Roy Joseph Austen-Smith

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Roy Joseph Austen-Smith
Personal Information
Date of Birth 18 Apr 1916
Place of Birth Kelmscott, Western Australia
Death 2 Apr 1991
Age at Enlistment 24 years 10 months
Description 5'7" (1.70m) tall ; 138lbs
62.596 kg
; medium complexion ; green eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Timber machinist
Religion Church of England
Address Albany road, Armadale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Mother , Mrs Edith May Marion Smith
Military Information
Reg Number 406628
Date of Enlistment 3 Feb 1941
Rank Flight Lieutenant
Unit/Formation No. 153 Squadron RAF
Military Movement
1st Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 17 Nov 1941 ‒ 17 Feb 1942
Transport Details unknown ship Newcastle NSW to England
Journey Dates 28 Mar 1943 ‒ 29 Mar 1943
Transport Details aircraft England to Middle East
Return to Australia
Journey Dates 29 Oct 1945 ‒ 6 Nov 1945
Transport Details unknown UK to Australia
Post War Details
Fate Returned to Australia
Medals 1939-45 Star
Aircrew Europe Star
Africa Star
Italy Star
Defence Medal
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Roy Joseph Austen-Smith
Headstone Information
Date of Birth 18 April 1916
Additional Names Joseph William Smith
Edith May Marion Smith
Murray Austen-Smith
Transcription In Loving Memory of ... ROY JOSEPH AUSTEN-SMITH 18 April 1916 - 2 April 1991. Loving husband of DOROTHY, father of MURRAY and ZELDA. Flt. Lieutenant R.A.A.F 1943-46. 153 Squadron (R.A.F.) "NOCTIVIDUS"

Pre War

Roy Joseph Smith (later Austen-Smith) attended Perth Boys School from 1929 to 1931 followed by the Kalgoorlie School of Mines. He did not complete his final exams as he had joined the RAAF before they were held.

War Service

Roy enlisted for service as Roy Joseph Smith. He was a member of the Militia, being discharged on 10 Apr 1940. On 3 Feb 1941 he enlisted in the RAAF, and was sent to No. 5 Initial Training School RAAF at Pearce as an Aircraftsman Class 2. On 29 Mar 1941 he was promoted to Leading Aircraftman, and on 3 Apr 1941 he was posted to No. 9 Elementary Flying Training School RAAF at Cunderdin and then on 2 Jun 1941 to the No. 4 Service Flying Training School RAAF in Geraldton as a participant in Course No 11. At the completion of the course flying de Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moths and Avro Ansons (19 Sep 1941) he was promoted Sergeant and sent to the No. 5 Embarkation Depot RAAF in Subiaco on 29 Sep 1941. On 10 Nov 1941 he was at the No. 2 Embarkation Depot RAAF in Bradfield Park in North Sydney.

On 17 Nov 1941 he embarked on a ship in Newcastle, NSW for England, arriving there and entering No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre RAF. on 17 Feb 1942. On 9 Mar 1942 he was sent to the No. 14 Advanced Flying Unit RAF at Ossington, and following success there he was promoted Flight Sergeant on 19 Mar 1942. Hospitalised from 27 Mar 1942 until 31 Jul 1942, Roy's next posting was to No. 54 Operational Training Unit RAF at Charter Hall on 2 Aug 1942 to train for service with night fighters. Training completed on Bristol Blenheim's and Bristol Beaufighters, on 16 Sep 1942 he was posted to No. 488 Squadron RNZAF, and soon after his arrival he was promoted Warrant Officer (19 Sep 1942). The Squadron was based at RAF Church Fenton in Yorkshire and was equipped with Bristol Beaufighter aircraft used as "night fighters".

Roy's next posting was to No. 256 Squadron RAF on 5 Oct 1942 who operated night interception Boulton Paul Defiant Mk IIs out of RAF Squires Gate, in defence of Liverpool. He remained in this role until Feb 1943 when he transferred to No. 153 Squadron RAF. ('A' Flight of 256 Squadron had been used to form No. 153 Squadron on 23 Feb 1943). The Squadron had moved from RAF Squires Gate to RAF Ballyhalbert in Northern Ireland to complete their preparation for overseas service. Roy went with them to North Africa. where he was granted a Commission on 9 Jun 1943 (Pilot Officer) in North Africa while serving with No. 153 Squadron RAF, operating Bristol Beaufighter Mk VIF's as night fighters. In total Roy flew 55 sorties (160 hours) and shot down two enemy aircraft. Roy was sent on an Instructors Course in January 1944.

In Apr 1944 Roy was sent to the RAF School of Flying Control, and took the opportunity on 29 Apr 1944 to marry Dorothy Diana Mary Bendle in Torquay, Devon. On the completion of his course he was then posted to Thorley Island as a Flying Control Officer before transferring to RAF Lyneham in August 1944 where his posting was HQ 116 Wing. Roy acted as Flight Lieutenant from 1 Jan 1945 until 10 Aug 1945, some of it on attachments at No. 11 Personnel Despatch & Receiving Centre RAAF - 15 May to 31 May 1944; at Eastchurch from 1 - 3 Jun 1944; and Thorny Island from 12 Jun to 8 Jul 1944. Between 27 and 31 Mar 1945 he attended a Bomber Command Landing Procedure Course at No 32 Base Mildenhall.

Roy arrived back in Australia on 6 Nov 1945 and was granted leave until 6 Dec 1945. Roy's appointment was terminated on 6 Feb 1946 at No. 5 Personnel Depot RAAF. He had received a Certificate from the RAF School of Flying Control at Watchfield, and had completed 5 years practical experience in Flying Control (Air Force and Civilian).

Post War

In July 1946 Roy joined the Commonwealth Public Service's department of Civil Aviation at Guildford in Western Australia as an Aerodrome Control Officer. In May 1947 he transferred to Lae in New Guinea where he was the Control Officer, and it was here in March 1949 that Roy altered his surname by deed poll to Austen-Smith. From March 1949 to June 1950 he was the Officer-In-Charge at Finschhafen. In July 1950 he was transferred to an Area Control Officer's position at Archerfield in Brisbane, arriving there aboard the SS Bulolo.

Electoral Rolls state that during the 1960s Roy and his family lived at 89 Nicholas Street, Glen Iris, Victoria.

Roy and his wife Dorothy had two children, Murray Austen-Smith (1945–1991) & Zelda.


Also known as Roy Joseph Smith

A good record of wartime service with the RAAF (Approximately 780 flying hours as Pilot, including 150 hours of operational flying in the U.K. and North Africa on night fighters - Beaufighters, and assessed as "above average" Night fighter Pilot - Two (2) Enemy aircraft shot down).

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