Point Cook Air Force Museum

 

Ben H. took the lead and organized a winter solstice trip to Point Cook Air Musuem, it came when there was a sad lull in the clubs’ activities. But, I was only able to e-mail information on this event as it was too late for the newsletter, a good reason to give the club your email address.

 

The trip was an easy one for me as Point Cook is close to home, we were lucky that the weather was cool but benign. Soon the old crew was together once again and we made a leisurely passage through the museum, then lunch and onto the flight line to view the air display of the Windjeel Trainer. The early model Holden club was there as well , the museum is a popular venue for clubs.

 

 

 

 

 


Dodge Command Car Dodge Command Car
Club Members
Something for the front yard?

 

 

Drivers and vehicles


Natalie & Ben H. 110 Land Rover
Alex McP. 110 Land Rover
John B. 110 Land Rover
Rod M. Hummer
Patric & John S. Hummer
John &Annette B. Moke
Gordon E. Jeep
Ray E. Dodge Carryall
Julian S. and girlfriend (Too cold to come on his motorbike)

 

 

Birthplace of military aviation in Australia


The Federal Government acquired Point Cook in 1913 to establish the nation's first military flying school, using two BE-2a biplanes and two Deperdussin monoplanes together with a Bristol Box-kite bought in 1912.
The newly formed 'Central Flying School' started with two officer instructors and a few mechanics. The first military flight in Australia took place on 1 March 1914, and the first training course began in August with four student pilots.


During World War I the Australian Flying Corps (AFC) was established at Point Cook as a new element of the army and many of its pilots saw active duty overseas. Australian military airmen went to New Guinea in November 1914 and to Mesopotamia (Iraq) in 1915. Later, squadrons served in Palestine and on the Western Front. The first Australian airman to die in action was Lieutenant George Merz - one of the first pilot graduates from Point Cook - who was killed by Arabs in Mesopotamia. During the war 65 Australians became 'aces' by shooting down at least five planes, and Lieutenant Frank McNamara, who trained at Point Cook, won Australia's sole air Victoria Cross while serving with No 1 Squadron, AFC.Throughout this period Point Cook remained the focal point of military aviation in Australia, serving as a flying training unit as well as the assembly point for most AFC units going overseas.

 

The military complex


The Point Cook air base occupies an area of about 250 hectares southwest of Melbourne on the shores of Port Phillip Bay. It is the only World War I military airfield in Australia and features the country's oldest, most extensive and intact complex of military aviation buildings. When the base was established, the proximity of Port Phillip Bay made Point Cook a choice location for seaplanes as well as conventional land planes. As flying was in its infancy and still experimental, the area's sea-level altitude and absence of hills made it ideal for training and development purposes.The design of the air base influenced the planning and development of later military aviation bases in Australia. The base includes rare examples of buildings specific to the pre World War I, World War II and Inter War periods. These include the oldest hangars and workshops in Australia, built in 1914 1917; the AFC complex, including the seaplane jetty, dating from 1916 and operating until 1937; the water-plane hangar, built in 1914; and the seaplane complex dating from the late 1920s. The parade ground at Point Cook, completed in 1930, became a prominent feature of RAAF bases elsewhere in Australia. The Air Force Memorial, unveiled on the edge of the parade ground in November 1938, was the first and principal monument to Australian airmen killed in World War I. After World War II, the base also became home to a range of significant units and facilities, including the RAAF Staff College (1949-60), the RAAF College (later Academy) for training officer cadets from 1947, and the RAAF School of Languages (1950-2000).