be modified with reinforcements.

Some of the delivered PV-2s had a limited armament of five machine guns in the nose and received an other designation, PV-2D. At the end of the war half of the patrol squadrons of the US Navy used the PV-2 and the aircraft became the standard patrol aircraft of the US Navy after the war.


PV-2 Harpoon:
main production version: 470 examples built.
modified version for training purposes: 30 examples built.
35 examples of a PV-2 with eight .50 machine guns in the nose in de neus.
designation of PV-2 used for training of crews.


Technical information
Length: 15,9 m Wingspan: 22,85 m
Height: 4,35 m Wing area: 63 m2
Empty weight: 9538 kg Max. start weight: 16329 kg
Max. speed: 415 km/hr Climbing speed: - m/min
Cruising speed: 275 km/hr    
Range: 3735 km Service ceiling: - m
Engine type: Two Pratt & Whitney R-2800-31S Twin Wasp rated 2000 hp each
Crew: .
Armament: Two nose mounted .50 inch machine guns; Three .50 inch machine guns in a gun pack under the nose; two .50 inch machine guns in a ventral turret; two .50 inch machine guns under the fuselage; Eight 5 inch HVAR rockets under the wing. 1800 kg bombs.


In 1949 the NATO was established. The Netherlands would participate in the protection of the North Sea and the Canal and also contribute to the protection of the routes in the eastern part of the Atlantic ocean. The anti submarine warfare was very important and it was necessary to acquire long range patrol aircraft. The MDAP (Mutual Defence Assistance Program) was very welcome.

The staff of the RNlNAS (MLD) hoped to get the new Lockheed P2V-5 Neptune, this was the best ASW aircraft at that time, but this type was just introduced at the US Navy and unavailable at that moment, so as an interim solution 18 PV-2 Harpoons were delivered.

April 245, 1951 30 men left and travelled to the US to receive their training at the NARTU (Naval Air Reserve Training Unit) at N.A.S. (Naval Air Station) Norfolk. The Harpoons were, symbolically, handed over to the RNLNAS on July 12, 1951.
The first Harpoons were already taken over on June 26, 1951 at Alameda. The first six aircraft , S-1 till S-4, S-7 and S-8, were flown to the Netherlands on August 31, 1951 via Iceland. They arrived at naval air station Valkenburg on September 7, 1951.

The official transfer by the MAAG (Mutual Assistance Advisory Group) was September 24, 1951.
The second group, S-9 till S-14 departed October 1951 from California via the Azores and Morocco and arrived at Valkenburg on November 2, 1951.
The third and last group arrived December 24, 1951 at Valkenburg.
The ferry flights were made by the same crews.

From September 1951 it was a very busy period because all the training that had to be done. December 15, 1951 320 squadron was operational on the PV-2 with nine crews. Now the squadron was operational, it participated in several NATO drills and was often detached at other NATO air bases.

During the flood in February 1953 one Harpoon operated as communication aircraft. Four till six aircraft were used for search duties.

Also several courses were done, such as JASS--course at HMS Eagle near Londonderry (JASS = Joint Anti-Submarine School).

Updating and modernization

Spring 1952 S-16 and S-18 were modified at Avio-Diepen with a sonobuoys. In February 1953 S-17 was modified. The test were satisfying and in July 1953 Harpoons S-4 till S-8, S-11 , S-11 and S-15 were modified.

Another short coming was the lack of ECM equipment. (ECM = electronic counter measures). October 1953 it was decided to with draw the Harpoons from use from ASW duties in October 1953 because of these short comings. 320 squadron soon received the new P2V-5 Neptune in April 1954.

O.S.R.D. (opsporings- en reddingsdienst) [= SAR (=Search and Rescue)]

February 2, 1952 squadron 8 was founded for SAR duties. It was equipped with North American B-25 Mitchells.
As supplement the squadron received in November 1953 Harpoons S-3, S-10 and S-14. December 7, 1953 Harpoon S-18 was added.
The old B-25’s were withdrawn from use by the end of the year. Due to technical problems with the overhaul of the OSRD-Catalina’s P-212 and P-216 and later the low readiness of the Catalina's, the Harpoons were used till 1955 for SAR duties.
March 1955 squadron 320 was ordered to take over the SAR task with their Neptune's. The remaining Harpoons were handed over to Portugal.

Lockheed PV2 Harpoon SMALL
Lockheed PV-2Harpoon, 19-5
[Enclosed photo from BeeldBank NIMH. Click on photo for ordering information]
Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon, 19-5
[Enclosed photo from BeeldBank NIMH. Click on photo for ordering information]
Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon 19-5
[Enclosed photo from BeeldBank NIMH. Click on photo for ordering information]
Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon, 19-5
[Enclosed photo from BeeldBank NIMH. Click on photo for ordering information]
Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon
[Enclosed photo from BeeldBank NIMH. Click on photo for ordering information]
Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon (1951-1955)
[Enclosed photo from BeeldBank NIMH. Click on photo for ordering information]
Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon S-1 crashed at airbase Woensdrecht.
[Enclosed photo from BeeldBank NIMH. Click on photo for ordering information]
\In 1951 320 squadron was equipped with the twin engined Lockheed PCV-2 Harpoon for ASW.
[Enclosed photo from BeeldBank NIMH. Click on photo for ordering information]
Lockheed PV-2 model V-143 Harpoon, 19-15.
[Enclosed photo from BeeldBank NIMH. Click on photo for ordering information]
The crew of a Lockheed PV-2 Harpoonof 320 VSQ, 1953.
From left to right: vlgkonst Van Wieken, vltlg Van Fortuin, sgtv Wiersma, ltzv 2oc W. Duinker, ltzv 2oc C.H. Poelman, kpltlg Schrijver, kplvlgmkr Van der Linde.
[Enclosed photo from BeeldBank NIMH. Click on photo for ordering information]
Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon 1953
[Enclosed photo from BeeldBank NIMH. Click on photo for ordering information]



Constr. nr.
Constr. nr.
US Fiscal Year nr.
US Fiscal Year nr.
Date in service
Date in service
Date out of service
Date out of service
19-1 15-1178 37212 15-08-1951 06-10-1954  
19-2 15-1183 37217 16-08-1951 15-05-1954  
19-3 15-1335 37369 21-08-1951 23-06-1954  
19-4 15-1181 37215 24-08-1951 22-06-1954  
19-5 15-1245 37279 17-09-1951 ??-08-1954  
19-6 15-1474 37508 10-09-1951 24-03-1955  
19-7 15-1374 37418 17-08-1951 01-07-1954  
19-8 15-1273 37307 24-08-1951 08-03-1955  
19-9 15-1246 37280 28-09-1951 02-09-1953  
19-10 15-1226 37260 29-09-1951 ??-06-1954  
19-11 15-1225 37259 13-09-1951 12-07-1954  
19-12 15-1179 37213 26-09-1951 ??-07-1954  
19-13 15-1202 37236 15-10-1951 23-06-1954  
19-12 15-1195 37229 15-10-1951 01-04-1954  
19-15 15-1142 37176 17-10-1951 24-03-1955  
19-16 15-1387 37421 01-11-1951 ??-06-1955  
19-17 15-1288 37322 08-11-1951 ??-05-1954  
19-18 15-1113 37147 14-12-1951 22-01-1954 Written off 13-8-1954; Its faith is uncertain. It might be written off or it went to MAAG Netherlands.


Scale 1/72

  • Rareplanes
    • Kit RP6001: A vacu formed kit; not quite correct.
  • Special Hobby
    • Kit SH72093: An injection moulded kit.
    • Kit SH72174: Lockheed PV2D Harpoon (US Navy, JASDF, Portugese AF)
Lockheed PV 2 Harpoon AKleijn
A model of a Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon, built by Adri Kleijn.


Modelling add-on

Several models of the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engine are available.

  • --
    • Kit --: --


  • FlevoDecals
    • Set FD72-001: A set with decals for R4D-1; B-25 Mitchell; Tiger Moth; PV-2; Auster III; Gloster Meteor T.Mk.7

Scale 1/48

  • MERK
    • Kit -: -

Modelling add-on

  • --
    • Set --: --


  • --
    • Set --: --


SchemeColour nameFS numberBS-numberHumbrolXtraColorVallejo Model ColorVallejo Model AirHataka
Standard #1Overall Glossy Dark Sea Blue ANA 623 ~5042   181 X121 70.898   ~001

Check www.paint4models.com for an extensive conversion table with lots of colour and paint systems.

Lockheed PV2 Harpoon SMALL
Color scheme Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon, (Dutch) Royal Naval Air Service.



Maintenance Manual Lockheed PV2 Harpoon        
Diverse gedenkboeken MLD, Alle Hens etc.        
Dutch Military Aviation 1945-1978 Paul A. Jackson Pag. 89 1978 Uitgever: Midland Countries Publications, Leicester
Nederlandse Marinevliegtuigen Thijs Postma & Nico Geldhof Pag. 56 1978 Uitgever: Omniboek, 's Gravenhage
Vliegen voor de Vloot; 70 jaar Marineluchtvaartdienst Harm J. Hazewinkel Pag. 41   Uitgever: Rebo Produkties, Sassenheim
Zestig jaar Marineluchtvaartdienst in Beeld. Hugo Hooftman Pag. 108 - 109 1977 Uitgever: Europese Bibliotheek, Zaltbommel
Aircraft Number 48 PV-1 Ventura in action. Charles L. Scrivner & Captain USN (ret) W.E. Scarborough, Pag. 39 - 49 1981 Uitgever: Squadron/Signal Publications Inc., Carrolton, Texas
Scale Aircraft modeling Vol. 9, nr. 10 July 1987 J.Howard Pag. 464 - 468 1987  
Lockheed Aircraft since 1913 René J. Francillon   1987 Putnam
Air Enthusiast 40: Latin Harpoons Canongia Lopez, Eng Mario Pag. 31 - 42 1989 Uitgever: Tri-Service Press, Bromley, Kent
Vliegtuigsquadrons 320 en 321 50 jaar P. Staal & Peter Baeten Pag. 59 1990 Uitgever: Afdeling Maritieme Historie van Min.v.Def., 's Gravenhage
Luchtvaartwereld; 9e jaargang nummer 12: Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon. (deel 2) Nico Geldhof Pag. 69 - 99 1992 Uitgeverij Ten Brink, Meppel
Luchtvaartwereld; 9e jaargang nummer 1: Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon. Nico Geldhof Pag. 60 - 66 1992 Uitgeverij Ten Brink, Meppel
Nederlandse Militaire Luchtvaart IX: Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon Nico Geldhof Pag. 1992 Uitgever: St. Vrienden v.h. Mil. Luchtv. Museum, Soesterberg
85 JAAR Marineluchtvaartdienst in beeld Van Farman tot NH 90 Helikopter Peter Korbee Pag. 106 - 107 2002 Uitgever: Korbee MLD Promotie, Valkenburg





Thanks to mr. M. Schönfeld for sharing his experiences with the Harpoon models.