Image Lend-lease petroleum in use in Australia, 1940s

TLF ID M008809

This is a black-and-white photograph showing petroleum, probably aviation fuel, being pumped into a tanker truck and two trailers during World War II. The full drums are stored on what appear to be rail freight wagons. The empty ones are stacked alongside. The photograph forms part of the collection of the US Library of Congress and its caption reads: 'Lend-lease gasoline being transferred from drums to trucks at an airdrome in Australia'.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This photograph is a useful primary source for studies of modern history in years 11-12 and for the World War II depth study in year 10 history that calls for an examination of significant events in the course of the war. The introduction of the lend-lease aid program in March 1941 at a time when the USA had not yet entered the war was one such event. Lend-lease made the USA's huge industrial and agricultural capacity available to the allied cause.
  • Under the terms of lend-lease, the USA provided equipment, armaments and food to nations allied in the war against Germany, Italy and Japan. Lend-lease did not involve money payments to the USA, then or later. Lend-lease aid was to be used in support of the war effort and either returned afterwards or a similar amount of aid made available to the USA. Lend-lease aid to Australia began in October 1941 and by the end of 1945 was valued at more than $1.4 billion.
  • Lend-lease imports to Australia were concentrated in those areas of defence supplies where Australia was most deficient, including petroleum. In the 1940s Australia was entirely dependent on imported petroleum, and its reserves in the early years of the war were low, occasionally down to one month's supply. By the end of the war, Australia had received lend-lease petroleum products, including aviation fuel, valued at the time at $137.7 million.
Learning area
  • History

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: The Library of Congress
  • Organization: The Library of Congress
  • Description: content provider
  • Address: UNITED STATES
  • URL:
  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Image
  • © Commonwealth of Australia, 2011, except where indicated otherwise. You may copy, communicate and modify this material for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material.