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December, 2018

December, 2018 Newsletter

We take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year!

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Hangar news.

In this final edition for 2018 as well as reporting on what we have achieved for the year we will
forecast what we want to achieve in 2019 / 2020.

Complete the repairs & installation of the following:

Liberator, 2019/2020 work forecast.

Under wing access panels, support brackets for for front spar piping, rear turret gun fairings,
repair,re assembly and installation of the front turret and the flap retraction cables
Review and plan for the fitment of an operational braking system by Dec. 2020.
Prepare and complete four engines and nacelles for installation on aircraft by Dec. 2020.
Obtain, prepare and install engine control hardware.
Obtain approved engine run manuals and check sheets to enable engine run training to be commenced.

Oxford, 2019 work forecast.

Finish skinning starboard wing lower surface.
Manufacture vertical storage jig for starboard wing.
Prepare and paint both wings plus tailplane.
Rotate centre section to the vertical position and pre fit lower skins.
Research and order material for fuselage frames and longerons.
Prepare floor space for front fuselage assembly jig.

Museum Accreditation, media release.

The B24 Liberator Memorial has gained Accreditation by Museums Australia (Victoria).

A professional panel of museum experts has made a final assessment and compiled a positive report on the museum’s operations. The B24 Memorial Museum has worked hard to meet set criteria from the National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries and joins the 75 Victorian Collections Accredited in Victoria.

Simone Ewenson, Co-Manager, Museum Accreditation Program (Victoria) says “We are delighted to recognize the hard work and commitment by the team at the B24 Liberator Memorial  Australia. Caring for our shared heritage is an important task and by becoming accredited the B24 Memorial Australia has proven to be a leading museum in Victoria”.

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L-R Amelia Marra, MAP Co-Manager, Ken Abbott, Vice President, Simone Ewenson, MAP Co-Manager, Lyn Gorman, President and Dave Miller, Historian, B-24 Liberator Memorial Museum. Absent, Judith Gilbert, Secretary.

Thanks to all who have contributed to this successful outcome, there will be a formal ceremony organized by MA (Vic) in 2019.
Lyn Gorman,

Museum Precinct News

On Tuesday, 13th of November we had a meeting with Melbourne Water to discuss a draft plan for eventual submission to Heritage (Vic.) in early 2019. We were given the opportunity to review the contents and layout. Several amendments were discussed and were accepted for the submission. These were mainly internal fixtures with some refinements on external visuals that we felt would maintain the heritage value of the hangars.

The Liberator restoration project team, initial meeting.

RAAF Wagga Wagga, August 12th 1988.

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From left, rear.
Squadron Leader Terry Lane, C.O. 21 Squadron RAAF, Russ Brookes, Collin Tigwell, Squadron Leader Gerry Carson, RAAF Wagga Wagga . From left front. Bob Butler, Gordon Ashcroft, Ted Atkinson, Eric Clark and Len Cairns.
Thanks to Colin Grey for supplying this valuable record of our association’s history.

RAAFTocumwal, main entry

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This was where our Liberator A72-176 spent most of its service life as a training aircraft with 7 Operational Training Unit. A few years ago, standing in the bomb bay, one of our visitors told us the following tale.
In 1944 as a 19 year old from the bush he travelled to Melbourne intending to volunteer for army service to see “some action”. When he reached Victoria Barracks the army recruiting line was “miles long”. A quick decision was required at this point as his train departed from Spencer St. Station in two hours, close by was a friendly RAAF Warrant Officer who asked if he could help. Five days later he received a letter and a travel
warrant to RAAF Tocumwal as an AC 2.
Reporting to the guardhouse he was duly inducted, issued with a uniform, introduced to a Corporal and allocated quarters in a hut. Up at dawn the following day he was enthralled at the thought of being involved in some way with the mighty Liberator.
Reporting to a Flight Sergeant he was issued with a mop, a bucket, disinfectant and a bicycle and instructed to keep the showers in three hangars clean twice a day, 6 days a week. This he did for the remainder of the war.
In retrospect, he said it was one of the best periods of my life, mateship, 3 square meals a day, a bed at night and no b#@*&^ firing bullets at me.
A different perspective indeed !!!!!!!.

Unidentified Airframe Result.

Our query in the last Newsletter re the 25ft fuselage in our stores resulted in a response from Mr Colin Grey.
“The information I received at the time of acquisition indicated that it was a Target drone developed in 1944 the type being used in many gunnery ranges. They were particularly designed for the training of turret gunners and many were used on the ranges to the north of Tocumwal. They were generally towed behind DC-3/C-47 aircraft”.
Thanks, Colin.

Return of proxy forms.

Our secretary wishes to thank those members who returned their proxy forms in a timely manner.

Library search, can you help ?.

We are keen to obtain a copy of this book for our museum library holdings. We believe it was only distributed to school and university libraries.
If you have a copy and would like to donate it to us for reference purposes we would be extremely grateful.

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Annual General Meeting report.

The A.G.M. was held on Saturday 17/11.

29 members were in attendance with 24 proxies received.
Also in attendance was Carl Schiller, our Patron.
The annual report was read by our president, Lyn Gorman and illustrated our achievement in obtaining museum accreditation and cautioned that ongoing effort was required to maintain that
Lyn also spoke of the progress being made on the restoration and relocation of hangar 1 by Melbourne Water and extended our thanks for the level of communication and involvement in decision making.
The treasurer’s report was presented for comment, discussion and acceptance. Concern was expressed at the reduction of members. Also flagged was the increased expenditure expected with the hangar move relocation.
The report was accepted by a show of hands.
The Liberator and Oxford progress reports for 2018 were delivered by Dave Miller, included this year are the critical targets for 2019/2020. This is part of the preliminary plan to prepare the Liberator for its journey to the new hangar.

Lifetime membership was awarded to Mr Tony Muller for dedicated and substantial effort over a great period of time.
Mr Charles Cull was the recipient of the Ken Bullen award for 2018. Charles has introduced a working Norden bomb release system that is demonstrated to visitors in conjunction with an explanation of its workings. The system was assembled from restored items that were available from our stores holdings.

Bomb release quadrant

After about 6 years of searching, hoping and disappointments we have achieved our aim, that was to procure a working quadrant. In the end we created a working example patterned by a badly
damaged original with missing parts. This was done with patience and skill using modern technology and old fashioned perseverance.

Click here for the Photo: On the left is the damaged original with missing parts, on the right the re-manufactured one.

Oxford main wheel hubs.

An E-bay search revealed the possibility of the existence of 1, possibly 2 main wheel hubs for our Oxford, located in Victoria. As we only had the badly corroded remains of one main wheel a rapid response was called for, this was carried out by Paul and Tony who ventured forth and secured both after a bit of negotiation and cash changeover. As a bonus the brake assemblies were still attached to the hubs.

Avalon Airshow 2019.

Our hangar will be open for visitors on Tuesday 26th of February. 9-30am - 3-30pm, Thursday 28th of February., Friday. 1st of March, Saturday the 2nd of March and Sunday 3rd of March from 9-00am - 5pm. If you or any friends are visiting the area during this time you will be made very welcome for a chat and a tour of the Liberator.
Our hangar is located about a 15 minutes drive from Avalon and is located on the Princes Highway at Werribee.

President’s message.

We approach the end of another year,and, appropriately, this Newsletter acknowledges our past, comments on current achievements and preoccupations and also looks into the future.
What a long way we have come since our visionary founders began the B-24 Liberator restoration project! Not only do we have the results of the work to date on the magnificent A72-176 and on the Airspeed Oxford, but also we can celebrate having achieved an objective of the founding group. The B-24 Memorial Australia Inc. Is now an accredited museum, having reached the professional standard required by MA (Vic).
We are indeed proud of this achievement.
We are also committed to ensuring the future of the project, and so this Newsletter includes details of planned work for 2019 and 2020.
We are optimistic that during the same period, significant progress will be made in relation to expanding the museum precinct through the allocation of additional land to our group and the relocation and restoration of the large ‘Hangar 1’ that currently stands at the far end of what was Werribee Field, a satellite airfield to Point Cook during World War II.
I invite all members to spread the word on our great work and encourage others to join our association (and follow us on social media).
I send you my best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.
Lyn Gorman.

The hangar will be closed from December 20th 2018 until January 8th 2019.

Interstate or overseas visitors please call the hangar to arrange a potential opening.

Compiled by Dave Miller.