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Lieutenant George Leo CantelloPrint Page Print this page

Cantillo Memorial : August-2014
Cantillo Memorial : August-2014

Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams / Russell Byers

A monument and reserve commemorate First Lieutenant Leo Cantello of the United States Air Force who gave his life in the defence of Sydney in 1942.

On Sunday, 8 June 1942, Japanese submarine I-24 surfaced about 4 miles off the coast of Sydney. The submarine opened fire with its deck gun on the sleeping city of Sydney.

At Bankstown Airfield, about 20 kilometres west of Sydney, Lt George Leo Cantello of the 41st Fighter Squadron, 35th Fighter Group, United States Air Force received a phone call saying that Sydney was being shelled. He was the only pilot on the base at the time. He took off immediately in his P-39 Airacobra aircraft.  The aircraft's engine failed about two minutes after takeoff and it plumetted to the ground and exploded in a ball of flame north of Hammondville.

Location

Address:Stewart Avenue, Leo Cantello Reserve, Hammondville, 2170
State:NSW
Area:Foreign
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.951656
Long: 150.96825
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Military

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 12th June, 1988
Front Inscription

LEST WE FORGET
CANTELLO
(1915-1942)

IN THE EARLY HOURS OF 8TH JUNE 1942, LT. CANTELLO TOOK OFF IN  HIS P-39 AIRACOBRA FIGHTER PLANE FROM BANKSTOWN AERODROME IN RESPONSE TO THE SHELLING OF SYDNEY BY A JAPANESE SUBMARINE LYING OFF THE COAST. FOR UNDETERMINED REASONS THE AIRCRAFT CRASHED NEAR THIS MEMORIAL SHORTLY AFTER TAKEOFF, KILLING LT. CANTELLO INSTANTLY.
LIVERPOOL CITY COUNCIL WITH THE SUPPORT OF 
THE 5TH AIR FORCE MEMORIAL FOUNDATION    
THE FLYING SCHOOL CLASS 40-A ASSOCIATION   
THE AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION 
HAS ERECTED THIS MEMORIAL IN AUSTRALIA'S BICENTENNIAL YEAR AS A PERMANENT REMINDER OF LT. CANTELLO`S SACRIFICE AND THE CONTRIBUTION MADE TO THE DEFENCE OF AUSTRALIA BY THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES DURING WORLD WAR II.

He Gave His Life For Liberty 

Plaque :
CITY OF LIVERPOOL
These Plaques Were Unveiled On 12th June 1988 By  THE 
HONOURABLE JOHN C. DORRANE   Consul General Of The United States of America To Commemorate The Dedication Of This Memorial To 1ST. LT. GEORGE LEO CANTELLO  0-3888 USAAF 
Commander 41st Fighter Squadron, 35th Fighter Group, Who Gave His Life Nearby On 8th June, 1942 In The Defence Of Sydney.

Alderman C.R. Conway, J.P.   Mayor
D. W. Mead A.I.M.M.  Town Clerk / City Manager
Brigadier J. M. Sanderson A.M.  President
Bicentennial Community Committee
PO. S. Kidd B.E., M.Eng.Sc., D.T. & C.P. City Engineer

Inscription in Proximity
LT CANTELLO RESERVE
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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