Arthur John (Jack) PALLISER


PALLISER, Arthur John

Service Numbers: 1939, Officer - no service number
Enlisted: 18 September 1914, Albert Park, Vic.
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: No. 4 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps
Born: Launceston, Tasmania, 2 March 1890
Home Town: Ulverstone, Tasmania
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Motor mechanic
Died: Killed in Action, Ath, Belgium, 4 November 1918, aged 28 years
Cemetery: Frasnes-Lez-Anvaing Churchyard
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Ulverstone Shrine of Remembrance
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World War 1 Service

18 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Driver, SN 1939, 300th Company Mechanical Transport, Albert Park, Vic.
22 Dec 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Driver, SN 1939, 300th Company Mechanical Transport, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '22' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Ceramic embarkation_ship_number: A40 public_note: ''
22 Dec 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Driver, SN 1939, 300th Company Mechanical Transport, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
10 Jul 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 1st Division Supply Column
3 Oct 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Sergeant, 1st Division Supply Column
10 Feb 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Sergeant, 1st Division Supply Column
26 Jan 1918: Transferred AIF WW1, Sergeant, Australian Flying Corps (AFC)
30 Jun 1918: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, Australian Flying Corps (AFC)
22 Aug 1918: Transferred AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, No. 4 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps
30 Aug 1918: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, No. 4 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps
4 Nov 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN Officer - no service number, No. 4 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, AFC / RFC operations Western Front / Middle East

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Son of Mr Benjamin Dawling Palliser and Mrs Mary Palliser

The Black Day for No. 4 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps

On 4 November, 1918 one of the last great air battles in the First World War was fought involving Australian pilots. In just a single day, the 4th Squadron lost 5 Sopwith Snipe Aircraft and the death of 3 pilots (including two World War One fighter 'Aces'.)

The weather in the lead up to November 1918 had being mostly grim as winter slowly began to set in. But then on 4 November 1918 the skies cleared and visibility was good. The stage was set. Sensing this rare opportunity, enemy activity increased. 

In the morning an offensive patrol of 4 Sopwith Snipes from the 4th Squadron was attacked by 7 German Fokker Biplanes. A brief dogfight ensued in which Lieutenant Alexander Cato managed to shoot down one enemy aircraft, however, in the middle of the dog fight two Australian aircraft went missing.

It would later be confirmed that Lieutenants Edward John Goodson and Charles William Rhodes, the two pilots that went missing, were both forced down, where they were taken prisoner. Goodson was captured by German forces on the day he was forced down, while Rhodes was captured on 5 November suffering from several injures. They remained prisoners of war only for a short time, however, as their repatriation began soon after the Armistice. 

In the afternoon of 4 November 1918, 16 Sopwith Snipes of the 4th Squadron were escorting a group of British bombers back to base along with several craft from the 2nd Squadron AFC, when a dozen Fokker aircraft were spotted. These Fokker aircraft belonged to the feared Jagdstaffel 2 (Jasta 2) Squadron. Soon a grand dog fight erupted in the skies over Ath and nearby villages. While the 4th Squadron downed four of the German aircraft three of their own went missing that afternoon. It was later concluded at a Court of Inquiry that all 3 pilots had being shot down and killed.

The three aircraft belonged to:

1. Captain Thomas Charles Richmond Baker DFC, MM & Bar. A South Australian fighter ace, in his career as a fighter pilot on the Western Front he had downed 12 enemy aircraft before himself being claimed on 4 November 1918.

2. Lieutenant Arthur John Palliser. A Tasmanian fighter ace, he had shot down 7 aircraft in his time with the 4th Squadron, which including downing 3 enemy aircraft on one day (29 October 1918.)

3 Lieutenant Parker Whitley Symons. Another South Australian fighter pilot, he had moderate success in the 4th Squadron, however, he had not yet claimed the prized 5 kills required to be classed as an 'ace.'