February, 2016 News
R.I.P. JOHN TEMBY ( 1925 -2016)
John, one of our earliest members, passed away in January 2016.
He started work in the hangar in 1995 and was one of the members who brought the fuselage up from Moe. John served in many capacities: President 1998 to 2011, Vice President 2011 to 2014. He worked on virtually every area of the Liberator as well as mentoring young members.
John prepared the newsletter for many years, handing on that responsibility when he retired from paid work.
For many years he also chaired the sub-committee negotiating with Melbourne Water then with Places Victoria to secure a permanent home for the restoration and was able to see some progress in this matter. This group went on to work with Heritage Victoria and Treasury as well as Melbourne Water and Places Victoria planning for the establishment of a museum complex on the site at Werribee Field. This complex, as well as having 2 hangars to display the aircraft is to be a memorial to all who served in Liberators in the Pacific and will incorporate the Memorial Wall. John drew up the plans and argued strongly for the realisation of his ideas.
He had a clear vision of the future for the Liberator and was an advocate for the restoration to become an accredited museum.
Liberator Squadrons, Families and Friends Reunion
The annual Anzac Day reunion for those who served on Liberators will be held at the hangar on: Saturday, 23rd April 2016.
Invitations will be posted out to those on my list shortly. If you have relatives who served in Liberators you are also welcome to attend. If you have not been to the re-union previously and would like to attend, please let me know via email or phone: firstname.lastname@example.org / 03 9734 0094
There will be a catered, sit-down lunch the cost of which will be in the invitation.
We recently had all firefighting equipment in the hangar checked and have signed a contract to have it done on a regular basis. We had this arrangement before but it had lapsed.
To ensure that all members of the hangar crew are aware of the methods used to prevent and fight fire John Phillips, a long serving volunteer with Werribee CFA held a session at the hangar where he demonstrated the use of extinguishers and discussed safety. He gave us much useful information and spent a great deal of his time making sure the message was clear. The hangar crew appreciated John’s efforts and wish to thank him for his input.
John giving his demonstration
B-24 Report Jan 2016 (John Morrissy)
Bomb Bay Door
With the bomb bay doors fitted to the fuselage, a number of problems relating to alignment and interference have been identified and are in the process of being rectified. With the left hand front door it was found that that top roller fittings did not align with the rest of the fittings on the door sides. The hinge at top of the door panel has been removed to be refitted correctly aligned. At the same time the outward curve of the door, the result of the method used previously in fitting a new skin, will be corrected. This has required removal of two rows of rivets, and then rivetting the assembly jigged to have an inward curve. This will also be done at the bottom, and similarly with the rear left hand door. The doors after this work should operate freely.
Maybe I just need to give it a good whack about here!
There is a Ford drawing of the cables for bomb bay door operating mechanism so correct sets of cables can be made. Some of the fittings for the cables are available at the hangar; the rest can be sourced from US suppliers, and are currently being ordered.
The bearings on which the turret rotates have been fitted to the base. The covers over the guns have been assembled and fitted.
Installation of bus cabling in the fuselage is progressing.
Additional fittings for connecting piping and components required to complete the system, to be sourced from the US: currently in process of ordering.
The Oxford "boys" now number eight! Two of our latest recruits (Pat and Les) have become part of the group and have proven to be of great benefit to the project.
Progress is being made on the port wing. It is coming together well. Work is also being done on the trailing edge of the starboard wing where Les is working on the ribs. Pat is building the cockpit floor.
It’s becoming quite difficult to move around in the Oxford area. The ribs are fragile and are now sticking out into the pathway of pedestrians.
Ken and Doug discussing ribbing.
Ken overseeing his "kingdom".
Could almost make a garden feature!
We are still involved with the usual range pf activities: providing morning/afternoon teas and lunches, attending outside displays, hosting visits from clubs of many types, etc.
This year we are trying an extra avenue. We are looking into the possibility of running a Farmers’ Market in the grounds. Hopefully it will be a success and provide, as well as a fund raising opportunity for us, a valued community activity.
Negotiating to have a Monthly Farmers’ Market at the hangar, date still to be decided.
12th 13th 14th March Scoresby Steam Fest at 1200 Ferntree Gully Rd, Scoresby
20th March Weerama Street Parade in Werribee.
23rd April Squadrons’ Reunion at the hangar.
7th May National Trust Festival at the hangar, an exploration of Werribee Field and its life during WW2
Over the past month we have welcomed 6 more volunteers to the hangar. They have a wide range of skills and are all very keen to get started. It’s great to see that people are still keen to become involved.
Welcome to: Marilyn who works in the shop.
Pat and Les working on the Oxford.
Russell working on the Liberator.
Tom who will join the growing band of workers coming in on Sundays.
Peter working on the engines.
Our sentinel, the cactus beside the door into the kitchen, has flowered. Wonder how many noticed????
William Young visited the hangar with his wife. He wanted to spend his 91st birthday with our "old girl".
William worked on the engines of Liberators during the war, particularly number 3 engine and also spent some time as a tail gunner.
Happy birthday to William.
Membership of the Liberator group has fallen to just below 400 members in the 2015/16 period. We have held membership numbers above 400 for many years. This is a worry as membership fees are a vital part of our funding.
If you’ve forgotten to renew your subscription we would appreciate it if you could renew now. And if you know of anyone interested in becoming a member please direct them to the hangar for a membership form.
Of concern are visitor numbers which have fallen in the past year. Club visits make up a large percentage of visitors. If you belong to a club we would appreciate it if you could recommend a B-24 visit. We guarantee you’ll have a good time.
Would be interested in any ideas you may have to help us boost visitor and membership numbers.
Blast from the Past…..if only