The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (407799) Flying Officer Edward Tompson Mobsby, RAAF Headquarters North Eastern Area Townsville, Second World War

Accession Number PAFU2014/084.01
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 14 March 2014
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 Andrew Smith, the story for this day was on (407799) Flying Officer Edward Tompson Mobsby, RAAF Headquarters North Eastern Area Townsville, Second World War.

Speech transcript

407799 Flying Officer Edward Tompson Mobsby, RAAF Headquarters North Eastern Area Townsville
KIA 26 July 1942
No photograph in the collection

Story delivered 14 March 2014

Today we remember Flying Officer Edward Tompson Mobsby, who was killed in action over Papua on 26 July 1942 while flying as a co-pilot in an American bomber.

Edward Mobsby was born on 12 October 1910 in Hints, Staffordshire, in the West Midlands of England. He was the only child of Edward and Nellie Mobsby.

In 1920 the family migrated to Adelaide. Six years later, the teenage Edward Mobsby joined the staff of the Bank of New South Wales, eventually becoming a bank clerk. In October 1936 Mobsby married Erica Tassie. Two-and-a-half years later, in April 1939, the couple had twin girls named Rae and Jennifer.

Mobsby enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force on 6 January 1941. From January 1941 until May 1942 he attended various air force training in schools in South Australia and Victoria.

One instructor described Mobsby as a "keen hard worker who carries out his duties with energy and zeal". In May 1942, Mobsby was posted to the RAAF Headquarters North Eastern Area in Townsville, where he was detailed for duty with an American squadron.

In early years of the Pacific War, some RAAF airmen were attached to United States Army Air Force squadrons to help fill shortages of American aircrew. In early June Mobsby joined the USAAF's 90th Squadron, 3rd Bombardment Group, then stationed in Charters Towers, Queensland. Flying twin-engine North American B-25 Mitchell bombers, Mobsby flew in his first bombing raid in early June, attacking the Japanese base at Lae, New Guinea. Over the next month, Mobsby participated in subsequent raids on Lae and nearby Salamaua.

On 26 July Mobsby was flying as a co-pilot in an American B-25 Mitchell, one of five American bombers that were to attack a Japanese flying boat on New Britain. Flying over Gona, on Papua's north coast, the bombers were intercepted by up to 15 Japanese fighters.

Mobsby's aircraft was last seen "burning fiercely from nose to tail". A witness in another Mitchell saw two people parachuting out of the burning aircraft. Mobsby and four other American airmen were killed.

Initially posted as "missing", in May 1943 Mobsby's remains and those of three others were found near their wrecked aircraft. Mobsby is buried in Bomana War Cemetery in Papua New Guinea. He was 31 years old.

Flying Officer Edward Tompson Mobsby is commemorated here, on the Roll of Honour on my left, along with some 40,000 Australians who died during the Second World War. There is no photograph in the Memorial's collection to display beside the Pool of Reflection.

We now remember his service and all of those Australians, and those of our Allies, who have given their lives in the service of our nation.

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (407799) Flying Officer Edward Tompson Mobsby, RAAF Headquarters North Eastern Area Townsville, Second World War (video)