Australia — Speech at Reinterment Service – Flight Lieutenant Henry ‘Lacy’ Smith

11:30AM 19 APRIL 2011 (7:30PM AEDT)
I am hon­oured to be here today to rep­re­sent the Gov­ern­ment of Aus­tralia at the Rein­ter­ment Ser­vice for Flight Lieu­tenant Hen­ry ‘Lacy’ Smith.
Hun­dreds of Aus­tralians par­tic­i­pat­ed in the lib­er­a­tion of West­ern Europe dur­ing 1944 and 1945.

Sev­en Roy­al Aus­tralian Air Force squadrons, hun­dreds of Aus­tralians in Roy­al Air Force units and about 500 Aus­tralian sailors serv­ing with the Roy­al Navy formed part of the force assem­bled for the land­ing in Nor­mandy on 6 June 1944. 

One of the sev­en RAAF squadrons to par­tic­i­pate was the Spit­fire-equipped Num­ber 453 Squadron. 

From 11 June until Sep­tem­ber 1944 No. 453 Squadron was often based at for­ward air­fields in France. 

The squadron, along with Aus­tralian bomber squadrons sup­port­ed the lib­er­a­tion of France. 

RAAF light bomber and fight­er squadrons con­tin­ued to sup­port the Allied armies until the end of the war in Europe by attack­ing strate­gic tar­gets and escort­ing bomber formations.

The Bat­tle of Nor­mandy was amongst one of the largest bat­tles of World War II, with almost 160,000 troops cross­ing the Eng­lish Chan­nel on 6 June 1944. 

The Bat­tle of Nor­mandy involved the com­bined strength of the French, Pol­ish, Cana­di­an, Amer­i­can and Unit­ed King­dom Forces. 

Many Aus­tralian air­men proud­ly served in British and Aus­tralian squadrons dur­ing this time. 

Flight Lieu­tenant Hen­ry ‘Lacy’ Smith was one of these proud Australians.

Flight Lieu­tenant Smith’s unit, Num­ber 453 Squadron was pro­vid­ing sup­port for troops and patrolling the beach heads as fight­er cov­er for the Allied landings. 

On 11 June 1944, Flight Lieu­tenant Smith was shot down by anti-air­craft fire, just five days after the inva­sion of Normandy. 

His spit­fire crashed into the Riv­er Orne, and there he remained until Novem­ber 2010. 

Until today his fam­i­ly had no grave site to attend. 

I know they are very grate­ful that is no longer the case — as am I. 

I would like to sin­cere­ly thank the French peo­ple for their assis­tance to Aus­tralia in the recov­ery of Flight Lieu­tenant Smith’s remains and in the arrange­ments for this Rein­ter­ment Ser­vice today. 

Flight Lieu­tenant Smith made the ulti­mate sac­ri­fice for Aus­tralia dur­ing World War II and I am thank­ful that he has now been afford­ed the mil­i­tary bur­ial and hon­ours that he so right­ly deserves.

I hope the ser­vice today pro­vides some clo­sure to his fam­i­ly, and an oppor­tu­ni­ty for us all to reflect on his con­tri­bu­tion to Normandy.

Although his remains are buried here in France, his mem­o­ry and lega­cy will live on in Australia. 

His sac­ri­fice to our nation will be remem­bered by all Aus­tralians and the French peo­ple for ever more. 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →