Iron Range World War II Memorial, Australia
The Community of Lockhart River has established a Lockhart River Anzac Day Committee to implement and construct a Memorial Wall for the up and coming Anzac Day events for 2005. This will be the very first Anzac Day held in Lockhart River and is also expected to be a very moving and special event for the residents and visitors of Lockhart River.
The Memorial Wall is nearing completion and is situated in the confines of the Iron Range (Lockhart River) Airport area for all community members and visitors to the community of Lockhart River. .
Formally Iron Range Airbase played a vital and strategic area for U.S. and Australian Military Forces during World War 2. Thousands of military defence personnel from various units attached to the Australian and American Defence Forces were based throughout the Iron Range and Portland Roads areas.
Iron Range Airbase was a military strategic post being used by heavy bombers attached to the United States Air Force to combat the ever increasing threat of a Japanese invasion from Northern Australia.
Iron Range Airbase also had numerous tragic aircraft incidents and the historical significance of this area should never be forgotten for our future generations.
A dedication and commemoration of this Memorial is being planned for April 25 2005, Anzac Day.
During this commemoration of the Memorial Wall there will be 5 official dedications of plaques unveiled.
Plaque One – The unveiling of Plaque One will dedicate the 11 US Service Airmen that were tragically killed in the USAAF B 24 Liberator, named “Bombs to Nippon” attached to the 400th Squadron 90th Bombardment Group that crashed during takeoff on the 16th November 1942 at the Gordon Airstrip, Iron Range.
Plaque Two – The unveiling of Plaque Two will dedicate the 10 US Service Airmen that were tragically killed in the USAAF B 24 Liberator, 400th Squadron, 90th Bombardment Group that crashed during takeoff on a bombing mission to Rabaul on the 26th December 1942 at the Gordon Airstrip, Iron Range, Qld Australia.
Plaque Three – The unveiling of Plaque Three is dedicated to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service personnel and residents of Lockhart River who served in World War II. These persons partook in the vital and strategic implementation of the Iron Range Airbase during World War 11.
Plaque Four – The unveiling of Plaque Four will dedicate all United States Army Air Force Bombardment Groups and other units based at the Iron Range Qld during World War II.
Plaque Five – The unveiling of Plaque Five will dedicate all the Australian Military Forces and Civilian units based at the Iron Range Qld during World War II.
Numerous dignitaries, VIPS, outside agencies and bodies who assisted with donations, information and transport of equipment will be respectfully invited to attend.
The following bodies and persons have assisted in the implementation of the Memorial Wall.
Skytrans Airlines, Aerotropics Airlines, OZ TOURS Safaris, Coen Exchange Hotel, Archer River Roadhouse, Sea Swift, US Embassy, Tableland Concrete Blocks, S&H SPARS, Worssell and Co, Lockhart River Retail Store (DATSIP), Hon Member Warren ENSTCH, Senator L HARRIS and Member Jason O’BRIEN and Robin BUCHANN
The Lockhart River library has also collated a number of books, documents and correspondence from numerous researchers, authors and bodies around the State. These books etc will be held in the Lockhart River library for all community members and visitors of Lockhart River.
The Lockhart River community would like to thank the following for their kind donations of books and assistance in making this a positive initiative. Vera BRADLEY (Authour – “I didn’t know that”), Barry RALPH, (Author “Savage Wilderness”) John HARDAKER, Cairns, Cooktown, and Weipa Historical Societies, Staff of The Australian War Memorial, Peter DUNN Author “www.ozatwar.com”, Damien WATERS,(Author “Beau’s Butchers, and Boomerangs”) Syd BECK Mareeba Military Museum, Principal and staff of Lockhart State School and Roger MARKS (Author Qld Airfields WW2).
If any other persons are able to assist with photos, information, documents on Iron Range during World War II or interested in this event contact can be made through the Lockhart River Police Station.
Sgt of Police
Lockhart River Police Station
Lockhart River Queensland
Ed: Mr. Musumeci has retired from the police force.