John Manes (Jack) GLEESON


GLEESON, John Manes

Service Number: B3127
Enlisted: 5 August 1941
Last Rank: Seaman
Last Unit: Not yet discovered
Born: Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, 3 August 1921
Home Town: Toowoomba, Toowoomba, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Killed In Action, Indian Ocean, 4 March 1942, aged 20 years
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Kangaroo Point H.M.A.S. Moreton Honour Roll, Toowoomba Roll of Honour WW2, Toowoomba WW2 Roll of Honour Book, Toowoomba War Memorial (Mothers' Memorial)
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World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement Ordinary Seaman, SN B3127
5 Aug 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Navy, Seaman, SN B3127

Help us honour John Manes Gleeson's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by James Baptiste Maries

Jack was drafted into the navy on 5th Aug 1941 and assigned to the Cerberus (Naval Base) in the Mornington Peninsula. He trained as a riflist and flack gunner and was ranked as an Able Seaman by 28 Nov 1941 at HMAS Brisbane. By 3rd Jan 1942 Jack was at HMAS Penguin (Naval Base) in Sydney.

As the Japanese advanced, the allies withdrew from S.E. Asia. During this time, Jack was assigned to the Depot Ship Anking, part of a convoy led and protected by HMAS Yarra, withdrawing from Java to Fremantle. The other 2 ships in the convoy were, the tanker Francol, and the minesweeper MMS-51. The convoy left Java on the 2nd March. On the 3rd March, they rescued 40 Dutch sailors from life rafts, who were survivors from the Dutch ship 'Paragi.'

On the 4th March, the convoy encountered 3 Japanese Cruisers and 4 Japanese Destroyers. HMAS Yarra engaged the Japanese Navy, and the rest of the convoy was ordered to "scatter." The Japanese Navy engaged HMAS Yarra and then pursued and sank the rest of ships in the convoy. Of the convoy, only 13 survivors were rescued from the ocean by the Dutch submarine K XI on the 9th March 1942.