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Road to Cancon 2013 - Australian War Memorial (Part One)

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On the Friday of Cancon 2013 the convention hall was not opening at midday, giving me a free morning. Whenever I'm in Canberra there is one place I always visit, the Australian War Memorial. Established as a national memorial to all Australian soldiers, sailors and airmen who had fallen in the South African War and the Great War construction started in the late 1920's and the original building was completed in 1941. Since then it has expanded to include exhibits from WW2, Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, East Timor, Iraq, Afghanistan and Australia's other conflicts and peace keeping operations.

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I only had a couple of hours, so I decided to focus on the WW1 and WW2 aviation exhibits. First stop was the 'Air Power in the Pacific' hall, of particular intersest as it was the theme of my WGS Cancon table. You are greeted by a beautiful De Havilland DH98 Mosquito Mk.XVI.

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"Polly" is a Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk Mk.IA A29-133 serial number which was received by 75 Sqn at Milne Bay on 22/6/42.

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Piloted by P/O Bruce Edward Brown DFC it was coded 'S' with "Polly" written on both sides of nose under exhaust stack. On 11/8/42 this was one of 22 P-40s from 75 and 76 Sqns that engaged about 12 Zeros and P/O Brown was credited with one damaged Zero.

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On 17/10/43 it crash landed at Bankstown strip and was later allocated to 82 Sqn RAAF. A29-133 survived the war and is now restored in her 1943 livery.

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Cut away fuselage of a CAC Wirraway army coopoeration aircraft pressed into the ground attack and even fighter roles in the dark days of 1942. This one is painted on the colours of the only Wirraway ever to shoot down a Zero.

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This Mitshubishi A6M2 Zero fighter was flown by the fourth ranking Japanese air ace, Saburo Sakai. He used this machine while serving with the Rabaul based 204th Kokutai in June - July 1942. Later the damaged aircraft was abandoned at Gasmata airfield. In 1976 it was shipped to Australia and subsequently acquired by the Australian War Memorial. It was restored on behalf of the Memorial by the apprentice school at RAAF Forest Hill, Wagga over a five year period and returned to the AWM in 1986. Its first public display was at the Bicentennial Airshow at RAAF Richmond, New South Wales in 1988.

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This North American P-51 Mustang was supplied to the RAAF in July 1945 too late to see active service in the Pacific Theatre. This aircraft is armed with rockets for ground attack, a role RAAF P-51's performed in Italy in 1944-45 and Korea in 1950.

The next entry will take us into the WW2 Air War over Europe exhibit.

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Updated 05-15-2014 at 08:36 by Carl_Brisgamer



  1. Marechallannes's Avatar

    Good picture with informations.