Gateway to VictoryPrint Page
Gateway to Victory commemorates the arrival of the 27th Bomb Group and 27th Pursuit Group pilots of the United States AAF in the Imperial Airways flying boat Centaurus.
On 24 November 1939, the British Government merged Imperial Airways Ltd with British Airways Ltd to form the wholly government owned British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC). On 14 February 1942 a number of BOAC flying boats were in operation on the Australian end of the route to the UK and could not be flown back to the UK. Centaurus was one of these. BOAC then placed these aircraft at the disposal of Qantas and the Australian authorities. Centaurus was impressed by the RAAF as A18-10. The Empire Flying Boat, Short S23 C-Class, S.811 Centaurus was later impressed by the RAAF and was sunk at her moorings during a Japanese air raid on Broome on 3 March 1942 as A18-10.
|Address:||Kingsford Smith Drive, Bretts Wharf, Hamilton, 4007|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -27.439645|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Event STart Date:||24-December-1941|
|Actual Event End Date:||24-December-1941|
|Actual Monument Dedication Date:||Saturday 15th August, 1998|
Gateway to Victory.
On December 24th 1941 the Royal Australian Air Force, QANTAS Empire Airways and the United States Air Force completed their first joint operation when QANTAS flying boat CENTAURUS serving with the R.A.A.F. as A18-10 landed on Hamilton Reach carrying 22 pilots from the U.S. 27th Bomb Group (Dive) and 5 Pilots of the U.S. 24th Pursuit Group who were withdrawn from the Philippines. These U.S. pilots together with R.A.A.F. facilities and personnel organised and trained the first bomber and fighter Squadrons that expanded to become the U.S. Fifth Air Force that with R.A.A.F. Command contributed decisively in the campaign that brought Victory in the Pacific. Throughout the war QANTAS continued its transport and maintenance until the end on the 15/8/1945.