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April, 2018

April, 2018 News


After many years of producing the B-24 Liberator Newsletter I am unable to continue in this role.
I want to thank you all for the support you have given me: for the articles you have submitted: for the pictures you have sent and the emails and phone calls I have received.
This was one of my favourite jobs and I will miss it.
Regards, Judy Gilbert.

Membership Renewal

All required information is on the form. Your fees are payable by June 2018. Please remember your annual subscriptions provide a large part of our operating capital. Thank you, in anticipation, for your support. Download the membership renewal form for 2018/19 here.

Museum Precinct

A second meeting was held in the hangar on the 10th of April to discuss progress on the outstanding items of action required prior to the commencement of Hangar 1’s move to its agreed new position. Progress was considered satisfactory.
  Hangar 1, Werribee Field in its current position.

Museum Accreditation

The report from our Museum accreditation audit by M.A. (VIC) was received. The audit was thorough with positive comments on our achievements to date. We have a bit of work to do refining and adding to our documentation to give our procedures a “common language” within the museum community.
We have maintained our “Enrolled” status and have 12 months to complete and submit our amendments.
This activity is important as we head towards hangar 2 relocation and recommissioning.

Liberator Re-union

The annual pre Anzac Day reunion.

The result of our efforts to attract families and friends to join us at the hangar and remember missing B-24 veterans was very pleasing with many younger people present for the service. This gave them the opportunity to explore the Liberator and gain a sense of participation. Nat Eichler, Vern Roberts, Norm Wilson, Cec Parsons and Bill Mackie were among the veterans in attendance.
Also in attendance was Wing Commander Bill Kirkwood from Canberra who drove down for the service. Bill’s dad was a Liberator pilot.
  Bill Kirkwood.

The catering for the B.B.Q. luncheon was excellent; thank you ladies with help from Tony Muller.
It is our intention next year to invite members of 21 Squadron to carry out the flag raising and lowering ceremony in a formal manner.
This would greatly enhance the status of this event within the local community.
Thanks to all who attended this important occasion.

 Norm Wilson.

 Bill Mackie.

A72-176 Update

The cockpit escape hatch that was recovered from Moe recently is believed to be the original hatch fitted to A72-176. On the strength of this information it was decided to fully restore it and fit it to our aircraft.
During pre-fit inspection it was discovered that the hinge points on the aircraft had been modified to
receive an earlier version of the door that we had available some time ago.
This was quite a common occurrence as Squadron Engineering Officers could authorise local repairs and modifications that did not directly affect the airworthiness of the Aircraft.
Work will be undertaken to restore the original hinge points.
Rear turret.
A rethink is currently required on the gun fairings.
The remanufactured fairings are too inflexible to be blended into the turrets existing structure.
Investigations are currently in progress to see if we can borrow a set of fairings from the U.S. This would allow us to manufacture a mould and create our own fairings.
Front turret.
The front turret electrical drive motors are currently being bench tested prior to installation.
After successful functioning in the turret, the fitment of the Perspex canopy will recommence.
Bomb bay.
Bomb hoists installation work is now completed.
Norden bomb sight.
A bomb release timer has now been restored and returned to serviceability. It is available for demonstration.
Electrical system.
Electrical conduits and wire bundles are being manufactured and assembled for No 2 engine nacelle.
Flying controls.
Confirmation of the cable length dimensions required is in progress, prior to ordering new cables for assembly and installation.
Wing. (internal).
New struts for Stn. 1 & 5 are being fabricated and fitted. Work is continuing on the replacement of corroded fittings and anchor nuts.

Oxford Update.

The port wing is now relocated to a vertical storage cradle to save space and avoid damage.
Assembly work has now commenced on the starboard wing. As the team had the foresight to duplicate relevant detail and sub assembly items during the early manufacturing activities the starboard wing is “flying along” in the assembly fixture.

 The Oxford Starboard wing in the assembly fixture.

The interest in this project by visitors is very encouraging. They comment on the craftsmanship exhibited, the wood smell and the old style tools in use.
The flying control structural items, Rudder, ailerons etc. are being prepared for transfer to Bacchus Marsh Airfield Gliding club for the fabric to be applied.
It was decided as we did not have the skills or experience for this task it would be beneficial to seek external help.
Three of our volunteers will attend these processes and learn the “tricks of the trade”.
Eventually we will set up a “safe” area in the hangar and organise our own fabric and doping section. This won’t happen until A72-176 has been moved into H1 as we, currently, don’t have the room.

 The Oxford elevator structure, ready for fabric covering.

Other activities.

Parts identification.
Part and parcel of our efforts to promote our organisation to a wider audience is to answer requests for parts identification from wreck sites or family “trophies”.

 A Wrecked Part

This was one of the most difficult: it was one of 9 photos received from a chap in Patras, Greece taken while he was scuba diving near Corfu Island. The other 8 photos included multi coloured fish swimming past more panels and parts. He wondered if they were Liberator parts as one had crashed in the area in 1943.
After comparing the size of the fish in the photos (photos were too dark to reproduce for print) it was concluded that the structural remains were too small for a Lib.

Museum acquisition activities.

We are constantly receiving parts and artefacts donated by a great cross section of donors.
These items require identification, verification of ownership, on loan or full donation status and decisions made to formally acquire, or to accept and utilise.
The acquired items are then labelled, and entered in the Victorian Collections website. This allows the public to be aware of our holdings and visit to view and discuss the item(s) of interest.
It is interesting and emotional to handle and discuss these items as you tend to ponder what journey they took to get here and what was the significance to the donor or their family, as the majority of items have seen military service on both sides of the conflict in WW II.

Future activities.

It is intended that future editions of the Newsletter will contain a brief profile and photo of each of our hangar volunteers explaining their tasks and experience and their background.

Well, this concludes my first attempt at producing our Newsletter.
If I live up to half of Judith’s expectations of me I will be satisfied.
Dave Miller,
Future Development Coordinator.

President’s message.

Greetings to all our readers. I write this on 25th April so I wish you all a memorable Anzac Day.
We continue to be busy with many activities at the B-24 Liberator Restoration Hangar so I’ll comment on a couple.
The reunion was a great day despite the low number of veterans. It was pleasing to see new faces; those remembering family members and those who responded to our social media invitation.
I am particularly pleased with our progress towards museum accreditation.
And, at last, we can see the way forward to the establishment of the museum precinct.
Best wishes to you all.

Lyn Gorman, President