The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (432893) Flight Sergeant Jack Stacey, No. 460 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, Second World War

Places
Accession Number AWM2019.1.1.141
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 21 May 2019
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 Craig Barelle, the story for this day was on (432893) Flight Sergeant Jack Stacey, No. 460 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, Second World War

Speech transcript

432893 Flight Sergeant Jack Stacey, No. 460 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force
Killed in flying battle 19 March 1945

Today we pay tribute to Flight Sergeant Jack Stacey.

Jack Stacey was born on 6 December 1924 in Alstonville in the Northern Rivers region of northern New South Wales. He was the son of Benjamin and May Stacey, and having finished his schooling, was working as a clerk.

On 30 January 1943, barely a month after turning 18, Stacey enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force.

He began training as a wireless operator and air gunner. After completing his initial training in Australia, he embarked for overseas service.

As part of the Empire Air Training Scheme, he was one of almost 27,500 RAAF pilots, navigators, wireless operators, gunners, and engineers, who, throughout the course of the war, joined Royal Air Force squadrons or Australian squadrons based in Britain.

Arriving in Britain, Stacey undertook further training before he was posted to No. 460 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force.

No. 460 Squadron would become the most highly decorated Australian squadron in Bomber Command, and the squadron that suffered the highest casualties. Flying twin-engined Vickers Wellington medium bombers, and then four-engined Avro Lancaster heavy bombers, the squadron lost over 1,000 men: Australian, British, Canadians, New Zealanders and South Africans. Almost 600 Australians from 460 Squadron are listed here on the Roll of Honour.

On the morning of 19 March 1945, 22 Lancasters from 460 Squadron took part in a raid on Hanau, Germany. Returning from the mission, low cloud cover reduced visibility over the home airfields of the Bomber Command squadrons Lincolnshire in England. The Lancaster in which Stacey was the wireless operator and air gunner was being homed to RAF Kelstern airfield, a few kilometres from 460 Squadron’s home at Binbrook, when it crashed into high ground while making its approach toward the runway.

Stacey and all six of his fellow crewmates were killed: Pilot Officer Geoffrey Browne, Flight Sergeant Llewellyn Grant, Warrant Officer George McBryde, Warrant Officer Alexander Moss, Flight Sergeant Rex Schodde, and Sergeant Jack David.

The Australian members of the crew were recovered from the crash and buried side by side in the RAF plot at Cambridge city cemetery.

Jack Stacey was 18 years old.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my left, among some 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 Jack Stacey, 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 (432893) Flight Sergeant Jack Stacey, No. 460 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, Second World War (video)