FEDERAL FUNDING SHOWCASES MARYBOROUGH’S RICH AVIATION HISTORY
Maryborough Airport’s significant contribution to Australia’s World War II efforts has been highlighted by the creation of 24 memorial panels dedicated to the 569 men who trained at the RAAF Station Maryborough, and then lost their lives in the service of their country during World War II.
Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien joined volunteers from the Maryborough Military Aviation Museum and invited guests for the unveiling of the memorial panels which were funded by a grant of $22,500 from the Australian Government’s Saluting Their Service Commemorative Grant Program.
Between 1941 and 1944, air gunners, navigators, and members of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force were stationed in Maryborough where they undertook their training before being deployed in the fight against the Axis powers.
“The memorial panels commemorate the legacy of these brave men, and the significant contribution the Maryborough Airport made to Australia’s World War II efforts,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The Saluting Their Service grant has supported the Military Aviation Museum in preserving and promoting the airport’s wartime heritage and highlighting the important role of the facility and the service men and women who were stationed there.”
The Saluting Their Service program from the Department of Veterans Affairs supports projects and activities that commemorate the service and sacrifice of Australia’s military personnel in wars, conflicts, and peace operations.
“Maryborough has a proud military history, and the former Coalition Government strongly supported the Military Aviation Museum, the Gallipoli to Armistice Memorial, and the Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum, to ensure the service, sacrifice and stories of our veterans are commemorated and preserved for future generations,” Mr O’Brien said.
Jenny Elliott from the Maryborough Military Aviation Museum said that the panels are made of weathered steel 1800 high x 900 wide, with each of the men’s names and service information laser cut into the steel.
“The panels which are modelled on the Wall of Remembrance at the Australian War Memorial, will be installed as a landscape feature that is interactive and interpretive and will form part of eventual fencing at the museum complex,” Mrs Elliott said.
Hundreds of hours of research have been undertaken by the Museum’s volunteers to identify each of the men killed in active service. Their hard work combined with funding from the Australian Government’s Saluting Their Service Program has resulted in a Memorial Wall that commemorates the legacy of these brave men, and the significant wartime contribution of the Maryborough Airport.