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Fl/Lt. Jack Lyle MacAlister RAAF MBE DFC

Jack's 1934 Cadet photo.

Jack is an animated character that features in the story of Sparrow. He arrived at Usapa Besar POW Camp on Timor at an important time, providing a moral boost through his war intelligence and escape ideas, including one failed attempt to fly a plane full of Sparrow Force officers back to Darwin (the plane never started). In this newsreel, he is interviewed after being released from Changi.

Here is Jack's posting in the Geelong College Heritage Guide:

MACALISTER, Jack Lyle MBE DFC (1917-2010), airline pilot, was educated as a boarder at the College from 1932 to 1935 becoming a corporal of the Cadet Corps. He was a good swimmer, becoming the Open Swimming Champion of the School in 1935 and also a member of the Swimming Committee. After leaving School, he trained as a commercial pilot and joined the RAAF in July, 1938 earning the DFC during World War II. After an attack on Koepang aerodrome in Timor in March, 1942 during which his aircraft was shot down by Japanese fighter aircraft he was captured and imprisoned in Timor, later being transferred to Singapore. While a prisoner of war, he, with others, attempted to steal aircraft in Timor and Singapore resulting in his confinement in the notorious Outram Road Gaol. As a result of these escape attempts he was awarded the Medal of the British Empire (MBE) in 1947. He gave evidence regarding War Crimes and some of his experiences are recounted in the book Hellfire by Cameron Forbes. After the war he joined Australian National Airways (ANA) as a pilot, eventually becoming a senior pilot for Ansett Airlines. He retired in 1982. (OGC 1931). Sources: Affleck, J (comp). Geelong Collegians at the Second World War p340, p660, p664. CL

(MacAlister Jack Lyle. FLTLT. OBE, DFC. 390. Born: Melbourne, Vic. 28/12/1917.)

Jack Macalister's Distinguished Flying Cross recommendation

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