Bomb Group

380th Bomb Group Association
World War II Veterans Group

Newsletter #54 - Autumn 2013

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Fund

Click here for letter from the B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Fund

Possible Development of Werribee Site to provide long term viability of the B24 Liberator Restoration Australia

B-24 Memorial - Letter of Support

Oct 15 2013

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Fund
Secretary: Judith Gilbert
3 Eldorado Crt, Wyndham Vale, Vict. 3024


My name is Steve Conway, and I was forwarded your email requesting support for the B-24 Memorial in Australia by Barbara Gotham of the 380th Bomb Group Association.

My father, Francis Richard Conway was a co-pilot in the 529th Bomb Squadron, of the 380th Bomb Group, of the 5th US Army Air Corps. He flew in combat out of multiple locations in the Northern Territories to help the effort against the Japanese. He served his country faithfully during his time in the Air Corp and had many harrowing missions as testified to in his pilot's log which I inherited. He was shot down once on New Year's Eve 1943 and crash landed at Gusup Air Strip in New Guinea. After recovering from his wounds he went back to flying missions until the end of his tour of duty. Over his service in Australia he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Purple Heart.

He spoke infrequently about his service in WWII, but when he did he was proud to have served in Australia, and at one point turned down his own command (requiring a transfer to another area) in order to stay there. He was only 22 years old when he started flying combat missions, and the memories of those, both good and bad help shape the rest of his life. He went on to serve on the St. Paul Fire Department (in Minnesota), built our home on the east side, attended mass regularly and volunteered his time to help others. The values of family, faith, service to others were strongly reinforced during his service and he never wavered from those the rest of his life.

The effort to create/sustain a memorial to all of those who served with the Liberators in Australia is a commitment to honor the dedication, sacrifices, and lives of those in the USAAF and the RAAF who were so devoted winning the war and protecting the lives and sovereignty of the countries they fought and died to protect. It also is a tangible site which would allow ours and future generations to see, hear and touch the equipment and sense the history and memories of what was accomplished there.

Thank you for the opportunity to offer my support to you and your group in the effort.


Stephen F Conway

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Last updated: 31 March 2014