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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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141 items

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

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

Aero Engine Valve Assembly - Aircraft Radial Engine Valve

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Valve fitted with spring and porcelain valve head.Slight bend in valve stem due to impact damage.

Historical information

Item was found at a Japanese aircraft crash site on Nauru Island 1975

Significance

Indicate Japanese manufacturing level during WW11. The porcelain head on the valve is unusual and difficult to match to steel.

Inscriptions & Markings

None

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.

Letters from the war zone to Hazel

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Private letters to Hazel from her husband in the war zone during WWII

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.

Plaque - Dutch

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Wooden Plaque from Holland, presented to Bill Bakker

Significance

Included in the collection of Bill Bakker ex RNEIAAF

Inscriptions & Markings

Koninkliji Luchtmacht Parvus Numero Magnus Merito

Buttons and Badges worn on RAAF Uniform

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Buttons and Badges worn on RAAF Uniforms

Radio Control Box - BC-450-a

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Black crackle-finish radio control box

Historical information

Part of the radio equipment in B-24 Liberator aircraft.

Significance

This is a good example as it is unused and in its original box.

Inscriptions & Markings

Radio control box/signal corps US Army/s.n. 84472/made by Western Electric New York.

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

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'

Plaque 49th Fighter Group

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Rectangular wooden plaque with blue enameled, silver printed plate attached

Significance

Included in the collection of Bill Bakker ex RNEIAAF

Inscriptions & Markings

DEDICATED TO THE BRAVE MEN OF THE 49TH FIGHTER GROUP. DEPARTED MORRISON AFB, FLORIDA,4 JANUARY 1942.FIRST EXPEDITIONARY FORCE TO LEAVE THE U.S.AFTER THE DECLARATION OF WAR. LEADING GROUP IN THE PACIFIC THEATRE- 678 ENEMY PLANES SHOT DOWN MAJOR RICHARD I. BONG WITH 40 VICTORIES BECAME AMERICA'S "ACE OF ACES" DEDICATED JULY 20, 1985 1985 REUNION PRESENTED BY 49FTG ASSN.

Aircraft Recognition Model - Model Aircraft

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Small bakelite 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

Flying Log Book

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Rectangular blue linen bound hard cover book.

Historical information

Flt.Lt.M.D.Frecker qualified as a pilot on B-24 Liberator aircraft, May 1944

Inscriptions & Markings

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE. FLYING LOG BOOK . FORM A.18.(Revised April 1937) (R.A.F. Form 414.)

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

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.

Pratt & Whitney R 1830 Radial Engine (Informational Entry)

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

Between Pratt & Whitney and numerous licensed companies, there were over 180,000 of these engines manufactured in a number of specifications. The B-24 Liberator would have been their major recipient but other famous aircraft using the same engine were the Consolidated Catalina flying boat and the Douglas DC3/C47/Dakota. Refer Wikipedia link for other aircraft that used this engine.

Significance

As a result of the significant and ongoing usage of these engines in civil aircraft such as the Douglas DC3, they are by no means rare. Many parts can still be sourced new and there are several companies that have the capacity to rebuild these engines to an airworthy standard.

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

Log Book - Obserevers Air Gunners And W/T Operators Flying Log Book

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Rectangular blue linen bound cover book

Historical information

C. G. Ashcroft qualified as a 1st Engineer on B-24 Liberator aircraft in March 1944

Inscriptions & Markings

G C Ashcroft 32827 Flying Officer

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

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

Instructors' Handbook of Advanced Flying Training

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Instructors Handbook of Advanced Flying Training issued by Air Ministry May 1943. Air Publication 1732b, 1st Edition, May 1943.

Historical information

Used by pilot instructors during WWII.

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

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.

Bubble sextant

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

This bubble sextant, complete with original wooden storage case with leather strap, was manufactured c.1930s. Black and metallic, it has a mirror in the middle, various knobs on the sides and a cylindrical handle on each side.

Historical information

These instruments were used on aircraft to obtain the altitude of the sun or other celestial body to aid navigation. This particular one came from a former RAAF pilot.

Map Book - Air Pilot Manual of the Pacific Islands

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Large linen covered paper map book

Historical information

Part of pilot equipment to be carried at all times whilst flying in the South Pacific war zone during WW11

Significance

Kept up to date and confidential maps for landing areas on all Pacific Islands in case of emergency

Inscriptions & Markings

Air Pilot Manual of the PACIFIC ISLANDS, confidential, No.4860, 2nd Issue. Office of the ASSISTANT CHIEF OF AIR STAFF INTELLIGENCE Headquarters Army Air Forces, Washington D.C. January 3rd 1944.

Australian World War II silk map of Banda Sea

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

An oblong, cream colour, single-sided map printed in black and white with brown contours, Banda Sea

Historical information

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

Significance

This silk map, one of relatively few produced in Australia (most Australian RAAF pilots and crew were issued with British and US maps), is an original map from World War II.

Inscriptions & Markings

Banda Sea (with Insets 'A' to 'E')

Dutch Air Force Officer's Cap

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Dutch Air Force Officer's Cap

Historical information

Worn by Wilhelmius (Bill) Bakker during WWII.

Significance

Mr Bakker was in the Dutch Air Force and was stationed at Darwin working with the RAAF.

Oral History - My RAAF Experience by Keith R.E. Johnston

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

A4 paper printed transcript, stapled in corner

Historical information

K. Johnston was in the RAAF from September 1941 until December 1945 and was a B-24 Liberator pilot between 1942 and December 1945. He was attached to Fifth Bomber Command USAF the 12 Squadron RAAF.

Significance

This oral history of Keith Johnston is of historical significance because it provides a first hand account of this individual's experiences during World War II as a member of the RAAF who trained at Bradfield Park Sydney and Bundaberg and saw active service during the Pacific conflict flying B-24 Liberator aircraft in New Guinea and Darwin.

Inscriptions & Markings

My RAAF Experience by R.E.Johnston, photo of 12 Squadron RAAF badge, Flight Lieutenant 12 Squadron RAAF

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