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Pilot Officer Henry James (Jim) LYSAGHT

454 RAAF Squadron

Service No. 422598

Date of Birth: 1 Sep 1923

Place of Birth: AYR, QLD

Date of Enlistment: 22 May 1942

Date of Discharge: 25 Jan 1946

Rank: Pilot Officer

Date of Death: 22 Jul 1999

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The Crew:
  • Pilot Officer Jim Lysaght - Pilot

  • Warrant Officer Doug McKee - Navigator (B)

  • Sergeant Dave Brown (RAF) - Wireless Operator Air Gunner (WAG)

  • Warrant Officer Bob Andrews - WAG

  • Stan Brown - RAF - Air Gunner


The following information has been taken from the Association's Year 2000 Bulletin:


Pilot Officer Henry James (Jim) Lysaght, served with No. 454 Squadron then carrying out its third and final night intruder role from December 1944 to August 1945 in Italy.  It belonged to the famous RAF Desert Air Force, joining in its relentless drive "From Alamein to the Alps", in support of the British 8th Army.


Jim Lysaght was there, flying from Cesenatico, near Venice during the last Italian battles in the River Po Valley and on the Lombardy Plains in sight of the Alps.


Jim Lysaght was a Squadron "character" - "Larger than life" in many ways - tall and big framed; a fine formation pilot during battlefield strikes; an aggressive night intruder pilot who combed the area of the last Italian battles - particularly around the Senio River crossing where 454's night intruder targets were "anything that moved" whilst flying low at a few hundred feet and up to 5,000 feet.  No. 454 flew many sorties on the night of 1st May 1945 when the Axis forces surrendered.


At 18 years of age on enlistment in 1942 - in the same hut as Bob Andrews at Initial Training School - Jim trained at Narrandera NSW, then Calgery, Canada and eventually "crewed up" at No. 70 RAF Baltimore Operational Training Unit in Egypt before joining 454 at Cesenatico in Italy in December 1944.  Jim and Bob Andrews were together again.  His crew completed some 35 missions.  He was an inveterate poker player when off flying duty, especially with this mate, Franks Raynolds.  Post war he has had a legendary reputation as a home brew producer - there are probably several hundred bottles still stored away.  Jim is remembered as a strong minded man, a courageous airman, a staunch and loyal squadron member.  Young in years he was mature beyond normal expectations.

The Anzac March  - Sydney and Banner 2007

The assembly point Elizabeth Street Sydney

(L-R) Steve Lysaght with A. Fitzsimons (459)

Anzac Day 2009

Forming up Elizabeth Street Sydney

L- R: Mike Lysaght, John McKenzie [459] & Steve Lysaght

(Mike & Steve are the sons of Pilot Officer Jim Lysaght)

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