by David Radcliffe
In early 1942, Australia urgently needed a fighter aircraft to defend against possible invasion. The result was the CA-12 Boomerang, designed by Fred David at the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation in Fishermans Bend. Before coming to Australia, Fred David had worked for aircraft makers in Germany and Japan. This included helping to design the Aichi dive bomber used…
by David Radcliffe
Eighty years ago this month, the Second World War came very close to Port Melbourne. Early in the morning of February 26, 1942, a small float plane, launched from a Japanese submarine, conducted a reconnaissance flight around Port Phillip Bay, observing the port and other facilities.
That morning, Marlene Firman and her younger sister, Gloria, were sound…
Hospital ship, MS Oranje, at Port Melbourne, 1940s. Photograph by Roy Liebig. PMHPS Collection.
This story was sparked by a couple of images in the PMHPS Collection taken by Roy Liebig in the 1940s. Both images appear later in this story so more on those later.
MS Oranje, 1940s. Photo by Roy Liebig. PMHPS Collection.
The MS Oranje started life in the…
Rosie Bray (Thrupp) wrote this piece on 15th August 2020.
Yes, August 15th 1945 was Victory in the Pacific day, and I remember it well. It meant Peace at last, and we all let out a sigh of relief when we heard Prime Minister Ben Chifley officially announce that Japan had at last surrendered.
The news was not unexpected as…
ARP Lapel Badge. PMHPS Collection.
PMHPS has a small number ARP lapel badges in the collection (right). They serve as a reminder that while WWI was mostly fought in far-off Europe, during WWII there was a very real danger that air raids could strike Australia and that the ARP played an important role in preparing the civilian population for such attacks.
One of the issues raised at the meeting of the Port Melbourne branch of the Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Fathers’ Association on Monday 12 January 1920 was the intention of the branch to erect a memorial to the local men who were killed in the war.
Cr Owen Sinclair suggested Edwards Park on the land reclaimed from the lagoon would make…
Sue Leong writes:
This is the snap that I took of the war memorial on that wet and grey ANZAC centenary in 2015. (Not a great photo but I liked having the people in it to show how bleak a day it was!) Our PMHPS red and blue flowers can be seen. My Dad served in the air force in WWII…
John Beaumont, sitting on the footpath in Bridge Street, Port Melbourne circa 1943.
My cousin John Beaumont, sitting on the footpath in front of his home at 43 Bridge Street Port Melbourne around 1943.
John’s father Freddie, after returning from war service in North Africa, was sent to Singapore, escaping from there when the city fell to the Japanese on 15th February…
Harder Than Football - League Players at War
Our special guest in June will be Barb Cullen, author of Harder Than Football - League Players at War, a comprehensive list of all players from the Victorian Football League who served their country in war.
Barb has a long history of commitment to AFL affiliated groups and clubs. Barbara is currently a volunteer curator assisting…
Photo: National Trust of Australia
The guest speaker at our July meeting, Laura James, will talk about Avenues of Honour.
PMH&PS meet on the fourth Monday of each month except December in the Council Chamber, Upstairs at Port Melbourne Town Hall, 333 Bay St, Port Melbourne.