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Frederic Logghe
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Minas Gerais


NAeL Minas Gerais is a former aircraft carrier of the Brazilian Navy. (NAeL stands for "Navio-Aeródromo Ligeiro", meaning Light Aircraft Carrier.)

She started out as the HMS Vengeance, a Colossus class vessel built by the United Kingdom during World War II. She was purchased by Brazil in 1956 for USD $9 million, and named after Brazilian President Juscelino Kubitschek's home state of Minas Gerais. He apparently made this decision as part of an (ultimately unsuccessful) effort to appease the Brazilian military, although this was only one of many extravagant projects Kubitschek carried out (such as the establishment of the city of Brasília).

In her service years, due to jurisdiction problems with the Brazilian Air Force, the Navy could not operate fixed-wing aircraft and the S-2 Trackers were operated by the Air Force on behalf of the Navy.

The Argentine Navy used her to qualify and train naval aviators after her sister ship ARA Veinticinco de Mayo was confined to port due to engines problems.

She served for 42 years in the Brazilian Navy and was replaced by NAeL São Paulo in 2000. Due to the high maintenance cost of two aircraft carriers, she was offered to the Argentine Navy but was rejected due to her poor condition and high restoration and maintenance costs. Downgraded to a helicopter support ship in 2001, she was finally decommissioned from the Brazilian Navy on 16 October 2001.

In 2002, she was sold at auction for USD $2 million to HK Jiexin Shipping, a Hong Kong company. The company claimed it would anchor her in Zhoushan, China, near Shanghai and convert her into a museum ship with shops and a bar. However in October 2003, the bid was rescinded, and the Minas Gerais was set to be scrapped.

On December 29, 2003, there was an attempt to sell an aircraft carrier on eBay with nearly the same specifications as the Minas Gerais but was not named as such; there are conflicting reports on the identity of the vessel. The auction was pulled before a successful close of transaction, possibly because of eBay's policy prohibiting the sale of military ordnance.

In 2002 a campaign under the name Save the Vengeance was started to acquire her as a museum ship, but was unable to secure funding.

The ship was finally towed from Brazil in February 2004, and broken up for scrap in India. (Source: Wikipedia)

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