Horsepower meets history at Amberley Heritage Centre Open Day

Horsepower goes head to head with history at the RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre May Open Day this Sunday.

Between the hangars the Holden Special Vehicles Owners Club will field 62 gleaming high performance Holden cars and utes, showcasing the styling and performance upgrades which make an HSV Holden the driver’s car of choice.

Just inside the early aviation hangar is an interesting display showcasing the RAAF Butterworth School, established to provide education for children of RAAF personnel posted to the RAAF base in Penang, Malaysia, over the past 60 years.  The display offers a fascinating window into an aspect of the lives of Australian children growing up in post-war Asia.

Adjoining the Penang School display is a significant piece of South Queensland military history – a .propeller presented to the crew of an Avro Anson by the survivors of the Australian Hospital Ship “Centaur”, torpedoed by a Japanese submarine northeast of North Stradbroke Island at 4.10am on the 14th of May 1943. The 64 survivors drifted for almost 36 hours until they were spotted by the crew of the Lowood-based 71 Squadron Anson at 2pm on the 15th of May. The RAAF aircraft alerted a nearby American destroyer USS Mugford which rescued the survivors and broke the news of the torpedoing of the ill-fated Centaur.

And then there are the aircraft and memorabilia commemorating over 75 years of military aviation in South Queensland including a restored Douglas ‘Boston’ bomber , Canberra bomber, F-111 strike reconnaissance fast jet,  Vietnam-era Iroquois “Huey” helicopter and Caribou Battlefield airlifter, Army Pilatus Porter and much more.

Light refreshments and Barista Coffee are available for purchase at the Centre.

Due to RAAF security requirements all visitors over the age of 16 must provide photographic identification, and have their identification details recorded as a condition of entry.

The RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre is open this Sunday, and then on the third Sunday of each month, between 9am and 3pm.  Simply turn off the Cunningham Highway to RAAF Amberley near Ipswich and follow the signs. Admission is free and photography is welcomed.

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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