Jack Dee was born on 3 July 1920 in Cheltenham, Victoria, to parents William and Ethel Dee. Dee enlisted in Carnegie, Victoria, on 16 July 1941 and became a Gunner in the 2/14 Field Regiment Royal Australian Artillery (service number VX58562). In July 1941, the 2/14 Field regiment moved to Winnellie Camp in Darwin, which most thought would only be a temporary move to acclimatise with the tropics, as most of the 8th Division had already gone overseas.
On 19 February 1942 Dee was already on board the Hospital Ship Manunda with an unknown illness when the Japanese bombers attacked Darwin Harbour. He died later that day and was buried at sea. The 2/14 Regiment stayed in Darwin until January 1943; it then returned south in preparation for posting to New Guinea. During this time the regiment endured more than fifty raids by the Japanese, as well as three cyclones.
Dee's name is located on panel 15 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial. It is also on panel 1 of the Northern Territory Memorial at the Adelaide River War Cemetery.
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