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January/February, 2022

January/February 2022 Newsletter

Lest we forget

 It is with sadness we note that Russell (Buck) Rogers passed away in October 2019. Russell was a belly gunner with 23 Squadron RAAF Liberators during WWII and held the rank of Warrant Officer. Russell was a staunch supporter of our restoration and was well known to our volunteers. He was also a source of information on some of the hidden aspects of service life. This is a belated message as we were not aware of Russell's passing until his grandson, Trent Poupard, called into the hangar in late December to pass on his grandfather’s oil painting of a Liberator.

Trent presenting the painting to Marge Albert, our artifact cataloguer.

Further sad news was received on 6 January when we were notified of the passing of Bert Cox on 9 December 2021. Bert was a long-term member of our organization and supporter of our aims and principles. Bert was a W/op Air and crewed A72-170 “SAM SABASTION”, of 24 Squadron, Captained by Sven Neilson. Bert has bequeathed a generous financial sum to our organization.

Bert Cox (kneeling) with the crew of A72-170

Members’ matter

ANZAC Day lunch

It is proposed that the annual pre-ANZAC Day lunch for veterans and their families will be held at the hangar on Saturday 23 April at 12 noon. The cost per person will be $20-00 for the sit down lunch. Notification of attendance should be with the Secretary by 5 April.

Committee meeting 08/01/2022

The National Trust External Appeal has considered our request to expand the appeal to cover our other projects, the Airspeed Oxford and the Avro Anson. The appeal documents have been received by us, signed and returned to the National Trust. This allows us to carry out appeals for donations that will be tax-deductible, reaching a greater number of interested parties.

Hangar 1 relocation progress report as at 21/12/2021

We have received communication from Melbourne Water that they will erect a perimeter fence around our facility on completion of the Hangar 1 rebuild.

Hangar News

A request has been received from Development Victoria to submit names based on our knowledge of local modern history in our sphere of experience. These names, if accepted, will be allocated as street names within the new housing area adjacent to the hangars.

A plan is being formatted to clean up the hangar and surrounds of redundant items that have accumulated over the years. The redundant items will be segregated into two groups, aircraft and secondary. The secondary items are identified as items that have no current home, purpose or “owner” and are cluttering up work space and odd “stores” corners.

The disposal of selected redundant aircraft items is more complicated. This will involve the review of ongoing requirements, physical condition, historic significance, etc., etc. prior to disposal.

Oxford work in progress

Work continues on the cockpit floor and fittings in conjunction with the restoration of components.

Not forgotten

Russell Rogers and Ed Crabtree swap yarns in our hangar, 25 November 2006. Copies of Russell’s and Ed’s B-24 recorded experiences were passed on to the RAAF historical group as part of the RAAF’s 100 years of service celebrations.

Of interest

During December we were pleased to welcome a group from the Point Cook Squadron of The Australian Air League who asked many questions and demonstrated an interest in RAAF history. 

Successful quest

Some time ago we published the photo below requesting information on its origins and purpose. As no positive results were forthcoming it was sidelined but not forgotten.

A recent random search through “Facebook” revealed an AWM photo of a damaged airframe that looked similar. This led us to information stored in “Google”. Its assembly name/number is “International Model Aircraft TG Mk 2” (TG indicates Towed Glider), abbreviated to “IMA TG MK. 2”. It has a wing span of 32 ft and is 26 ft long.

The parent company was “Triang”, well known as a toy car and model train producer in Merton, England. IMA, a subsidiary, was better known for the manufacture and marketing of Frog (flies right of the ground) model aircraft. The target glider was assembled at Haddenham Airfield in Buckinghamshire, UK.

During the RN's stay in Australia some of these targets were used here. When the RN returned to the UK, the unused ones remained here.

Manufacturing ceased in 1955 after 3500 were built.

The Towed Glider target was exclusively used by the RAF and RN.

Two TG MK2s withdrawn from Royal Navy service probably at Nowra

Air Publication AP1492A (1947)

As we have the wings and horizontal stabilizer, we will probably assemble it for display along with its story.

Something different

An oldie from the archives

This caricature of our Liberator has been in existence for a great number of years and appears on our current stationary and some of our merchandise.

We have lost trace of the originator, would love to discover his name and acknowledge his creation. Can you help?

Forthcoming events

At Tocumwal, NSW

We have responded positively to an invitation to participate and provide exhibits in an organized Airshow event at the Tocumwal airfield on 10 April 2022.. As this was the main training base for Liberator aircrew during WWII, the importance of our participation is recognized.

Commemorative Service at the Shrine of Remembrance

Our annual Commemorative Service, honouring all who served with B-24 Liberators during WWII, will be held at the Shrine of Remembrance on Wednesday 23 March 2022, beginning promptly at 11.00am. We do hope many will be able to attend this year. Please ensure you have proof of having been vaccinated against Covid as this is a prerequisite at the Shrine. 

Celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee combined with our Seniors’ Festival Open Day

The celebration and open day will be held at our hangar on Thursday 2 June. Further details will be provided in the next Newsletter.

President’s message

How wonderful it is to see visitors returning to our museum and to be able to plan events for the coming months with a high expectation that they will not have to be cancelled because of Covid restrictions!

As this Newsletter indicates, we are already planning and looking forward to various events. We do hope you will be able to join us for some, or all, of them.

We are currently putting announcements on our website, Facebook page and in other social media, encouraging individuals to consider volunteering with our group. We do need to build up volunteer numbers as we have lost a number of volunteers over the past several years. We need people with a range of skills – including aircraft restoration and rebuilding, hangar maintenance, museum curation, shop attendance, etc. – so, if you know of anyone who might be interested, do, please, encourage them to contact us and/or come to the hangar to discuss what might be involved and how they might contribute to our very worthwhile projects.

Lyn Gorman

For Gabrielle

The Pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.

Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.

From Gabrielle

Q. Why did the squirrel swim on its back?
A. To keep its nuts dry.

Q. Why did the ram fall off the cliff?
A. Because it did not see the ewe turn.

Gabrielle recalled that these jokes appeared in a very early newsletter and requested their nostalgic reappearance.

Thanks Gabrielle.