Flight Sergeant Patrick Fraser Stanley

RAAF Badge - 1WAGS BallaratPatrick Fraser Stanley was born in Ballarat on the 3 November 1921 to parents John Joseph and Katherine May Stanley.

Patrick Stanley enlisted in the RAAF on the 1 April 1943 [Service no.430846]. He commenced training as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner at No. 1 Wireless Air Gunners School Ballarat on the 9 December 1943, Course No. 46.

Five of the one-hundred and seven trainees were killed. Patrick completed his Wireless Operator training on the 13 September 1944 and proceeded to Air Gunners School.

Patrick Stanley was posted to RAAF 24 Squadron.

In March 1944, No. 24 Squadron was withdrawn to Australia to begin preparations to convert to the heavy bomber role equipped with Consolidated B-24 Liberator aircraft. The squadron was assigned to No. 82 Wing RAAF and flew its first combat sorties with these new aircraft in September 1944.

Operating from bases in the Northern Territory the squadron continued to fly bombing and anti-shipping strikes against Japanese forces in the Netherlands East Indies. A detachment deployed to Palawan, in the Philippines, and later in the war, the squadron deployed to Morotai Island and then Balikpapan to support Operation Oboe. Following the Japanese surrender No. 24 Squadron was used to ferry liberated Australian prisoners of war home before being disbanded at RAAF Station Tocumwal on 15 May 1946.

24 Squadron - 1WAGS BallaratOn the 5 July 1945 Liberator aircraft A72-196 flying two miles north of Sepinggang airfield (Balikpapan), was hit by light enemy anti-aircraft fire, and the aircraft then exploded in mid-air.

Squadron Leader Redman was the captain and he had a crew of ten RAAF airmen and also carried Captain Westgarth, an army observation officer.

None of the twelve crew was seen to escape by parachute and a second aircraft directed to the scene of the crash saw the wreckage burning furiously on the ground.

An army patrol got to within 150 yards of the wreckage, but was unable to penetrate farther because of enemy resistance.

Extract from Odgers, G.J. (George James) (VX127783) Air War Against Japan 1943-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1957 – Page 486

The crew members of A72-196 were:


Patrick Fraser Stanley is Buried in foreign soil at Labuan War Cemetery, Malaysia. 

He is Remembered: Panel 102, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

He was 23 years old.

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