This page commemorates
Sergeant Brian Frank SMITH (759210) of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Circumstances of Death: Lost in aircraft Liberator I AM924
Death of Death 1942-05-28 Age : 22 years.
Served in 120 Sqdn
Burial/Commemoration Details : Panel 93. at Runnymede Memorial, United Kingdom (Map)
More Details: HUSBAND OF EILEEN MABEL SMITH, OF BRAINTREE, ESSEX.
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View Commonwealth War Graves Commission : B F SMITH
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Aircraft Accident / Loss Entry
Recorded in CWGC
|Liberator AM924 28/05/42 Norway/Sweden||I'm making this post after having contributed to a query on Keypublishing Forum during which it was established there was a query about the same aircraft on this fourm in February 2003 http://www.rafcommands.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?az=show_thread&om=2403&forum=DCForumID6&archive=yes
A good few of the people who responded on the 2003 thread here still visit regularly so I thought they might find it of interest.
Grab a drink, it might take a while!
The loss was 120 Sqdn Liberator AM924, shot down/ditched in an area near the Lofoten Islands off Norway. Crew as follows:-
F/O Walton - evaded
P/O Corkran - evaded
Sgt T J Culnane - died from burns sustained during fire while in escape dinghy
Sgt Pickering - wounded, evaded
Sgt Booker - evaded
F/Sgt E A Allgood - died onboard aircraft during attack by Me109's
Sgt B F Smith - died onboard aircraft during attack by Me109's
The following account comes from Lofotboka - a yearbook for the local Lofoten historical society. There was no name attributed to the article and I've not been able to establish which year it was produced. Some additional details of locations have been added by Morten Moe to assist with making a bit more sense of the geography of it. The article was written in Norwegian and Morten Moe has translated it into English for me.
The aircraft was a Liberator with a seven man crew, serial AM924. It had been on a reconnaissance mission on Tirpitz. After take off from Stornoway in Scotland at 0500 hrs the navigator had led the aircraft safely over the North Sea to the Røst (south of Lofoten) where it turned north towards North Cape. The reconnaissance mission was unsuccessful; they could find no sign of Tirpitz.
On the way back it was decided to cross over the Lofoten islands to search in the West fjord (a large fjord west of Bodø). Suddenly the British airmen became aware of three German Me109's and an air battle commenced over Hellsegga by the notorious Moskenesstraumen current on the southern tip of the Lofoten Islands. The allied aircraft turned west heading for Shetland while it tried to go steadily lower closer to the surface of the sea to avoid the gunfire from the German fighters. AM924 was hit several times and shrapnel and bullets penetrated the hull.
During the first attack, the tail gunner, Brian Smith was killed and John Pickering took his place. He hit one of the German planes but was himself later hit by a bullet in his arm. The third air gunner, Edwin Allgood was also killed during the attack. When the German planes broke off the attack the Liberator continued on its course flying at approx 100m above the sea they discovered that there was a fire in the bomb bay. During the air battle the rudder was damaged too and the aircraft was very difficult to control. Eventually they had to ditch in the sea west of Moskenessøy (the southernmost major island in the Lofoten), and the crew got into the dinghies after having fought their way ....Read More.||Linzee on 16th November 2008 07:46:27|