• 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 …

    Read on

  • 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. …

    Read on

  • 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…

    Read on

  • Anzac voices highly commended at the MAGNA awards

    Thursday 29 May 2014 by Robyn van Dyk. 2 comments

    Anzac voices features treasures from the Memorial’s archives

    The Australian War Memorial is excited to announce that it has won highly commended for the temporary exhibition ANZAC voices at the Museum Galleries National Awards (MAGNA) in Launceston, Tasmania last week. MAGNA celebrates the best exhibition work from around Australia. The Memorial would like to thank the Anzac voices exhibition team, Wingrove design and the Definitive Group for transforming the Memorial's Special Exhibition Gallery to tell …

    Read on

  • The Australian Imperial Force (AIF) Other ranks uniform 1914-1918

    Friday 23 May 2014 by Dianne Rutherford. 3 comments

    Portrait of a soldier wearing a pre-war citizen forces uniform.

    This is thesecond in a series of blogs about First World War uniforms and covers the basic aspects of the Australian Imperial Force other ranksuniform during the First World War. At 11pm, on 4 August 1914, English time, Britain declared war on Germany. Australia immediately pledged her support and offered an initial force of 20,000 men. The offer was quickly accepted. Portrait of a soldier wearing a …

    Read on

  • Collection Detection answer #9

    Thursday 22 May 2014 by John Holloway. 1 comments

    Thank you to everyone who submitted their guess for this week. As promised, here is the answer: It is a German flechette dart – a sharpened projectile weapon which Australian soldier William Howie found lodged in a case of ration biscuits while in the trenches at Gallipoli. A lethal shower of these darts had just been dropped over Victoria Gully by an enemy aircraft. Early in the First World War, huge numbers of flechettes were dropped from …

    Read on

  • Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) 1914 - 15 outdoor dress

    Wednesday 14 May 2014 by Ashleigh Wadman. 9 comments

    Nurses prior to boarding HMAT Orsova. Note the rather useless bonnet of the 1914 outdoor dress and the variations in collars and fabric colour.

    This is the first in a series of blogs that covers the basic aspects of Australian uniforms during the First World War. There is a great diversity between nursing uniforms of the First World War. This variety is due to the fact that nursing uniforms were not centrally manufactured or issued in this war. Instead, nurses were given a uniform allowance to equip themselves and were allowed to make their own uniforms if they chose. This, and tailoring…

    Read on

  • A Mother's Love

    Friday 9 May 2014 by Eleni Holloway. 10 comments

    Memorial gold brooch presented to John Freeth’s mother, Ethel. The portrait photograph in the pendant was a hand coloured copy of one taken in Piccadilly, London in 1943. Finely engraved on the reverse side of this gold and glass brooch are the words "To dear John Freeth’s Mother, With regard from his friends at Angus Coote. 1944."At the centre of the brooch a hand-painted portrait of the youthful Flight Sergeant John Samuel Freeth in …

    Read on

  • Autumn Leaves

    Friday 9 May 2014 by Jennifer Surtees. 2 comments

    Portrait of the file room of the general office, Base Records.

    Reading Room, Saturday 17 May 2014, 11.00am. Bookings are essential. Have you ever wondered what happens to the military’s official documents? Have you ever wondered how historians and academics access military documents and files for their research? Now is your chance to take a look behind the scenes at the official records held by the Australian War Memorial as a part of the Autumn Activities program. This tour, led by the official records …

    Read on

  • The Partners Project

    Thursday 8 May 2014 by Gabrielle Considine.

    P05415.003 Recently, partners of current serving members of the ADF have shared their stories with the Australian War Memorial as part of the Partner’s Project. Through oral history interviews, this project explores the everyday lives of people who support their military partner. Many partners have discussed the highs and lows of postings and deployment, and the impact these have had on their …

    Read on