I refer to the article “Search for key pieces of Mildura’s Forgotten War” (Sunraysia Daily 15-6-19). I must take issue with the implication throughout the article that Mildura’s wartime RAAF history has been forgotten and untold.
In 2001, the RAAF 2OTU Museum was opened in the restored old 2OTU Headquarters building at the airport and, for the last 18 years, has been maintained and open to the public, by dedicated volunteers.
The museum is highly-reviewed. During the visit by 2OCU in 2017 for the unit’s 75th Anniversary, the commanding officer stated that: “It is a credit to you all for the personal effort in creating the best unit history museum I have ever had the fortune to visit”.
The museum contains a memorial wall listing details of all RAAF fatalities at Mildura and priceless memorabilia, medals, photographs and records from Mildura and other areas of RAAF operations.
Additionally, the Museum has arranged for commemorative brass plaques to be placed at all fatal crash locations throughout the Sunraysia district.
In 2007, a significant RAAF Memorial was built adjacent to the museum which lists, among other things, the RAAF personnel who died serving at Mildura and the personnel who served at Mildura but who did not return from later service elsewhere.
The museum is currently bidding to have a retired F/A-18 Hornet fighter from 2OCU allocated for display in a facility at the museum and, also, has been promised a donation of a Sabre Fighter also used by 2OCU.
If acquired, these aircraft will provide a further more modern-day link to 2OTU/2OCU’s important heritage at Mildura.
The RAAF Memorial and Museum are now managed by the Mildura RSL sub-branch.
Any proposal to further enhance the telling of the story of the wartime RAAF at Mildura is to be commended, but to imply that the story is forgotten and untold – not so.