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Belmont Australia Remembers Memorial

Belmont Australia Remembers Memorial
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Description / Background

The memorial is situated near the eastern end of Memorial Place close to the Belmont Memorial. It is a propeller from an unspecified aircraft, mounted on a plinth in the shape of pyramid on a raised two-step platform. 

Inscription

Base

Lest we forget. We served.

Plaque 1

Australia Remembers

This plaque is dedicated to the men and women of Lake Macquarie who paid the supreme sacrifice in the following wars:

The Boer War 1899 - 1902; The Great War 1914 - 1918; World War II 1939 - 1945; The Korean War 1950 - 1953; The Vietnam War 1962 - 1973

Lest We Forget

Unveiled on 30th July, 1995 by Hon. Peter Morris MHR in the presence of Councillor Allan Shields, City of Lake Macquarie

Plaque 2

Australia Remembers

From the waters of Lake Macquarie Australia's very long range bombing and mine laying force was trained and nurtured. This force raised from 168 Catalina Flying Boats flown in from the United States between 1941 and 1945, operated throughout the war zones north of Australia. Targets ranged from Soerabaya in the west, to the Solomons in the east and northwest to the Chinese coastline and within 500 miles of mainland Japan. Aircraft and crews flying from these waters conducted regular anti-submarine patrols to the east and south of Australia, were engaged in the Coral Sea battle, and staging through Darwin and Jinamoc comprised 25 per cent of the largest Catalina operation of the war, the mining of Manila harbour in the Philippines.

They also flew a multitude of other operations. Air/sea flights were another essential service provided by these versatile craft.

During training, the 'mining' of Belmont Bay was a regular exercise. At the centre of these operations and located almost directly across the lake, was the R.A.A.F. Station at Rathmines, established in 1939 and closed in 1960. During its period of operations this station was the largest air/sea base in the southern hemisphere.

Catalinas carried a 4000lb load of bombs or mines, (twice that of a Flying Fortress) with a flight duration in excess of 20 hours. This load/range capability was achieved in part by removal of bulletproofing from the fuel tanks and reducing armaments and amour-plating to the minimum. Some 200 aircrews were trained here, 320 crewmen were killed during the war. They and the aircraft were supported in a superb manner by many thousands of highly skilled ground crew without whose dedication they would never left the water.

Seventy per cent of all Catalina operations were very long range offensive strikes, most of which were classified 'most secret', particularly so their mining missions, hence their story remains practically unknown to this day.

Their Motto: First and Furthest

This plaque was unveiled on 30th July, 1995 by Hon. Peter Morris M.H.R. In the presence of Councillor Allan Shields City of Lake Macquarie and representatives of Catalina Squadrons Nos 11, 20, 42, 43 Air/Sea Rescue Flight Nos 111, 112, 113, 114, 115

Lest We Forget

Plaque 3

'Australia Remembers'

24 Squadron R.A.A.F. 1940 - 1945

Plaque 4

Vietnam War Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Hunter Valley Men who gave their lives 1962 - 1973.

[Map of Vietnam plus the flags of Australia and South Vietnam]

[Names]

Lest We Forget

Erected by their Newcastle Vietnam Comrades 1997 Tom Yeo, President

Plaque 5

Australia Remembers

No. 10 Repair and Salvage Unit Royal Australian Air Force Dedicated to the members of 10 R.S.U. 1942 - 1945

The unit was formed in Amberley and later to serve in: Lowood, Charters Towers Milne Bay, Goodenough Island Kiriwena, Nadzab Lae, Morotai

The function of the unit was to perform major serving and repair for various squadrons including: 75 squadron Kittyhawk, 6 squadron Hudson 76 squadron Kittyhawk, 100 squadron Beaufort 77 squadron Kittyhawk, 11 squadron Catalina 452 squadron Spitfire, 20 squadron Catalina 30 squadron Beaufighter, 22 squadron Boston

For twenty five years 10 R.S.U. has held its annual reunion in Belmont.

Erected by donations from the Commonwealth Government, Lake Macquarie City Council, Veterans, Veteran's Families and those who remember. Propeller donated by The Royal Australian Air Force.

Lest We Forget

Unveiled on 30th July 1995 by Hon. Peter Morris M.H.R. in the presence of Councillor Allan Shields City of Lake Macquarie together with Mr John Peschar and representatives of 10 R.S.U.

Veterans listed on this memorial

Last held rank Given name Family name Conflict/s Service No. Service Campaign Read more
Pte W J Ashton Vietnam War view
Pte W J Bailey Vietnam War view
Cpl T D Blackhurst Vietnam War view
WO2 W A Blanck Vietnam War view
Pte S W Dickson Vietnam War view
Tpr D G Doyle Vietnam War view
Cpl G G Gilbert Vietnam War view
SSgt J Hall Vietnam War view
Lt P A Hines Vietnam War view
Pte J M Houston Vietnam War view

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Address
Memorial Place
Belmont NSW 2280
Local Government Area
Lake Macquarie, City of
Setting
Public square
Memorial type
Other
Year of construction
1995
Dedication date
30 July 1995
Conflict/s
South African War (Boer War), 1899–1902
First World War, 1914–18
Second World War, 1939–45
Korean War, 1950–53
Vietnam War, 1962–75