Statement on behalf of Flight Lieutenant Smith’s descendants
19 April 2011
The following statement has been released at the request of the family of Flight Lieutenant (FLTLT) Henry ‘Lacy’ Smith.
FLTLT Smith was shot down by anti-aircraft fire on 11 June 1944 and crashed into the River Orne, near Caen, in northern France. The Spitfire aircraft and FLTLT Smith’s remains were found in November 2010. He will be buried with full military honours today at Ranville War Graves Ceremony, France.
We have been humbled by the attention given to this discovery, for the reburial of our late uncle, being grateful to the people of France and all concerned, for the respect given to his remains. Though remembered by the RAAF as Flight Lieutenant Henry Lacy Smith, for his contribution to World War II, to us he was the Uncle Lacy we were told stories of around the family table.
He was, by all accounts, a charming young man, an excellent sportsman who loved life, his family and the Royal Australian Air Force. We will remember amongst others, the story of how he paid for his own tailored uniform, because, in his opinion, the standard issue didn't flatter his figure enough for the ladies.
We are grateful to the RAAF for their support in arranging this ceremony and for their active participation, being glad that we have achieved some closure to our family's history by our attendance today.
Joy Bullman and Dennis Dostine
Niece and Nephew of Flight Lieutenant Smith
Media Note: The reinterment ceremony will be held in France at 11.30am on Tuesday 19 April 2011. This is 7.30pm AEDT today.
Media contact: Defence Media Operations: (02) 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664