Flight Lieutenant John Austral CASEY MID

Service No: 403555
Born: Newtown NSW, 21 September 1915
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 February 1941
Unit: Transport Command (RAF)
Awarded the Mentioned in Despatches (MID), 1 January 1945
Died: Aircraft Accident (Transport Command York aircraft G126), French Alps, 14 November 1944, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Allemont (Le Rivier) Communal Cemetery, Le Rivier D’Allemont, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John George and Jessie Adelaide Casey, of Waverley, New South Wales, Australia. Centre.
Roll of Honour: Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 120, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 0806 hours on 14 November 1944, York G126 took off from RAF Station Northolt on an operational travel flight for Pomigliano, eight miles north east of Naples. This was the first leg of a flight from the UK to India by Air Chief Marshall Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory, KCB CB DSO, to take over Command as Allied Air Commander-in-Chief, South-East Asia. He was accompanied by his wife Lady D J Leigh-Mallory. The only wireless telegraph contact was made with the aircraft at 0929 hours which advised that “the escorting aircraft were breaking away.” York G 126 did not reach its destination in Italy, and the aircraft was reported missing.

On board York G126 were:

Air Chief Marshall Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory KCB CB DSO (RAF)
Lady Doris Jean Sawyer Leigh-Mallory
Corporal John Ellis Morton Burgess (523400) (RAF) (Fitter)
Leading Aircraftman John Chalmers Burnett (967906) (RAFVR) (Fitter)
Flight Lieutenant John Austral Casey MID (403555) (Radio Operator)
Sergeant Harold John Chandler (1618502) (RAFVR) (Steward)
Flight Lieutenant Peter Chinn (107984) (RAFVR) (Second Pilot)
Flying Officer Alfred John Enser (169052) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Squadron Leader Charles Gordon Drake Lancaster DFC & Bar (75989) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Flight Lieutenant Keith Alan Mooring (126892) (RAFVR) (Navigator)

In 1945 a Missing Research and Enquiry team reported: “the missing aircraft had been located in the mountains, 30 miles west of Grenoble, France, and all on board the aircraft had been killed. The aircraft had crashed during a heavy blizzard and snowstorm. It had been flying several miles off course and had hit the top of a 6,500 foot high mountain with its tail piece, somersaulting the aircraft into the slope just below the top. The remains of all those on board were buried on 15 June 1945.


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/7/711

Book Now Book Now