OTHER SEA VENOMS ASSOCIATED WITH
QAM & CALOUNDRA

 

Although QAM has one Sea Venom on display (WZ898) and another dismantled in storage (WZ910) there are two other Sea Venoms that have come to be associated with QAM and Caloundra over the years.

 

 

WZ911

 

This Sea Venom was acquired from Nowra in 1971 by Brisbane school teacher John Hill and reassembled on a site on Beatty Road opposite Archerfield Airport. After QAM moved its first aircraft (Canberra A84-225) to Pioneer Valley Park at Kuraby in 1974, John Hill moved WZ911 to the same location where it was reassembled and displayed alongside the Canberra during 1975/76. Although John was a QAM member for a time, the Sea Venom remained his property.

When Pioneer Valley Park closed in 1977, the Canberra was moved to a site at lower Nudgee near Brisbane Airport. By this time, QAM had acquired its own Sea Venom (WZ910) and as John Hill was living on the south side of Brisbane, it made sense for him to move his Sea Venom to Cliff Douglas' Chewing Gum Field Museum at Tallebudgera on the Gold Coast. WZ911 was never displayed at Caloundra.

Ultimately, ownership of WZ911 passed to Cliff Douglas. The Chewing Gum Field Museum closed in 1987 and its collection was dispersed but the eventual fate of WZ911 remains a mystery. John Hill passed away on 19 March 2009. If you know where WZ911 is please advise the author.

 

A cutting from the Brisbane Courier-Mail of 30 April 1971.

 

WZ911 displayed with QAM's Canberra A84-225 at Kuraby on 24 July 1976.
Picture: Ron Cuskelly

 

WZ911 displayed at Chewing Gum Field in the early eighties.
Picture: Mark Richardson

 

 

 

WZ939

 

This Sea Venom was put up for disposal at Nowra with tenders closing on 6 October 1970. It was acquired by Ken Hughes who opened the Caloundra Military Museum on the corner of Caloundra Road and Baldwin Street (now the site of a chemist and a radiology practice) in April 1977. The Sea Venom was displayed on a pole near the entrance. Although many people have associated this aircraft with QAM, there was no connection and indeed the aircraft was gone by the time QAM moved from Brisbane to Caloundra in 1986.

A local history of the Caloundra district (Growth of Caloundra by Erica Riis) records that when the Caloundra Military Museum closed (date not recorded) Ken Hughes "moved his collection to northern New South Wales".

On 20 June 1988, WZ939 was photographed dismantled at the Gold Coast War Museum at Mudgeeraba. The owner of this collection later refocused his business on paintball war gaming and much of his collection was sold at a series of auctions. The first auction was held on 19 June 1989 which may have been the sale date for WZ939 as it was photographed on this date but was not present for the second auction in October 1993. It is likely that WZ939 was never reassembled at Mudgeeraba.

Later, WZ939 turned up on a pole outside the Tuggerah Lakes Memorial Club on the Central Coast of NSW. The aircraft was displayed in much the same manner as it had been displayed at the Caloundra Military Museum and indeed it appears to have been mounted on the same pole. There are also undated reports that WZ939 spent a period in storage with the Newcastle Military Museum so It could be speculated that Newcastle was the location to which Ken Hughes had moved his collection from Caloundra. If this is the case, it would seem likely that the Sea Venom never made the move to Newcastle as it was still at Mudgeeraba in June 1989.

In late 1993, WZ939 was removed from its pole at Tuggerah Lakes and sold via Geoff Moesker to Bob Jarrett's Classic Jets Fighter Museum. Today the aircraft is displayed restored on its wheels and under cover at the CJFM at Parafield, SA.

 

WZ939 outside the Caloundra Military Museum.
Picture: Mark Richardson

 

WZ939 outside the Caloundra Military Museum.
Picture: Mark Richardson

 

WZ939 on display at the Classic Jets Fighter Museum at Parafield, SA.
Picture: Martin Edwards

 

 

With Thanks to

Mark Richardson
Bob Jarrett
John Stitt
David Bussey
Matthew Denning
and in Memory of John Hill

 

 

 


ISSUE
DATE
REMARKS
4
19APR15
Further amendment to the location of the Caloundra Military Museum. Despite much confusion on the subject, it has now been established that the museum was located on the corner of Caloundra Road and Baldwin Street on a site currently occupied by a radiology practice and a chemist.
3
14APR15
Withdrawn amendment to the location of the Caloundra Military Museum.
2
13APR15
Complete revision.
1
03APR15
Original issue. Compiled by Ron Cuskelly.