Date of death: 17.1.1941
Regiment: Fleet Air Arm
Family information: Son of George F and Jane Clifton nee Stacey
Rank: Air Mechanic
Service number: FAA/FX 77384
One of the most likely men on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission was John Stacey Air Mechanic 2nd Class FAA/FX 77384 who died on 17th January 1941. He was said to be the son of Jane Stacey. I found a Jane Stacey living in Mill Fold, Kirkhamgate in 1935 but she disappears after that. I then found the marriage of Jane Stacey to George F Clifton in 1934 so presumably she just hadn’t been taken off the electoral roll in 1935.
Looking through contemporary copies of the Wakefield Express I then found the following obituary:
“STACEY – On January 17th 1941, killed on active service, JOHN STACEY, Fleet Air Arm, A.M. aged 20, the dearly beloved son of Mr and Mrs G F Clifton, 127, Wrenthorpe Road, late of Newmillerdam.”
This was put in the paper “From his living Father and Mother and his Step-sisters and Step-brothers, and from his pals in Trinidad.”
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission states that he was serving on R.N. HMS Goshawk but was lost on SS Almeda Star. The Almeda Star was a steam passenger ship that was travelling from Liverpool to Buenos Aires via Trinidad. On board were 360 crew and passengers including 21 officers and 121 ratings of the FAA on route to Royal Naval Air Station Piarco, Trinidad which was known as HMS Goshawk. At 07.45 on the morning of 17th January 1941 U boat U-96 fired a torpedo that hit the vessel amidships. It continued to attack it until the Almeda Star sank without trace with the loss of all on board.
John is remembered on the Lee on Solent Memorial, Lee on Solent being the principal base of the Fleet Air Arm.