• 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 …

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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…

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  • 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 …

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  • 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 …

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  • 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 …

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  • Memorial Box Banter - Part V

    Thursday 8 May 2014 by Kathleen Cusack. 2 comments

    Nearly a century has passed since the First World War began. It has been almost seventy five years since the Second World War and over fifty years since the arrival of Australian troops in Vietnam. It is little wonder that it can be challenging for students today to understand the contribution Australians have made in wartime. Memorial Boxes are consistently booked out each year in the weeks leading up to Anzac Day as schools search for…

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  • Collection Detection #9

    Tuesday 6 May 2014 by John Holloway. 4 comments

    What is it? Examine this object and tell us what you think it is in the comments. We will post the answer and the full story next week! This is #9 in the Education team's Collection Detection series, where we look at an unusual collection item and the story behind it. Read on

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  • An unlikely wartime poster gallery

    Thursday 1 May 2014 by .

    Karl Josef Gollrad, [Subscribe to the War Loan...], 1914-1918

    In November 2013 the Memorial purchased 13 First World War (FWW) posters at the auction of the Dr Hans Sachs collection in New York. As part of my research into the collector Dr Hans Sachs (1882-1974) I discovered that, his passion for the graphic arts led to a German U-boat becoming an unlikely exhibition venue for posters at the height of the First World War. A friend and fellow poster enthusiast of Dr Sachs, Mr Hans Paasche, served as…

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  • Grit the Monster

    Tuesday 29 April 2014 by Eleni Holloway. 7 comments

    Mk IV Female Tank (4643) made in Glasgow, Scotland, by Coventry Works in 1917. Female tanks were fitted with four machine guns, while Male versions carried 6 pounder guns.

    Mk IV Female Tank (4643) made in Glasgow, Scotland, by Coventry Works in 1917. Female tanks were fitted with four machine guns, while Male versions carried 6 pounder guns. RELAWM05040.001 Built to crash, smash and traverse with ease the potholed moonscape of the Western Front, British tanks were hailed by some as the answer to the stalemate of trench warfare. The rhomboidal…

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  • Anzac Day - Simpson Prize 2014

    Saturday 26 April 2014 by Stuart Baines.

    Lack of sleep and the enormity of the day yesterday has prevented the blog going up earlier. It is always a unique experience when taking a bunch of teenagers to an event like this. Each year they critically examine their experience and all bring their own perspective. Commemoration is powerful but it also resonates in different ways for people. I am always fascinated to see how our Simpson Prize winners react, and even more so the …

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