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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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141 items

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.

Mid Upper Turret - B-24 Liberator Part

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Martin 250CE Mid Upper Turret first introduced on the L Model B-24 Liberator. The US Army Air Force Model 23A became standard on all late model J, J/R, L, M and M/R model Liberators. The 23A was an all electric Turret. It was armed with two .50 calibre machine guns (Browning) MKII. The Turret carried 900 rounds (bullets), 450 rounds per gun.

Book - Pilot's Notes - M.D. Frecker

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Pilot's Notes for Bristol - Hercules V1 Engines in Wellington aircraft.

Historical information

Used by pilots during WWII

Inscriptions & Markings

Issue No. 1 February 1943 (M.D. Frecker) These Notes are applicable only to engines running on 100-octane fuel and are complementary to information given in official publications.

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>)

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.

Aircraft Recognition Model - Model Aircraft

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Large bakelite Consolidated 31 aircraft model coloured black.

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

"Consolidated31" E9-2994 D^D DLtdC

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.

Flying Log Book

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Rectangular blue linen bound hard cover book

Historical information

R.Carty 418344 qualified as pilot on Airspeed Oxford.17.4.43

Inscriptions & Markings

Form A.18 (Revised April1937) (R.A.F. Form 414)Royal Australian Air Force Flying Log Book. Richard Carty 418344

Oral History - 356 Wings Over Salbani

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Paper printed transcript booklet with central staples.

Historical information

G. Piper was in the RAAF from December 1941 until March 1946 and was a B-24 Liberator pilot between May 1944 and July 1945 with 356 Squadron.

Significance

This oral history of Geoffrey Piper 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 Benalla, Deniliquin,Essendon,Mallala,Long Newnton,Harwell and Kolar.He saw active service in the ACSEA Theatre flying B-24 Liberator aircraft.

Inscriptions & Markings

356 Wings Over Salbani. Pilot Officer Geoffrey Charles Piper 410373. Royal Australian Air Force Date of Enlistment: 6 December 1941 Melbourne Per Ardua Ad Astra " Through Difficulties to the Stars" on a Printed map background.

Pratt & Whitney R 1830 Radial Engine - 722

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 used by RAAF 21 Squadron personnel to manufacture and fit up exhaust systems and had been left standing for a long time without any preservation treatment. Much effort was put in to free up the motor and after it had been made to turn, checks by borescope showed some fretting had occurred in the cylinder bores. This was deemed not serious enough to warrant a strip down. It did need repairs to the ignition looms and various other adjustments but first started on the 16 July 2009. Various fuel problems were evident and repairs have been done and it now runs very well. All parts used in getting this motor to run successfully came from the fund's own stock or parts included in other purchases.

Inscriptions & Markings

Engine Number 722

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

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.

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.

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.

Log Book - Flying Log Book for Navigators, Air Bombers, Air Gunners, Flight Engineers

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Rectangular blue linen bound hard cover book

Historical information

Sgt. R.Bryson qualified as a Flight Engineer on B24 Liberator.on 16/Aug.1944

Inscriptions & Markings

Form 1767 Royal Air Force Flying Log Book for Navigators Air Bombers Air Gunners Flight Engineers. Robert Bryson

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

Book on B-24 Liberators - Leyburn's Liberators

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Softback book.

Historical information

A history of RAAF 200 Flight at Leyburn Airfield.

Significance

A little known story of secret operations.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscribed inside 'Mr C Chapman, 41 Bay Road, Oatley, 2223'

Letter from Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Air to M.D. Frecker

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Letter from Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Air to M.D. Frecker. Re: awarded medals during services with the Armed Forces during WWII 1939/45

Significance

Includedin the collection of Bill Bakker ex RNEIAAF

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.

Pratt & Whitney R 1830 Radial Engine - 361184

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

Early experience resulted in this motor being partially dismantled to investigate load knocking when turned over on the starter motor. Subsequently it was discovered that the "noise" was normal, a unique aspect of the 1830 engine. The engine was then re-assembled to an operational state using parts from stock.

Inscriptions & Markings

Engine Number 361184

Oral History - Ed Crabtree and John Temby War TimeFlying Experiences

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Printed label DVD disc in plastic cover.

Historical information

E. Crabtree was in the RAAF from February 1940 until May 1946 and was a B-24 Liberator pilot and instructor between October 1943 and March 1946.

Significance

This oral history of E.Crabtree is of historical significance because it provides a first hand account of the individuals experience during World War II as a member of the RAAF who trained at Benalla and Point Cook. He saw active service in the Pacific conflict flying B-24 Liberator aircraft from Darwin. He is the second last person to fly B-24 Liberator A72-176 and has been involved in the restoration of the same aircraft since 1986.

Inscriptions & Markings

Three photos. Ed Crabtree and John Temby recount the restoration of Liberator A72-176 and share some of their war time experiences with David Smith. Interview recorded in August 2014. iA imaginACTION

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

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

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.

Norden M9 Bombsight

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Black covered Electro Mechanical analogue computer with small indicator dials with two divisional connected boxes. Mounts on Minneapolis Honeywell 'stabilizer' unit.

Historical information

Used in Pacific War during WWII

Inscriptions & Markings

Minneapolis Type G1029 A3CAZ HZ 26 Volts DC CV. Serial No. C-24825 B3430

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.

Bomb Release Quadrant- Scale Model

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

Quarter circle quadrant with operating levers and security bracket. Body is dark green with two red operating handles.

Historical information

After an eight year international search for a complete bomb quadrant to fit the B24- Liberator fuselage it was decided to create a replica. This scale mode was used to prove the methodology.

Significance

This scale model allowed us to manufacture a full size complete working replica.This replica is now installed in the B24-Liberator and completes the operational system.

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

Untitled

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Australia Inc, Werribee

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