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B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc Werribee, Victoria

The museum is a memorial to the air crew and ground crew who flew and serviced the B-24 Liberator bomber during World War 2 operations in the Pacific area.
A Liberator bomber is being restored and will form the centrepiece of a museum complex including a Memorial Wall and WW2 arefacts.

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Contact Information

location
PO Box 156 Werribee Victoria 3030 (map)
phone
+61 (03) 9731 1263

Contact

Opening Hours

Every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday between 9:30 am and 3:30 pm

Entry Fee

$5.00 adult, children under 16 free

Location

Corner Farm Rd & Princes Highway Werribee Victoria

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The collection is a memorial to all personnel who served with B-24 Liberator heavy bombers during World War 2, particularly RAAF and USAAF personnel in the Pacific theatre. The collection reflects on the times and experiences of those who gave their time and health, or life, while defending the democratic beliefs of the allies and importantly, the security of Australia. Based upon the B-24 Liberator, the collection recognises specifically joint RAAF and USAAF operations commencing in Australia with the training in the late 1930s of RAAF pilots in conjunction with the Empire Air Training Scheme, through to the joint USAAF operations north of Borneo in 1945 countering Japanese advances into the region and culminating in the end of the war. In particular, the collection concentrates on the period 1943 to 1947. The collection includes the ongoing restoration of one of the RAAF?s last obtained B-24 Liberators (A72-176). This aircraft is significant as the only surviving example of its kind in the southern hemisphere. It is also an important part of Australia?s aviation history. In addition to the B-24 Liberator, the main focus of the collection, there is a range of equipment and artefacts relevant to the training and service of B-24 Liberator air and ground crews; the early stages of building a replica Airspeed Oxford training aircraft; flight simulators, models, books, photographs, uniforms, and memorabilia. The objective of the collection is to be a memorial as well as to give visitors the opportunity to view this aircraft and to understand the training pilots and crews underwent from basic training through to operations against the enemy.

Significance

Iconic aircraft and associated artefacts from an important period of Australia's modern history

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Plaque

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

RAAF Plaque presented to Bill Bakker

Significance

Included in the collection of Bill Bakker ex RNEIAAF

Inscriptions & Markings

1921-1981 Aircraft Depot RAAF Providemus, Queen's Colour Presentation 6 November 1981

Map of Stalags in Germany

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Map of Germany showing Stalags

Historical information

Used in WWII

Gun Turrett on B-24 Liberator (named 'Hazel')

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Air Force Association Badge

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Blue and Gold Air Force Association Badge (Bill Bakker)

Significance

Included in the collection of Bill Bakker RNEIAAF

Inscriptions & Markings

Air Force Association

US World War II multi-coloured map on acetate rayon, printed on both sides, AAF Cloth Map - Southwest Pacific Area, Side 1 - No. 22 Southwestern and No. 26 East Java, Side 2 - No. 25 Timor

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

A multi-coloured, contoured, double-sided map printed on acetate rayon

Historical information

Silk and rayon maps were produced by the United States (c. 7.5 million in total), Great Britain (some 1.75 million in total) and Australia during World War II. They were issued to Allied military personnel as part of 'escape and evasion' kits.

Significance

This map, printed on acetate rayon, is an original US 'escape and evasion' kit map from World War II.

Inscriptions & Markings

AAF Cloth Map - Southwest Pacific Area Side 1 - No. 22 Southwestern and No. 26 East Java Side 2 - No. 25 Timor

US World War II multi-coloured map on acetate rayon, printed on both sides, AAF Cloth Map - Southwest Pacific Area, Side 1 - No. 23 North Celebes, Side 2 - No. 24 South Celebes

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

A multi-coloured, contoured, double-sided map printed on acetate rayon

Historical information

Silk and rayon maps were produced by the United States (c. 7.5 million in total), Great Britain (some 1.75 million in total) and Australia during World War II. They were issued to Allied military personnel as part of 'escape and evasion' kits.

Significance

This map, printed on acetate rayon, is an original US 'escape and evasion' kit map from World War II.

Inscriptions & Markings

AAF Cloth Map - Southwest Pacific Area Side 1 - No. 23 North Celebes Side 2 - No. 24 South Celebes

American USAF Flag and Certificate

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

American Flag wrapped in triangular shape and contained within a red felt covered box with a certificate and covering letter

Inscriptions & Markings

Refer to certificate and covering letter

Special Flying Ration Pack

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Olive drab tin containing rations for two aircrew

Inscriptions & Markings

Department of Defence Packed by MacROBERTSONS SPECIAL FLYING RATION To be consumed by Air Crew carrying out flights of 4 hours' duration or longer Sufficient for 2 men KEEP PACK INTACT RAAF A Gadsden Container

A4 Document - Distinguished Flying Medal Register WWII - The Distinguished Flying Medal Register WWII

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

The Distinguished Flying Medal Register WWII. Flight Lt Frecker, Mason Day. Campaign Stars 1939-45 Star. Aircrew Europe Star. Pacific Star. War Medals - Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45.

Historical information

Frecker carried out 7 sorties before joining the unit and 21 successful sorties with his squadron making a total of 179.4 hours operational flying. He was attacked and badly damaged by a night fighter on 12 April 1942, after attacking Essen. He brought his aircraft home and successfully crash-landed away from base without causing injury to his crew. Throughout his tour of operations he maintained a high degree of courage and skill.

Manual for B-24 Liberator flight engineers - Handbook for the flight engineer B-24D airplanes

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Loose-leaf manual in three-ring binder. Dark brown with gold lettering. 86 pages.

Historical information

Original 1943 manual. Issued to B-24 Liberator Flight Engineers.

Significance

Issued to RAAF B-24 Liberator flight engineers.

Inscriptions & Markings

Published 1943 by Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation. San Diego, California. Printed by Fry & Smith Ltd. San Diego, California.

Aircraft Recognition Model - Model Aircraft

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Medium bakelite German Junkers 88 aircraft model, coloured black including hole for suspension and mobility.

Historical information

Created to supply training and recognition of friendly/enemy aircraft

Significance

Expanded the skills of recognition for air crew, ground crew and defence activities.

Inscriptions & Markings

German Junkers 88. 9.42

Load Adjuster - Bomb Load Adjuster No. 31629

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Brown Leather Case with 'Slide Rule' inner.

Historical information

1945 Slide Rule US Army Air Force from Prof. Allan Bromley.

Significance

Works by adding Angular moments together to find centre of gravity (COG) of a plane (adds bombs, ammunition and crew on board).

Inscriptions & Markings

Load Adjuster, Property of US Government. 102630 on case. 81629. Airplane serial No. 44-4-1195, Model B-24J

Astro Compass MKII

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Astronomical Compass used by the Navigator in B-24 Liberator aircraft. Complete in original wooden box.

Historical information

Used by the Navigator in a B-24 Liberator bomber

Significance

Air Ministry Compass

Inscriptions & Markings

Compass marked - A.M. Astro compass MKII CA/1174 Box marked - Delicate instrument, to be handled with great care.

USAF Pacific Air Force Letter - Letter of gratitude

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Letter from Paul V. Hester, General, USAF given with flag expressing gratitude for B-24 restoration project and tour of the hangar.

Aircraft Recognition Model - Model Aircraft

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Small bakelite CAC Boomerang aircraft model, coloured black.

Historical information

Created to supply training and recognition of friendly/enemy aircraft.

Significance

Expanded the skills of recognition for ground crew, air crew and defence activities.

Pratt & Whitney R 1830 Radial Engine - 54828 (CAC)

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

The Pratt & Whitney R 1830 is a double row 14 cylinder air cooled radial engine with a capacity of 1830 cubic inches, (30 litres), developing some 1200 horsepower at a maximum 2700 rpm.

Historical information

This engine was a Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) build, and had been upgraded to 92 specification at some time. This engine as acquired, was completely seized and great difficulty was encountered in dismantling it. The pistons in Nos 1, 13, 3, 2 and 5 had "grown" into the cylinder bores requiring some unorthodox methods to remove them. The cylinder barrels have been brought up to a reasonable standard, those beyond repair were replaced from stock. After getting various parts from the US, this engine was eventually brought up to running order.

Inscriptions & Markings

Engine Number 54828

Flying Log Book

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Rectangular blue linen bound hard cover book

Historical information

F/Lt Redman J.R.W. 402395 qualified as a pilot on Liberator 23/12/44

Inscriptions & Markings

Royal Air Force Pilot's Flying Log Book. Redman J.R.W.

Plaque

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Plaque presented to Wilhelm H. Bakker and Mrs Anne Bakker by RAAF Association, Victorian Division.

Significance

Included in the collection of Bill Bakker ex RNEIAAF

Inscriptions & Markings

AFA - Presented to Wilhelm H. Bakker, Past President - RAAF Association, Victorian Division and Mrs. Anne Bakker on the occasion of their visit to Florida, USAF Association (Florida State) August 1985.

Camera

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Camera used by Vern Roberts, RAAF 24 Squadron during 1943-1944.

Significance

Camera was used during 1943-1944 by Vern Roberts, RAAF 24 Squadron.

Inscriptions & Markings

Soho Myna Model SK12

US World War II multi-coloured map on acetate rayon, printed on both sides, AAF Cloth Chart, Side 1 - No. C-47 South Borneo, Side 2 - No. C-48 West Java

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

A multi-coloured, contoured, double-sided map printed on acetate rayon

Historical information

Silk and rayon maps were produced by the United States (c. 7.5 million in total), Great Britain (some 1.75 million in total) and Australia during World War II. They were issued to Allied military personnel as part of 'escape and evasion' kits.

Significance

This map, printed on acetate rayon, is an original US 'escape and evasion' kit map from World War II.

Inscriptions & Markings

AAF Cloth Chart Side 1 - No. C-47 South Borneo Side 2 - No. C.48 West Java

RAAF Dress Uniform

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

RAAF Dress Uniform worn on formal occasions by Flight Sergeant Charles Cull.

Historical information

Worn in WWII as Dress Uniform on Formal Occasions.

Sperry Gunsight - K4 Computing Gunsight for lower Ball Turret

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Crackle black single unit. Supplies Gunner with range and ballistic 'drop' information. (Three units held.)

Inscriptions & Markings

Serial No. 4740 (Sperry) S/No. 410380 (N>C>R> under Licence) S/No. 411901 (N>C>R>)

Aircraft, B-24 Liberator

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

This restored Liberator aircraft was assembled from parts salvaged from B-24M models, manufactured during the 1940s in the USA. Made from aluminium, the plane is 68 feet long, with a wingspan of 110 feet, and is metallic silver with a distinctive blue and white target design on each side. The aircraft is powered by four wing-mounted engines, and is fitted with 10 heavy machine guns.

Historical information

This particular aircraft was modified with a search radar in the lower fuselage to help locate and track targets and was then redesignated as a B-24R model. The RAAF took A72-176 on charge in late 1944 and this saw it issued to 7 OTU (Operational Training Unit) based at Tocumwal, south west NSW. The training saw bomber crews learn how to fly the bomber, operate as a team and work with fighters. Towards the end of the war there were up to 50 aircraft located at Tocumwal along with 5000 personnel. A72-176 was noted as flown on training missions by various aircrew.

Significance

This aircraft is one of the only remaining B-24 bombers in the southern hemisphere and 1 of only 8 remaining B-24 airframes still existing in the world, out of the nearly 19,000 which were originally built. The restoration honours the contribution of one of the RAAF’s main bombers of the WWII era.

Inscriptions & Markings

Registration number on side of fuselage at rear of plane: 'A72-176' Inscription on side of fuselage at front of plane: 'ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE / US ARMY B24-10 CO / AIR FORCES SERIAL NUMBER 44-41956'

Silver Plate

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Round Silver Plate presented to William Bakker, State President, Victoria Chapter, Australian Air Force Association.

Significance

Included in the collection of Bill Bakker ex RNEIAAF

Inscriptions & Markings

William Bakker, State President, Victoria Chapter, Australian Air Force Association from 49th Fighter Group San Francisco, Ca. July 1980. Presented by M/G Dr Hutchinson USAF Retired.

Letters to Hazel

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Wedding photograph of Capt. Frank Seales, USAF 380th Bomb Group and wife Hazel.

Historical information

Letters written to Hazel during WWII, including one about having a B-24 Liberator named after her.

Inscriptions & Markings

Letters written to Hazel by her husband during WWII. In one Frank asks Hazel if she would like him to name his aircraft after her.

Book - Liberator Pilot's Notes

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Historical information

The Liberator Pilot's Notes was issued for the information and guidance of all concerned.

Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah Engine

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Seven-cylinder air cooled radial engine produced by Armstrong Siddeley (UK). Widely used in Airspeed Oxford and Avro Anson aircraft of WWII era. This example is in running order after having been rebuilt by team members from a very neglected state.

Historical information

Some 37,200 of these engines were built, major application was in the Airspeed Oxford aircraft.

Inscriptions & Markings

A9600 8739D 790 S

Flying Log Book - Flight Log- Liberator Flights

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Plastic covered ring binder,A4 plastic sheet covered photocopied paper.

Historical information

R.M. Beattie qualified as a B24-Liberator pilot on9/05/1944 until he was KIA 2/07/1945.

Inscriptions & Markings

Flight Log Book- Liberator Flights, Flt. Lt. Roy McBeattie 404228 DFM

Service Maunuals Case - Service Manuals in officially supplied Case

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Square leather case with 2 handles and metal clasp, with gold inscriptions.

Historical information

Service manuals for the B-24D Liberator aircraft.

Significance

These instruction mauals were officially issued from the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation, San Diego, California USA

Inscriptions & Markings

E. Duplex SUMITON, ALA. CONSOLIDATED VULTEE with an eagle in gold circle. Service Manuals. 01618 i tooled into base of case.

Manual - Course notes for B-24 Liberator aircraft ground crew - Fitters II.A Carpenter, riggers, flight riggers, Course notes.

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Loose leaf manual in two-ring binder. Pale green with dark green spine.

Historical information

Issued to RAAF ground crew in WWII.

Significance

Original WWII manual

Inscriptions & Markings

R.A.A.F. serial number 19218. Issue 4 - 1942