Northern Territory Government

Roll of Honour

SMITH, Stanley George

RAFF hanger

The remains of a RAAF hangar after the air raids in February 1942.

Aircraftman Class 1 Stanley George Smith (45738) was born on 15 November 1913 in Sudborough, Thrapston, Northamptonshire in the United Kingdom, to Septimus and Eleanor Smith of 97 Goode Street, South Perth, Western Australia. He was their only son.

Smith had been working at Mount Magnet gold mine in Western Australia for over five years, repairing and maintaining diesel and steam engines, before joining the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as a reservist. He was qualified as a first class steam engineer.

Smith enlisted in the RAAF on 16 September 1941 and was serving at RAAF Station Darwin when Darwin was bombed on 19 February 1942.

The only aerial defence during the bombing was provided by a squadron of Kittyhawks from the 33rd Pursuit Squadron USAAF. Led by Major Floyd Pell, the Kittyhawks had just arrived back in Darwin after turning back from a flight to Koepang because of bad weather. Four pilots, including Major Pell, were killed as they fought bravely against the overwhelming number of Japanese Zeros.

Seven RAAF Station personnel also died on the ground, including Aircraftman Smith. Smith had jumped into a trench with Barton, Latham and Neaylon during the second raid. All four were killed instantly when their trench received a direct hit. Smith was twenty-eight years old.

Buildings and facilities on the airfield were also severely damaged but the base continued to operate throughout the war.

Smith was remembered in The West Australian on 19 February 1943 by his family, including his sisters Rose, Grace and Elsie, his brothers-in-law Laurie Young and Ernie Bing, his niece Maxine, and nephew Raymond.

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