To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”

Royal Australian Air Force-tn


Commanding Officer

Stanley Gordon Stilling


1912/01/16 - Sydney New South Wales

Occupation Civil Servant

Enlisted Royal Air Force

Royal Australian Air Force

20 Squadron



1937/03/26 - Granted Short Service Commission as Acting Pilot Officer on probation, Royal Air Force (London Gazette 34383)

1937/12/21 -  Acting Pilot Officer on probation, appointment confirmed as Pilot Officer, Royal Air Force (London Gazette 34467)

1939/06/21 - Promoted from Pilot Officer to Flight Officer, Royal Air Force (London Gazette 3461)

1940/09/03 Promoted from Flying Officer to Flight Lieutenant, Royal Air Force (London Gazette 34970)

1941/01/12 - Squadron Leader, Royal Air Force

Stanley’s will of 1940/10/17 states his residence as Singapore.


When Japan entered the war, Squadron Leader S. G. Stilling was a member of 205 Squadron RAF based in Singapore. Members of the squadron who escaped from Singapore after the Japanese invasion ultimately ended up in Australia and the squadron disbanded on March 31, 1942. Squadron Leader S. G. Stilling was awarded a DFC in March 1942.

Stilling-Stanley-Gordon-London Gazette-11a

Stilling-Stanley-Gordon-London Gazette-11b

Stilling-Stanley-Gordon-London Gazette-11c

Stilling-Stanley-Gordon-London Gazette-11d



After arriving in Australia and with considerable experience on flying-boats, Squadron Leader Stilling seems to have been “borrowed” by the RAAF and posted to the RAAF’s Seaplane Training Flight where he was appointed Commanding Officer of the Catalina Flight in July, 1942 and after the Seaplane Training Flight had been renamed 3 Operational Training Unit, he was appointed Commanding Officer of 3OTU in January, 1943. 

He was posted to 20 Squadron RAAF as Commanding Officer on March 29, 1943 (p343 of 20 Squadron History) and some time before the end of May 1943, he was promoted to Wing Commander. (He signed off the month of May 1943 as Wing Commander, p366 of the Squadron History).  

Wing Commander Stilling failed to return from an anti-shipping strike and was presumed to have died on October 1, 1943. At the time of his death, he had been the Commanding Officer of 20 Squadron RAAF for about 6 months.

 His failure to return from the operation and his presumed death are noted in the Squadron History on p425: “2/10/43 Wing Commander S. G. Stilling DFC (RAF) and crew of A24-67 missing on operations”.  

Catalina with Torpedoes-tn

By the time S.G. Stilling was killed, many of the Catalina operations involved mine-laying. He died on a shipping strike with torpedoes. The RAAF had experimented with torpedoes in 1942 but from squadron correspondence which is available at the National Archives of Australia, the squadron leadership (11 & 20 Squadrons) didn't like the idea much, probably, because the results weren't seen to be worth the risk. Mining was much better value in time and risk. Sadly S.G. Stilling's death tended to prove the point. 



Age 31

1st October 1943

Air Operations: (No. 20 Squadron Catalina aircraft A24-67), Pomelaa, Celebes (Sulawesi). Body unrecovered.


Loved Ones

Son of Stanley William Matheson Stilling and Ada Stilling.

Husband of Beryl Adele Stilling, of Coogee, New South Wales, Australia.



Singapore memorial - Addenda Panel

Column 423.

Singapore Memorial



John Aistrope

Tim Lloyds

London Gazette

Australian War Memorial

Commonwealth War Grave Commission

KEW Files:- WO 361/1626


''Our Thanks are for being a Chapter in Life.''




Keeping The Candle Burning


Fepow Family

In Memory of FEPOW Family Loved Ones  
Designed and Maintained by Ron Taylor.


[FEPOW Family] [Roll of Honour] [S]


Honorary Life Member-1tn

Honorary Life Member of COFEPOW


Email Ron Taylor 


Copyright © FEPOW Family