• Collection Detection answer #10

    Monday 30 June 2014 by John Holloway. 1 comments

    Thank you to everyone who submitted their guess for last week's Collection Detection. As promised, here is the answer: Baron Manfred von Richthofen. They are wing fragments souvenired from the aircraft of Baron Manfred von Richthofen – the “Red Baron” who was shot down and killed on 21 April 1918. Perhaps the most famous fighter pilot of all time, Richthofen had just claimed his last combat victory (he was officially credited with 80) when…

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  • An Australian in Normandy 1944

    Saturday 28 June 2014 by Daniel McGlinchey. 3 comments

    In the Norman countryside raged a tank battle. The air was filled with noise, explosions, screeching tracks, collapsing buildings and the smell of cordite. Captain Leslie George Coleman had been in a building on the first floor directing radio traffic between the battalion and brigade HQs. Later moving from his position, a projectile hit the wall above Coleman and in the ensuing maelstrom he was wounded in his shoulder. He was at the tip of the …

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  • The Siege of Elands River

    Friday 27 June 2014 by Cameron Ross. 5 comments

    One battle of the South African War 1899-1902 typifies all the qualities that Australia has come to interpret as synonymous with the Anzac legend, but it occurred almost fifteen years before Australian soldiers ever landed at Gallipoli. This was the Siege of Elands River, a twelve day siege of a supply depot defended by soldiers from five of the six Australian colonies. One item in the Australian War Memorial’s collection relating to this …

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  • “Your brothers were laying there, they had been killed…”

    Friday 27 June 2014 by David Heness. 7 comments

    The Allen brothers with their family.

    Privates Stephen Charles Allen and Robert Beattie Allen were literally brothers-in-arms. The brothers from Manly in New South Wales had enlisted within a week of each other in July 1915, both with the 13th Infantry Battalion. After embarking from Australia in September of that year the brothers were first sent to Egypt for several months. Unaware of the conditions that awaited them at the Western Front they, like many others, were subsequently …

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  • Wartime records of General John Monash available online

    Thursday 26 June 2014 by Robyn van Dyk. 5 comments

    General John Monash is considered one of the war’s outstanding commanders. Monash was an avid collector, and his papers held at the Memorial give a comprehensive view of his wartime military career: from his command of the 4th Australian Brigade on Gallipoli to the Australian Corps in 1918, and then his role as Director General of Demobilisation and Repatriation of the AIF at war’s end. His handwritten notes, diaries, letters, draft orders, …

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  • Collection Detection #10

    Friday 20 June 2014 by John Holloway. 2 comments

    What is it? Examine this object and tell us what you think it is - or what it came from - in the comments section below. We will post the answer and the full story next week! This is #10 in the Education team's Collection Detection series, where we look at an unusual collection item and the story behind it.

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  • First World War archives on Twitter

    Friday 13 June 2014 by Vanessa Wright.

    On June 10 the Memorial participated in a Twitter event as part of International Archives Day, organised by Ask Archivists and Follow an Archive. Archives, museums and libraries from all over the world searched their collections for archive material relating to the First World War and posted it on Twitter using the hashtag #ww1archives. You can read about how the day went on the Ask Archivists blog and read all the tweets here. Unfortunately, we …

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  • P-39 Airacobras in defence of Australia

    Friday 13 June 2014 by . 7 comments

    Probably Laverton, Vic. C. 1942. A WAAAF technical trainee takes a close look at the nose of a Bell Airacobra fighter aircraft at RAAF Station Laverton.

    When we consider the many aircraft type which defended the skies above Australia and her territories, the P-40 Kittyhawk (Warhawk in American service) immediately springs to mind. Indeed, the Kittyhawk would arguably be one of the most important fighters in service with the RAAF during the Second World War. Though many veterans who served in the Northern Territory will recall with fondness, the sound of Merlin engines over the top end with the …

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  • The war in Papua New Guinea did not start with Kokoda - Eagles of the Southern Sky

    Friday 6 June 2014 by . 5 comments

    For some readers, it may come as a surprise that war in Papua and New Guinea did not start with fighting on the Kokoda Trail in July of 1942. This is partly due to a plethora of books which cover this important land campaign; yet fail to fully integrate the air war into the story. An exception to that statement is Lex McAulay’s Blood Iron which made a creditable attempt to inform the reader of what was occurring in the skies above the track. …

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  • They also served: why D-Day matters to Australia

    Friday 6 June 2014 by Lachlan Grant. 1 comments

    Flight Sergeant Fred Wood with the chief gendarme in a Norman village. A fitter with the RAAF, Wood was in charge of maintenance of the Spitfires of No. 453 Squadron and was Mentioned in Despatches for his service in Normandy.

    Flight Sergeant Fred Wood with the chief gendarme in a Norman village. A fitter with the RAAF, Wood was in charge of maintenance of the Spitfires of No. 453 Squadron and was Mentioned in Despatches for his service in Normandy. 042284 Seventy years ago this week, the largest invasion force in history sailed towards the shores of Normandy in France. D-Day, June 6, 1944, has become one…

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