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Australian - American MemorialPrint Page Print this page

03-February-2015
03-February-2015

Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams / Estate of Connie Marson / Russell Byers

The Australian-American Memorial is an important symbol of Australian gratitude to United States of America service personnel for their contribution to the defence of Australia during World War Two. It is also a symbol of the close ties which were established during the War.

After an appeal for finances by then Prime Minister of Australia, Sir Robert Menzies, the Australian people subscribed more than the eventual cost of 100,000 pounds, then a vast sum of money for such a public memorial, indicating the gratitude of the nation. (Additional memorials were constructed in Brisbane and Adelaide using the surplus funds.)

Work commenced in December 1952 and took just over a year. Then Vice President of the United States of America, Richard Nixon, visited the site in the early stages of construction. The memorial is a hollow, octagonal, tapered column with a steel framework sheeted with aluminium panels that were sandblasted to give the appearance of stone.

Two murals feature at the base, one relating the story of American combat in the Pacific and the other a profile map of the United States in copper. The column is surrounded by a water-filled moat about 3m wide. Under the dedication is a bronze wreath where floral wreaths are often laid on official commemorations. The column is topped with a bronze sphere surmounted by a stylised figure of the American Eagle.

The Queen, today unveiled the Australian National Memorial to the United States of America. She said the memorial would stand as a permanent testimony to the thankfulness of the Australian people for America's friendship and support in the war. The Queen also visited the nearby Australian War Memorial. About 500 members of the Australian American Association were flown into Canberra from all over the Commonwealth for the unveiling.  The octagonal tapering column topped by an Aluminium American eagle with it swings outstretched was built by the Australian American Association through contributions by the public and the Commonwealth Government as a tribute of thanks for American help during World War II.
The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate (NSW), 16th February 1954
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Location

Address:Russell Drive, Sir Thomas Blamey Square, Russell, 2600
State:ACT
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.297626
Long: 149.151579
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Conflict
Sub-Theme:WW2
Actual Event STart Date:03-September-1939
Actual Event End Date:15-August-1945
Monument Designer:Richard Ure (architect) Paul Beadle(sculptor)

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 16th February, 1954
Front Inscription

In Grateful Remembrance Of The Vital Help Given By The United States Of America During The War In The Pacific 1941-1945

Unveiled By Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
February 16th 1954

Inscription in Proximity
AUSTRALIAN - AMERICAN MEMORIAL

THIS MEMORIAL WAS FUNDED BY THE PEOPLE OF AUSTRALIA TO COMMEMORATE THE SERVICE AND SACRIFICE OF AMERICAN MEN AND WOMEN IN THE DEFENCE OF AUSTRALIA AND THE WAR IN THE PACIFIC (1941-45). DESIGNED IN 1949 BY ARCHITECT MR RICHARD URE, THE 79 METRE HIGH MEMORIAL FEATURES AN ALUMINIUM -CLAD COLUMN TOPPED BY A TRIUMPHANT EAGLE. THE STYLISED EAGLE AND SPHERE WAS DEVELOPED BY SCULPTOR MR PAUL BEADLE. CONSTRUCTION COMMENCED IN JANUARY 1953AND WAS COMPLETED IN EARLY 1954. 
 
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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