Australia — WWII Flight Lieutenant Henry ‘Lacy’ Smith Laid to Rest in France

Today Aus­tralian World War II Flight Lieu­tenant (FLTLT) Hen­ry ‘Lacy’ Smith will be buried with full mil­i­tary hon­ours in France.
The Min­is­ter for Defence Sci­ence and Per­son­nel and Min­is­ter for Vet­er­ans’ Affairs, the Hon War­ren Snow­don MP and Chief of Air Force, Air Mar­shal Mark Bin­skin AO, will join FLTLT Smith’s sur­viv­ing niece and nephew and their extend­ed fam­i­lies at the cer­e­mo­ny.

The ser­vice will be held at the War Graves Ceme­tery, at Rue des Air­bornes, Ranville in Nor­mandy and include a tra­di­tion­al wreath lay­ing, the Ode, and the Last Post bugle call. This sym­bol­is­es that his duty is over and he can rest in peace.

Cer­e­mo­ni­al ele­ments will be per­formed by mem­bers of No. 453 Squadron from RAAF Base Williamtown, NSW, the unit with which Smith flew, and Australia’s Fed­er­a­tion Guard.

FLTLT Smith from Sans Souci, south of Syd­ney, NSW, was shot down by anti-air­craft fire on 11 June 1944 dur­ing World War II and crashed into the Riv­er Orne, near Caen, in north­ern France. The Spit­fire air­craft and Smith’s remains were found in Novem­ber 2010.

“At age 27, FLTLT Smith made the ulti­mate sac­ri­fice for our coun­try dur­ing World War II. He was from No 453 Squadron, the first Aus­tralian squadron to go into action on 6 June 1944, where it pro­vid­ed tac­ti­cal sup­port for the troops land­ing on the Nor­mandy beach­head,” Mr Snow­don said.

“No 453 Squadron car­ried out oper­a­tions that includ­ed harass­ing the retreat­ing ene­my, attack­ing ene­my con­voys, bomb­ing mis­sions, armed recon­nais­sance and bomber escort duties.

“I am thank­ful for the brave con­tri­bu­tions of FLTLT Smith. He will now have a marked grave that can be vis­it­ed so that both Aus­tralians and French can remem­ber his sac­ri­fice, and I am pleased he has now been afford­ed the mil­i­tary bur­ial and hon­our he deserves.’’

“I hope this rein­ter­ment will sup­port a greater under­stand­ing of the impor­tant con­tri­bu­tion FLTLT Smith made dur­ing World War II.”

Dur­ing the cer­e­mo­ny, the Chief of Air Force, Air Mar­shal Mark Bin­skin AO, posthu­mous­ly award­ed and pre­sent­ed FLTLT Smith’s ser­vice medals: the 1939–45 Star; Air Crew Europe Star with France and Ger­many Clasp; Defence Medal; War Medal 1939–45; and Aus­tralian Ser­vice Medal 1939–45.

Mr Snow­don said the Aus­tralian Defence Force was in the process of ship­ping the wreck­age of FLTLT Smith’s Spit­fire air­craft to Aus­tralia to dis­play at the RAAF Muse­um, Point Cook, Vic­to­ria. Plans are for the air­craft to arrive in Aus­tralia mid year, where it will under­go con­ser­va­tion work.

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

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