Established at Melbourne's Moorabbin Airport less than 7 years earlier, these photographs were taken on a visit in November 1972.
Later renamed Australian National Aviation Museum, it continues today at the same site, although enlarged and with display buildings

The view through the cockpit windscreen of DC-3 VH-ANH

VH-ANH was flown to Moorabbin from Essendon in August 1972 after Ansett Airlines of Australia retired its last DC-3s.
Note the Wright R-1820 Cyclone engines, which Ansett-ANA preferred for its large DC-3 fleet

Gloster Meteor T.7 A77-707 was one of the last aircraft to avoid scrapping at the vast RAAF storage airfield at Tocumwal NSW
It was dismantled by museum members and moved by road to Moorabbin in 1963

Royal Australian Navy DH.112 Sea Venom FAW.53 N4-901 was formerly WZ901

Vampire A79-422 was salvaged in battered condition from a playground at the Lord Mayors Holiday Camp at Portsea Vic.
It is seen under restoration in the open, before hangars were erected on the museum site

Royal Australian Navy Fairey Gannet AS.1 XG789 coded "M841" from service on aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne.
Early museum stalwarts are (L-R) Gil Johnson, Jon Lock and Neil Follett

Pride of place went to former RAAF Bristol Beaufighter A8-328 from the Australian wartime production.
It had been laying in sand on its belly in a playground at the Lord Mayors Holiday Camp at Portsea for ten years.
When saved in 1962, it was in deplorable condition

The Beaufighter from the port side, showing the big rebuilding task under way.  Today it is displayed in a hangar
painted in wartime camouflage as RAAF "A8-39 EH-K", interior and external restoration completed

RAN Fairey Firefly TT Mk.6 WD828 code "847" was delivered to the museum by air in February 1967 by Terry Brain

The fuselage of RAAF Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk A29-53 was found on a farm near Colac Vic in 1966.
It was displayed at the museum for many years mounted on a spare CAC Mustang mainplane as seen here.
However it is currently undergoing complete restoration using authentic P-40 wing and undercarriage parts

Woomera-based RAAF Bristol Sycamore A91-1 had a short civil life as VH-GVR before an accident in the Victorian Alps in 1967.
After having the gaudy civilian paintwork stripped, it was stored. Today it displayed as RAAF "A91-1"

CAC CA-6 Wackett Trainer VH-AGP had been painted in RAAF camouflage, its wooden wing removed for preservation

The one and only Southern Cross Aviation SC-1 VH-SCA had been built and flown at Toowoomba Qld in 1961

DH.60G Gipsy Moth VH-UKV Diana had been donated to the museum in 1962.
Pending display buildings at the Moorabbin site, it was kept in a hangar at Berwick airfield near Melbourne

Last inmate seen on the 1972 visit was this fuselage of RAAF Bristol Beaufighter A19-43, from a farm at Nhill, Victoria.
15 years later this and other Beaufighter sections were sold for restoration for the USAF Museum at Wright Patterson AFB Ohio,
where it is displayed today representing USAAF 415th Night Fighter Squadron Beaufighter "KV912" in the Mediterranean Theatre

Tailpiece: Salvaging a Beaufighter

Thanks to Nigel Daw and Neil Follett,, these pictures show the recovery of A19-43 from a farm near Nhill Vic in January 1971:

A19-43 had ended its RAAF days as Instructional Airframe No.3 at RAAF Station Nhill, and was sold off by disposals
after the war to local farmer Keith Oldfield who broke it up for useful parts

The Moorabbin Air Museum convoy of sections of Beaufighter A19-43 at Horsham Vic on the way from Nhill to Melbourne

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