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Nov/Dec, 2020

November/December 2020 Newsletter  


Compliments of the Season

The hangar volunteers would like to take this opportunity to wish all our members, stakeholders, supporters and families a happy and safe Christmas with a prosperous, safe and successful 2021 to follow. 

We also offer our thanks for the support and encouragement we have received in the past difficult year. To list a few positives that occurred is the ongoing progress of hangar 1 relocation, the gift of an Anson fuselage and associated parts, the ongoing support and the interest of our members on our Facebook page.

Hangar closure, re opens.

Our volunteers returned to the hangar on Tuesday, 17/11. It was pleasing to note that the numbers attending throughout the day, while keeping to the 20 limit totaled 30, about the average day pre covid. The day was spent talking, cleaning the accumulated dust and light debris, checking tools and equipment and some forward planning. At this time we are not yet open for visitors.

Hangar news.

Vale.

Phillip Taylor.

It was with sadness that we learned of Phill Taylors passing on the 20th of October. 

Phill was a senior hangar volunteer for XXXX years supervising and participating in the activities of the “Arts and Crafts” section ie painters and joiners. This is the team that repairs, paints and manufactures items to support the rest of the hangar activities. Phill was adept at managing “hurry up” requests and “urgent” demands, his response was usually “Yep, we can do that” with a smile. 

Phill was also the Returning Officer for the voting count at our Committee annual elections and the Ken Bullen annual trophy ballot. In addition he organized the refreshments at our functions and Christmas lunches. 

Phill was a well respected hangar volunteer who will be greatly missed.


Members are reminded that the A.G.M. was canceled this year due to the virus conditions. The current Committee and Executive will remain in place until Decembe2021.

Remembrance day was recognized at our hangar again this year with the flag lowering, the Ode being read and the Wreath being laid. A small party of volunteers attended.

The wreath was laid by Mr Paul Rourke, our hangar Manager.


Lest we forget.

Committee news.

The Committee meeting for November re convened in the hangar after 8 months of remote meetings due to the covid virus restrictions. 

We were sorry to receive Norm Morris’s resignation as Secretary. Norm will remain as a committee member. We thank him very much for his work in this Executive position. 

Paul Rourke has agreed to take on the role of Secretary on a temporary basis. 

The committee noted that Melbourne Water had been in contact regarding hangar 1 re location project. It is pleasing to note that work has continued during the lockdown. 

Lyn reported success in obtaining a grant to purchase three well lit museum display cabinets. These will be used to showcase uniforms, our silk map collection, and selected other memorabilia such as Pilots’ log books, photographs and medals.

Discussion took place on the shortage of volunteers, particularly to staff the shop/entry area. If anyone knows anyone with some time to assist by volunteering, do please ask them to contact us. Members will try making small presentations visiting local clubs early in the New Year to encourage new volunteers to join us.

Anson addition!!!.

In early November we received a draft “Deed of Gift” document from Headquarters, History and Heritage - Air Force for review and return for formalization. This deed covers the gift of the remains of the fuselage of ex RAAF Avro Anson AX 282 and assorted associated items to our organization. This project further adds to our original plan of adding an Anson to our collection.

Museum Precinct news.

Confirmation about our satisfaction with the future site layout was requested by Melbourne Water. This was relative to the hangar entrance, number of car parking spaces and the location of disabled parking spots. Several small amendments have been submitted.

Facebook recruitment scheme.

Bill Kirkwood, who hosts a Facebook page titled “Friends of the RAAF B-24 Liberator” has generously provided space and support for our invitation, to join our membership group, make a donation, become a hangar volunteer and visit us when the hangar reopens.

Liberator, 2020 work in progress.

Off site work is still progressing with the restoration of the front gun turret control column, illustrated.


Forthcoming events.

None are currently planned.

Oxford, 2020 work in progress.

Volunteers returned to the hangar on 17/11.The Oxford area was subject to a post covid clean up. This, in turn allowed the re positioning of the centre section assembly jig and the external painting of the centre section assembly. 

What is now of concern is the lack of clear engineering drawings that would allow the commencement of manufacturing fuselage details and jig frame location information.

For Gabrielle.

Thrift.

You should be careful about stereotyping the Scots as mean. There was a recent letter to a Glasgow newspaper which said “ If you print any more jokes about mean Scotsmen I shall stop borrowing your paper”.

For Star sign Leos.

Generous and helpful, You have plenty to offer people. Avoid giving it in the form of advice though, especially the unsolicited variety. Most people don’t even listen to the advice they actually asked for.

Not forgotten.

Names and location unknown, but notable for the fact that it is informal and relaxed team with an air of mateship. 

This was a random selection from our archives.

The French connection (contd.) Success !

Following the request for information on A72-133, Merv Schneider of Nhill informed us that he recalled a photo existed in the History of 25 Sqdn. Book. This drew positive responses from Mathew Jobson and Marilyn Nicholson with additional information and a crew photo taken beside 133. 

Upon receipt of this information Monsieur Claude Bernard responded by email with the following.

“David, So nice of you to let me have the picture of the crew. I have been waiting for that picture for so many years. Merci.”


A Bombardier’s story (Contd).

Flt. Lt. John B. Gilbert. RAAF.

Photograph taken of the raid on Hollandia on April 1944 by six Liberators. Flt. Lt. Gilbert was the lead navigator. All returned safely.

O’Briens Crew. 

This was the Australian crew that flew together on the Hollandia raid.

Skipper: S./L. John O’Brien, 2nd Nav.: Self., 2nd Pilot; Flt. Lt. Doug Mc Pherson, Gunnery Leader: Flt. Lt. Aub Ducat, 1st Navigator Flt Lt. Don Brown, 1st W/T Operator, Sgt. Ken Murray, 2nd W/T Operator and Waist Gunner: Sgt. Alan Harvey, Engineer and Belly Gunner: Sgt. Bill Loftus, Nose Gunner; Sgt. Curley Alexander, Tail Gunner and Armourer, Sgt. Harry Wilmington. 

Sqdn. Leader John O’Brien, centre, lower. Flt. Lt. John Gilbert, left hand, lower.


Hangar news continued.

During lockdown a B24 servicing instruction manual was received from Mr Jim Mackey of Charllotte, North Carolina , USA.

Thanks Jim it was a nice surprise and well received during our period of forced inactivity.

President’s Message.

Lyn Gorman, President.