B-24 Liberator

Thirty three kilometres South West of Melbourne, in the suburb of Werribee in a hangar on the old Werribee Airfield. This airfield was an adjunct to the Point Cook base and during the War it was used to park ‘planes for assembly of aircraft brought over from England. For a bit of History look here.

One of the old hangars is now the home of the B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration. Their website is http://www.b24australia.org.au.

 In 1995 a fuselage was located in Moe, Victoria and some time later a suitable wing was located in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and retrieved by the Australian Military as a memorial to all who served in Liberators, both flight & ground crew, during WW2.

Over the years, parts have been found in Australia and from all over the world and the project has steadily progressed to the stage where the aircraft is now largely structurally complete and sitting proudly on her undercarriage.

The museums web site has a photograph of the ‘plane as it was when found.

A couple of days ago it was necessary to drive a daughter from her residence at Monash Uni to her mother’s place in Ballarat and she, my daughter, graciously permitted a 45 minute detour to visit the museum. When we walked in I’m not too sure who was the more impressed of the two of us.

Wow! Huge! You’ll never fit that in your camera!

And she was right.

Now I’ve been to museums and Art Galleries where there is a blanket ban of photographs, or at least the use of flashes, but I have never had so many people tell me. “Just a second mate and I take this ladder out of the way so you can get a decent shot of the cockpit…….

………………….and watch your head, Dear, (to the daughter) and come around this side.”

……………………..and if you duck down here to the bomb-bay doors you can look right through the back.

At this stage these two got down, moved the ladder and started explaining just how the bomb release mechanism worked. Those shiny things that look like very elaborate ladder rungs are what the bombs were attached to.

After which we went around the outside trying to get far enough away to get a decent shot,

or close enough to see the details in the gun turrets.

This turret is on a stand and will be fitted when the inside is completed.

And this shows why most little blokes got ‘prime’ position of ‘belly gunner’.

They have all four required engines and on some days they will fire one of them up. But it’ll cost you five dollars because aviation fuel is quite expensive.

Last thoughts? What a magnificent machine. And I said I agreed with her.

Now I put in all the photos without comment. (Includes a shot of an Australian Boomerang, more of which later.) (And please forgive the typos. I just get so excited that I want to publish straight away. )


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