Jack Halling BARNES

BARNES, Jack Halling

Service Number: 42156
Enlisted: 11 August 1941
Last Rank: Leading Aircraftman
Last Unit: Aircraft / Repair / Salvage Depots
Born: Moonee Ponds, Victoria, Australia, 7 January 1923
Home Town: Mordialloc, Kingston, Victoria
Schooling: Mordialloc-Chelsea High School
Occupation: Watchmaker
Died: Heart Failure, Maryborough, Queensland, 8 July 1984, aged 61 years
Cemetery: Privately Cremated
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World War 2 Service

11 Aug 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Leading Aircraftman, 42156, Aircraft / Repair / Salvage Depots
1 Mar 1943: Promoted Royal Australian Air Force, Leading Aircraftman, No. 6 Service Flying Training School Mallala
7 Feb 1946: Discharged Royal Australian Air Force, Leading Aircraftman, 42156, Aircraft / Repair / Salvage Depots
Date unknown: Involvement Leading Aircraftman, 42156, Aircraft / Repair / Salvage Depots

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Biography contributed by Sue Smith

Jack Halling Barnes was born on the 7th January 1923 at Moonee Ponds VIC, the eldest child and only son of his parents John and Ida Barnes.  Jack had a younger sister Elwyn.  His secondary education took place at Mordialloc-Chelsea High School VIC after which he spent 4½ years employed as an apprentice watchmaker with Mr B Taylor in Collins Street, Melbourne VIC.  The family lived in Mordialloc and attended the local Methodist Church. 

With the outbreak of WW2 Jack applied to join the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in July 1940 but was rejected on not having the necessary all-round qualifications.  He tried again 12 months later and was enrolled as a Reserve in the RAAF on the 2nd July 1941 at the No. 1 Recruiting Office in Melbourne VIC.  His application for enlistment in the RAAF was approved 5 days later and he was told he would be informed when his services were required.  He didn’t have to wait long.  

On the 11th August 1941, aged 18, Jack enlisted for WW2 with the RAAF at the No. 1 Recruiting Depot at Laverton in Melbourne VIC.  He’s described as being 5ft 3ins tall with brown hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion.  His service number was 42156 and his rank Aircraftsman 1.  He proceeded to No. 1 School of Technical Training (1STT) at Charlton VIC as a member of trainee group 5 and did 3 months training there before proceeding to No. 2 Aircraft Depot (2AD) at Richmond in late November.  He then proceeded to 3STT at Ultimo, Sydney, NSW a few days before Christmas where he undertook courses on instrument making. 

In mid-March 1942 Jack proceeded to No. 1 Service Flying Training School (1SFTS) at Point Cook VIC.  He then proceeded to the No. 1 Embarkation Depot (1ED) at Ascot Vale VIC in late July 1942 and from there to 4ED at Adelaide SA and then to 6SFTS at Mallala SA.  While at Mallala Jack served with the 70 Reserve Squadron from early September 1942 till the 1st March 1943 when he was promoted to Leading Aircraftman.  In late March he was posted to No. 1 Aircraft Depot (1AD) at Laverton VIC. 

in mid-April 1943 Jack spent 8 days in the No. 2 RAAF Hospital at the showgrounds at Ascot Vale with an undisclosed condition.  In late June 1943 he was posted to 4AD at Kalgoorlie-Boulder WA. 

In early March 1944 Jack proceeded to 2ED at Bradfield Park NSW and was there briefly before proceeding to No. 1 Reserve Personnel Pool (1RPP) at Townsville QLD.  A week later he proceeded to Horn Island in Torres Strait where he served with the 84 Squadron.  Horn Island was among Australia's most critical defence posts standing between the mainland and an impending Japanese invasion.

In late May Jack was posted to No. 3 Repair and Salvage Unit (3RSU) at Townsville QLD.  He remained there till early December 1944 when he was posted to No. 13 Aircraft Repair Depot (3ARD) at Breddan QLD.  It was here that he met and served with a fellow instrument maker, Ron Wardlaw (my father), who later became his brother-in-law. 

Jack remained at Breddan until mid-January 1946 when he proceeded to No. 1 Personnel Depot (1PD) at Ransford VIC and was then discharged on the 7th February 1946. 

Jack married Ron’s sister Jean Wardlaw on 21st September 1946 at Albert Street Methodist Church in Brisbane and the Minister who performed the ceremony was to become Ron’s father-in-law in 1950. 

Jack and Jean were living in Melbourne VIC, nearby to Jack’s parents, when they welcomed their first son Ivan born in 1947 followed by Ronnie in 1950.  Their 3rd son David was born in 1959 in Maryborough QLD where the family were then living.  Jean’s parents and sister were also living in Maryborough at that time.  Jack had his own business as a watchmaker and worked from his own shop at 156 Adelaide Street, Maryborough. 

On the 8th July 1984, aged 61, Jack passed away in Maryborough QLD following a heart attack.  He was privately cremated.            

Jack Halling Barnes was awarded for service in WW2 the Australia Service Medal and the War Medal 1939-1945.  He was also awarded the Returned from Active Service Badge. 

Respectfully submitted by Sue Smith 11th March 2022.