Flight Sergeant Raymond George LACEY

Service No: 416864
Born: Balaklava SA, 25 January 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 11 October 1941
Unit: No. 75 Operational Training Unit (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 75 Operational Training Unit Baltimore aircraft AH111), Mediterranean, 15 August 1943, Aged 21 Years
Buried: At Sea
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Sydney Charles and Coralie Dulcie Lacey, of Owen, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Owen SA
Remembered: Column 278, Alamein Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 125, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Baltimore AH111 of No 75 Operational Training Unit took off at 1425 hours on 14th August 1943 on a navigational exercise over the Mediterranean. The aircraft did not return to base from this exercise.

The crew members of AH111 were:

Second Lieutenant K P Caine (208749V) (SAAF) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Raymond George Lacey (416864) (Observer)
Sergeant Linsay Joseph Power (413657) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant Ian Marsh Yeates MID (9301) (Pilot) Rescued, Killed in Air Operations 14 July 1944

It was later established from Sergeant Yeates who survived the crash that “when over the sea 25 minutes after take off, white smoke emitted from the port engine. At 1513 hours a course was set for base, and shortly after the port engine burst into flames. Yeates warned the crew that he would ditch the aircraft. After ditching both the Pilot and Navigator (Flight Sergeant Lacey) climbed on to the wing of the aircraft. Second lieutenant Caine was still in the turret trying to open the emergency escape window. Sergeant Power was lying on the floor of the aircraft. The aircraft sank very suddenly and both Caine and Power went down with the aircraft. Both Yeates and Lacey wearing Mae Wests stayed together in the vicinity by floating and swimming to stay warm. During the night the breeze freshened and Flight Sergeant Lacey swallowed a fair amount of water. At 0700 hours it was decided to swim for the shore which was in sight. Lacey was weak and delirious and progress was slow. At 1630 hours he stopped talking and he was apparently dead. An hour later Sergeant Yeates was picked up by the Polish destroyer Salzac. The body of Flight Sergeant Lacey was also recovered and artificial respiration applied but without success. Flight Sergeant Lacey was then buried at sea.


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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/24/16

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