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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.

Links

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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134 items

Blue - Pilot's Notes. Green - Pilot's Notes.

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Blue - Bristol Aircooled Radial Engines Pilot's Notes, Pegasus CVIII. Green - Rotol Pilot's Notes.

Historical information

Used by pilots during WWII

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

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

Radar Antenna

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Radar Antenna (Dish), forms part of the S.C.R. 717c search radar fitted to RAAF Liberators. It is an early microwave airborne pulse radar.

Historical information

Airborne radar was developed as WWII progressed; it only started to become really useful nearing the war's end.

Inscriptions & Markings

The antenna designation is RC266

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 Recognition Model - Model Aircraft

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Medium bakelite Japanese Nakajima Kate aircraft, 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

NAKA T-97 NTB June '42.

Helmet and Goggles

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Leather helmet with suede lining, under chin strap, earphone inlets with snap locked flaps. Metal framed goggles with leather surrounds, adjustable rubber strap and split glass lenses.

Significance

These goggles and helmets were issued to flying recruits for learning to fly biplanes.

Inscriptions & Markings

Made in England Patent. R51067 scratched into metal.

Polaroid Lenses for 1068 Goggles

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Brown Box containing 4 green, 4 orange and 2 clear replacement lenses for Polaroid 1068 Goggles.

Historical information

Used by airmen in WWII

Inscriptions & Markings

Polaroid Aviation Goggles Kit No. 1068.

Pratt & Whitney R 1830 Radial Engine - 490571

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 motor was purchased from New Zealand (2bx c2008). This motor came with a log book showing it had operated for a total of 1577 hours and was removed from service because it was approaching the deadline of 1600 hours which required it to be overhauled or replaced. No starter motor came with it, so the B-24 Liberator restoration group reconditioned one from stock, After a thorough health check, and basic adjustments, this engine was first run in May 2009 and has been cycled through regular engine run schedule ever since.

Inscriptions & Markings

Engine Number 490571

Plaque 49th Fighter Group

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Plaque In frame presented to Bill Bakker

Significance

Included in the collection of Bill Bakker ex RNEIAAF

Inscriptions & Markings

49th Fighter Group W.M. Bakker Distinguished Guest 1980 3 Cloth Badges

Black and White Photographs of Bill Bakker

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Black and white photograph of a young Bill Bakker. Black and white photograph in a frame of Bill Bakker.

Significance

Included in the collection of Bill Bakker ex RNEIAAF

WWI Flying Goggles

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Airman's Flying Goggles used in WWI

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.

Emergency Drinking Water

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Small (about .5 litre) can, containing drinking water. A spike, to punch a small hole in the can, is affixed to the lid. These cans were standard equipment in B-24 Liberator life rafts

Inscriptions & Markings

Water (Drinking)

Map of Stalags in Germany

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Map of Germany showing Stalags

Historical information

Used in WWII

Flying Log Book

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Rectangular blue linen bound hard cover book

Historical information

F/LT. C.T. Lister qualified as a pilot.on B-24 Liberator aircraft April 1944

Inscriptions & Markings

Form A.18. (Revised April 1937.) (B.A.F. Form 414.) Royal Australian Air Force Flying Log Book Lister

Brown Leather Document Holder

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Brown Leather Document Holder (poor condition) belonging to Bill Bakker

Significance

Included in the collection of Bill Bakker ex RNEIAAF

Inscriptions & Markings

Imprint of Horse

Emergency Signalling Mirror

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Rectangular mirror with see through cross in centre on front. Instructions for use printed on rear. Cord threaded through corner hole. Contained in original cardboard container.

Historical information

A.J.Abicair was C/O of 486 Maintenance Squadron from 22/08/1946 having been promoted to A/W.Cdr in May 1944 , then T/OT/W/Cdr. January 1945. .

Significance

Part of the collection of Wing Commander A.J.Abicair issued equipment.

Inscriptions & Markings

One Emergency Signalling Mirror ESM/1. "Spec. 40653" Open this end and pull lanyard. This package contains 1 emergency signalling mirror with which the attention of persons in the distance (in ships, aircraft, etc) may be attracted by a beam of reflected sunlight. A positive means of aiming the reflected beam of light is provided.Instructions are printed on the other side of this package and on mirror. General Electric company. Instruction for use are written on the rear. From collection of Wing/Com A.J. Abicair

Aircraft Recognition Model - Model Aircraft

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Small melanite Japanese "NICK" aircraft model. Coloured matt 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 aircrew and ground crew and defence activities

Inscriptions & Markings

"NICK" E9-3811 D^D D/LtdC

Wheel Hub and Leg

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Metal wheel hub and leg minus tyre.

Historical information

These wheels were fitted to the B-24 Liberator

Pocket Vocabulary of Malay, Pidgin English and Japanese Phrases and Malay Course for Beginners. M.D. Frecker

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

A Pocket Vocabulary of Malay, Pidgin English and Japanese Phrases for the use of U.S. Troops in the Southwest Pacific Area. Second printing for Australian Military Forces. Malay Course for Beginners. Far Eastern Liaison Office. Used by Military Forces.

Computer Navigational MkIII D

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Black metal box with SS flap-top cover, moulding and straps for knee attachment.

Historical information

RAAF Manual navigation aircraft calculator(early computer)

Significance

General issue to allied pilots and navigators for airspeed,altitude,air temperature and drift calculations.

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraving No. 19, Ident.No. G6B/145. I.C.A.N. Serial No. WG/1716*. Computer Navigational Mk.IIID

Oral History - Memories Of My Years in the RAAF and RAF 1942-1945 Ian Middleton

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

A4 paper printed transcript in bound plastic cover.

Historical information

I.Middleton was in the RAAF from October 1942 until December 1945. He was a B-24 Liberator pilot between December 1944 and August 1945 with 70 Squadron

Significance

This oral history of Ian Middleton is of historical significance because it provides a first hand account of the individual's experience during World War II as a member of the RAAF who trained at Somers, Tasmania and Point Cook. He saw active service in the Mediterranean conflict flying B-24 Liberator aircraft from Italy.

Inscriptions & Markings

Print of an RAAF flying wings badge. In printed silhouette clear roundel,Memories of My Years in the R.A.A.F. and R.A.F. 1942-1945 Underneath this a copy of a photo of a B-24 Liberator, Ian Middleton.

Untitled

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Manual - Instruction Manual. Power Plant. B-24 D Airplane

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Hardback bound manual

Historical information

Issued to engine mechanics servicing the B-24 Liberator.

Significance

Original WW2 era manual.

Inscriptions & Markings

Instruction manual. Power Plant. B-24 D Airplane. Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation. Asn Diego, California

Aircraft Recognition Model - Model Aircraft

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Large bakelite B17 Flying Fortress aircraft, coloured matt 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

"Flying Fortress" Boeing B17E.E9-2324 DS^D DLTDC

Aircraft Recognition Model - Model Aircraft

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Small bakelite British Airspeed Oxford aircraft, coloured black matt, uncluding hole for suspension and mobility.

Historical information

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

Significance

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

Inscriptions & Markings

Airspeed Oxford E9-2189 D^D DLTDC

Aircraft Recognition Model - Model Aircraft

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Small bakelite North American "0-47A"

Historical information

Created to supply training and recognition of friendly/enemy aircraft

Significance

Expanded the skills of recognition for aircrew and ground crew and defence activities

Inscriptions & Markings

North American "0-47A" E9-2327 D^D D/LtdC

Gun Turret - Rear Gun Turret

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Perspex side and top covered metal round gun turret with 1 inch steel plate

Oral History: Return of Australian POW's 1945, role of B-24 Liberators and crew - B-24 Liberator Memorial Australia Inc.,Return of the Australian POW's 1945

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Approx 25 pp printed on A4 paper in plastic sleeve.

Historical information

B-24 Liberator aircraft and their crews were important in the repatriation of thousands of former prisoners of war at the end of the war in the Pacific in 1945.

Significance

In May 2015 the B-24 Liberator Restoration group organised an exhibition to commemorate the role of B-24 Liberators and their crews in the repatriation of former POWs in 1945 at the end of the Second World War. It was believed that no such exhibition had been organised previously and that the memories of surviving veterans might be lost if no effort were made to record them.This collection includes oral testimonies of 9 surviving veterans who were crew or support staff for Liberators involved in these important missions. It also includes a 7 page summary of the historical context, including statistics of POW numbers, information on Government decisions about repatriation arrangements for South East Asia and the South West Pacific areas, as well as an evaluation of the role of B-24 Liberators in repatriating the former POWs.

Inscriptions & Markings

Black-and-white illustration of B-24 Liberator at top of front cover. B-24 Liberator Memorial Australia Inc. Return of the Australian POWs 1945.Tribute to the Liberator Crews who repatriated World War II POW.'They couldn't get home quick enough'

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

Flying Log Book

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Rectangular blue linen bound hard cover book

Historical information

Poynter A. 431028 qualified as a pilot on Airspeed Oxford 22-3-44

Inscriptions & Markings

Royal Australian Air Force Flying Log Book. Poynter A. 431028

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.

Airspeed Oxford aircraft (Replica under construction)

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Full-sized replica of an Airspeed Oxford aircraft. This type of aircraft was described as a multi-engine three-seat advanced military trainer monoplane. It was a wooden construction using plywood and fabric covering and powered by two 375 HP Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah 10 engines.

Historical information

This type first flew in 1937 and by the start of WWII it was the preferred aircraft in all Empire Air Training Schemes for multi-engine pilot training.

Significance

By the beginning of WWII the Airspeed Oxford was the preferred aircraft in all Empire Air Training Schemes for multi-engine pilot training. As of April 2014, no Airspeed Oxfords remain in the world in airworthy condition and there are very few complete air frames. There are reportedly some restoration-to-fly projects underway, one in New Zealand.

Inscriptions & Markings

Parts originally used a base for this reconstruction were reckoned to be from an Oxford Mk 2 with registration A25 LX181 which was based at Point Cook and used extensively in training from the Werribee Aerodrome.

Aircraft Recognition Model - Model Aircraft

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Small bakelite Curtiss "Helldiver" aircraft model coloured matt 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

Curtiss SB2C-1 E9-2349 D^D DLTDC.

WWII Practice Bombs

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Practice bombs could be service bombs, inert loaded with sand, water for chalk/lime solution. Standard practice bombs were painted white overall with two light green bands painted around centre of the tail. Inert service bombs painted black and those containing an exploder had a red band around the body.

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

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Link Trainer

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

The instrument Flying Trainer Type D4 MK1 (Link Trainer c1950) is an electrical, mechanical and vacuum operated motion simulator. It was used by the RAAF as ground equipment in teaching all phases of elementary and advanced instrument flying.

Photocopies of Log Sheets

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Photocopies of Bill Bakker's Flying Log Sheets - June, September, October, September, September.

Significance

Included in the collection of Bill Bakker ex RNEIAAF

Brown Leather Business Card Holder

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Brown Leather Business Card Holder belonging to Bill Bakker

Significance

Included in the collection of Bill Bakker RNEIAAF

Inscriptions & Markings

Royal Australian Air Force 1939-1945 Europe

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.

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.

Aviation Compass - Aircraft Compass

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Navigation Compass Type P8.

Historical information

Used on RAAF aircraft in WWII

Significance

Used by RAAF for navigation training primarily in Tiger Moth and Spitfire aircraft.

Inscriptions & Markings

Number 80873.D Brass Plate - King's Crown over RAAF No. G6A/726

Pratt & Whitney R 1830 Radial Engine - TR 261

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 motor was assembled over a twelve-month period (c.2007) from various components the B-24 Liberator restoration group had stored. It was the first exercise to allow the group to understand the configuration of these motors as well as get experience in general methods of repair. This motor was nicknamed 'The Bitza', referring to how it came to be. While it may not be of a high standard, it is capable of being run on the test rig for visitors.

Inscriptions & Markings

Engine Number TR 261

Dutch Post Card

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Dutch Post Card written in Dutch by Bill Bakker

Significance

Included in the collection of Bill Bakker RNEIAAF

Photograph of Japanese Surrender on Morotai

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

During WWII Vern Roberts was an LAC Fitter 2A (airframe) in RAAF 24 Squadron. He was stationed on Morotai at the time of the Japanese surrender. All personnel on Morotai at the time were required to attend the parade to witness the signing of the Peace Document. Vern had with him the camera his mother had given him when he left Australia to serve in the RAAF. He carried that camera and used it throughout his war service in the Northern Territory and on Morotai. Vern took the pictures of the ceremony, now on display with his camera. General Sir Thomas Blamey signed the Surrender Document on behalf of the Allied Forces.

Historical information

Witnessing the Japanese surrender and signing of Peace Document on Morotai 1945.

Leaflets

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Leaflets dropped to the civil population of Japanese occupied territories by RAAF 24 Squadron B-24 Liberators

Historical information

Used in WWII

Aircraft Recognition Model - Model Aircraft

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Small bakelite Spitfire Mk 5 aircraft, coloured matt 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

"Spitfire" Mk.V. Trop. E9-2275 D^D DC LTD

Suitcase from Mason Day Frecker

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Worn dark suitcase belonging to Mason Day Frekker, strong cardboard covered with 'leatherette', metal fasteners on front, with carry handle. Suitcase contains Flying Log Book RAAF, Wedding Photo, National Archives Record Search Mason Day Frecker, Distinguished Flying Medal Register WW2 x 3, Papers on Medals and Victorian Ground Crew Numbers, Files 1 - 2 - 3 - Photographs, Leaflets, Pilots' Notes, Maps - Germany (28 maps), Buttons and badges and other medals.

Historical information

Suitcase issued to aircraft captains or crew by RAAF during World War II. The contents of M D Frecker's suitcase include World War II medals awarded to the owner, photographs, maps, pilots' handbooks, language dictionaries (Malay, Pidgin, Japanese), propaganda leaflets dropped by Japanese.

Significance

Has historical and social significance, also research significance. Provenance known, owner piloted B-24 Liberator bombers and General Blamey's personal aircraft; item was donated by son. Great interpretive potential.

Inscriptions & Markings

"RAAF/402653/Frecker/M.D." on top surface, "M.D.F." on front surface under handle.

Tail Plane from 'Little Eva' crash

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

The tail plane/fin from the crash site of Liberator 'Little Eva'. This site is registered as Doomadgee Queensland Australia, approximate GPS Co-ordinates: Latitude -17 56 24 Longitude +138 49 47.

Historical information

Commemoration of the crash of USAAF B-24 Liberator #41-23762 'Little Eva' of the 321st Squadron, 90th Bombardment Group based at Iron Range. Crashed near Burriejell waterhole at Moonlight Creek, Escott Station in far north Queensland on 2 December 1942. Two of the ten crewmen were rescued by the manager of Escott Station after 13 days of deprivation.

Significance

2bx

Inscriptions & Markings

Faded USAAF Insignia 41-23762