The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (422978) Flight Sergeant Desmond Michael Leonid O'Halloran, No. 166 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War.

Places
Accession Number AWM2018.1.1.340
Collection type Film
Object type Last Post film
Physical description 16:9
Maker Australian War Memorial
Place made Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, Campbell
Date made 6 December 2018
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use
Description

The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial each day. The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour is told. Hosted by Chris Widenbar, the story for this day was on (422978) Flight Sergeant Desmond Michael Leonid O'Halloran, No. 166 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War.

Speech transcript

422978 Flight Sergeant Desmond Michael Leonid O'Halloran, No. 166 Squadron, Royal Air Force
KIA 24 December 1944
Story delivered 6 December 2018

Today we remember and pay tribute to Flight Sergeant Desmond Michael Leonid O'Halloran.

Born in Tientsin, China, Desmond O'Halloran was the son of Michael and Anastasia O’Halloran of Galway, Ireland.

Living in Australia, Desmond O’Halloran enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force at Sydney on the 15th of June 1942.

He began training as an aircrew and bomb aimer before embarking for overseas service. As part of the Empire Air Training Scheme, O’Halloran was one of almost 27,500 RAAF pilots, navigators, wireless operators, gunners, and engineers, who, throughout the course of the war, joined squadrons based in Britain.

After arriving in Britain O’Halloran undertook further specialist training before being posted to No. 166 Squadron, Royal Air Force.

As part of the RAFs Bomber Command, No. 166 Squadron was equipped with four-engined Avro Lancaster heavy bombers.

On 24 December 1944, the Lancaster in which O’Halloran was the air bomber was participating in a daylight raid on the German city of Cologne when it was shot down.

O’Halloran and five of his six crewmates; five British and a fellow Australian – Warrant Officer Ronald Arthur Dowe – were killed.
Their bodies are buried side by side in the British and Commonwealth War Cemetery in Rheinburg, Germany.

O’Halloran was 20 years old.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my left, among almost 40,000 Australians who died while serving in the Second World War.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Flight Sergeant Desmond Michael Leonid O'Halloran, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Lachlan Grant
Historian, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (422978) Flight Sergeant Desmond Michael Leonid O'Halloran, No. 166 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War. (video)