They were the only fighters built by Australia during that war

The last and rare Australian CAC Boomerang fighters from the World War II still flying

During World War II, and like other Commonwealth countries, Australia fought alongside the Allies.

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At the start of the war, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) was rather small. It had only 246 aircraft of various types, including 8 Bristol Bulldogs, 6 Gloster Gauntlet biplanes, 30 Gloster Gladiator and 64 Hawker Demon, all of them already obsolete biplanes. These deficiencies were filled throughout the war with the purchase of hundreds of fighters from the US, specifically 848 P-40 Kittyhawks and 499 P-51 Mustangs purchased from the US. In addition, Australian RAF squadrons operated 928 Supermarine Spitfires, most of them in Europe.

Two CAC Boomerangs during World War II. The RAAF was forced to remove the red circle from its cockade after one of its Catalina flying boats was attacked by a US Marine fighter in 1942, mistaking it for a Japanese aircraft (Photo: Royal Australian Air Force).

The RAAF's shortcomings became especially acute during the wave of 111 Japanese air raids against Australia between February 1942 and November 1943. To deal with the Japanese threat, an Australian company founded in 1936, the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation, had already begun developing its own fighter in December 1941, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. This new fighter sought to solve two problems: the impossibility of the United Kingdom to send fighters to Australia (since Great Britain was suffering from German bombing) and the possibility that the fighters ordered from the US were not delivered on time due to the entry of that country into the war.

Four CA-13 Boomerangs during World War II. The aircraft in the foreground, the A46-128, is still preserved and is in the process of being restored.

On February 18, 1942, the Australian government signed the purchase contract for 105 CAC CA-12 Boomerangs. The prototype of this aircraft made its maiden flight on May 29 of that year. Later they ordered 95 CA-13s, an improved variant. Prototypes of the CA-14 and CA-14A variants were also made, and eventually 49 aircraft of the CA-19 reconnaissance variant were built. A total of 250 CAC Boomerangs were made throughout the war, a very modest figure if we compare it with the more than 33,000 Messerschmitt Bf-109s, more than 20,000 Spitfires, more than 15,000 P-51s, more than 14,000 Hawker Hurricanes, more than 12,000 F6F Hellcats and 11,000 A6M Zeros made during the war.

The Boomerang A46-122 "Suzy Q" is the only CA-13 that is airworthy (Photo: Royal Australian Air Force).

The CA-12, the most numerous variant, was a small fighter (7.77 meters long) with a 1,200 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp radial engine. It carried two 20 mm cannons and 4 7.7 mm machine guns , and could carry a bomb on a ventral mount.

Due to its low number, the CAC Boomerang is a little-known aircraft and of which very few examples remain today: only two original aircraft remain in airworthy condition, the CA-12 A46-63 and the CA-13 A46-122 "Suzy Q", both preserved in Australia. In addition, there are seven other aircraft preserved in museums or in the process of being restored , as well as a replica built in 1997 in the US and currently preserved in the Netherlands, with the number A46-139.

This short video from 9 years ago is the only one he has managed to find in which you can see the oldest of these planes still flying, the CA-12 A46-63:

Six years ago, Historical Machines FreeView posted this video showing the A46-122 "Suzy Q", the only airworthy CA-13, during a display in Temora, New South Wales, Australia:

Here we can see the CA-19 A46-206 "Milingimbi Ghost" in a video recorded in 2001, when this aircraft was still flying. Today it is preserved at the Australian Army Museum of Flight in Oakey, Queensland:

Finally, last Sunday, Tanks & More published an interesting video of an air show of the CAC Boomerang A46-139 replica, at the Arras-Roclincourt aerodrome, in France:

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