The Australian War Memorial in Canberra once again reneges on its promises to display a Beaufighter.
Agrueably the most significant aircraft built in defense of this country has yet again been snubed by the Australian War Memorial. The Beaufighter came in two models, A-19 that was built in Britain and assembled in Australia from 1942 and the later A-8 model that was entirely manufactured in Australia with some variations from 1944 onwards.
This long range strike fighter provided the most signifcant impact of any Australian aircraft in stopping the enemy approaching our shores during World War II. The A-19 models and their crews provided an effective air support for our soldiers caught in the line of fire on the Kokoda Track. At great risk with falling prey to Japanese Zero's, they bombed and strafed the enemy in their offensive positions before they could over run the Australian troops. Many young Australian and American Servicemen returned from the war that would have otherwise been lost in the fighting. Some reading this article maybe the children of those who might have otherwise not returned.
With the might of the Japanese proving almost too much for the Allies in New Guinea, General MacArthur, supreme commander of all Allied Forces in the South West Pacific, was preparing to withdraw from the Northern Territory, most of Queensland and much of Western Australia. Had the Kokoda Track been won by the Japanese, deadly imperialism would have quickly taken a large foothold over the northern half of this country. Thanks to the troops on the ground and much to the air support they received, especially the Beaufighter Crews, the track was only just saved.
Furthermore, in combined operations with the United States Army Air Force, Beaufighters of 30 Squadron RAAF were able to stop large troop convoys from reaching New Guinea and the Australian mainland.
Hundreds of young Air Crew were shot down in Beaufighters in the defence of Australia and none of those were to survive captivity in the POW camps. Yet with more than 20 years of trying, surviving crews have been unable to convince the Australian War Memorial to the display a single Beaufighter and honour their young aircrews who gave their all to keep this country free of imperialism and tyranny.
Newspaper Article circa 2002