History of the B-24 Liberator Memorial Australia
Following earlier work by Eric Clark and Bob Butler, RAAF Wagga, in 1988, hosted a two day meeting to examine the possibility of getting a B-24 Liberator on public display.
The meeting was arranged by B-24 Squadrons of Australia, and was chaired by President, Wing Commander R.A Dunne, DFC, RAAF. (Retired), ex commanding officer of No. 23 (Liberator) Squadron. It was also attended by representatives of the RAAF, the Australian War Memorial, and others.
That meeting unanimously resolved to form the B-24 Liberator Memorial Fund with a foundation committee consisting of Bob Butler (Chairman), Eric Clark and Terry Lane, together with ex-officio members representing the RAAF, The Australian War Memorial, and (later) the National Trust of Australia (Vic.).
The Committee first met in January 1989 to formulate plans, and the rest of that year was spent becoming familiar with the task before it: searching for aircraft, or parts of them, from which a display could be assembled.
In December 1989 the Fund was formally incorporated as a non-profit Association under the model rules of the Victorian Associations Incorporation Act 1981, with the title - B-24 LIBERATOR MEMORIAL FUND INCORPORATED.
At the Annual General Meeting in 1997, in recognition that the aircraft restoration was in fact proceeding, the word "Restoration" was added to more adequately describe the Fund's purpose which is registered as:
"To do all that is necessary to acquire and restore a B-24 Liberator and associated aircraft and artefacts, as a memorial to all those who served with Liberators during WW2, for display in an accredited museum as part of the national collection."
Between 2015 and 2018 the B-24 Liberator group prepared for museum accreditation through the Museums Australia (Victoria) program. During that time the Constitution was updated and the name changed to B-24 Liberator Memorial Australia. The museum was accredited in 2018 and the certificate presented to the President at an awards ceremony at the National Gallery of Victoria in mid-2019. Accreditation demonstrated that our work met professional standards and conformed with national guidelines. It also achieved an aim of the founders of the group, namely that the B-24 Liberator would be displayed ‘in an accredited museum’.
With respect to the founders’ aim to restore not only a B-24 Liberator but also associated aircraft and artefacts, work has been progressing well on two associated aircraft on which prospective Liberator pilots trained, namely an Airspeed Oxford and an Avro Anson. The museum also contains a heritage collection of relevant items such as uniforms, silk maps, medals, pilots’ logbooks and photographs. Some of these are on display for visitors to see.
Anyone with an interest in our Australian aviation heritage and in Liberators in particular, is encouraged to become a member. Please contact:
Lyn Gorman - 61 488 588 011
We have acquired some 90% of the airframe B-24 Liberator and 70% of its furniture and fittings from many parts of the world; a great deal of which was from generous benefactors. The image on the right shows the state of the fuselage when it arrived at the hangar. Oh dear!!
This is the only remaining Liberator in the Southern Hemisphere and is one of only eight still existent in the world.
This intricate restoration work is proceeding in one of the impressive World War II hangars on the old Werribee airfield just outside Melbourne in Victoria. It is our intention eventually to have the airframe completely restored.
The Fund operates under the auspices of the National Trust of Australia and all donations of money, materials and parts are therefore tax deductible.
Your involvement in this project will give you immense satisfaction in knowing that you have played a part in preserving this aircraft for the national heritage.