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Thread: Wimpie turned night fighter

  1. #1
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    Default Wimpie turned night fighter

    RCAF photo PL-27160 is captioned “Flying Officer Jack Smith of Anyox, British Columbia consented to climb up on an oil drum and have his picture taken with the front turret guns of his Wellington which recently shot down two Ju.52s in one night sortie. Smith, who is second pilot, manned the front guns during both attacks. An enemy launch was shot up on the same sortie when the bomber turned night fighter for a night.”

    The caption was dated 5 April 1944 so the incident clearly took place earlier to that date. Unhappily, a person with the name "Jack Smith" is difficult to pinpoint, and the unit is not identified. However, in the context of other photos in this series, the Wellington was clearly based in the Mediterreanean. It may have been engaged in operations along the Italian coast, but I believe it more likely happened in the context of Aegean anti-shipping.

    Can anyone offer further information as to unit, date, and other aircrew involved ?

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    Default Wellington/Ju52s

    Hi Hugh

    The only 'Aegean' Wellington/Ju52 combat I have recorded (to date) occurred on 9/10 February 1944, when a 38 Squadron Wellington shot down a Ju52 of IV/TG1.

    I'm aware that it doesn't solve the mystery but does confirm that such encounters took place. I will keep digging.

    Best to you both for the New Year

    Brian

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    Default Wellington/Ju52s

    Hi Hugh

    I think this must be 'your' incident, I haven't spotted any other.

    So, it seems that Jack Smith got his two 'kills' on the night of 9/10 February 1944, aboard a Wellington of 38 Squadron. I hope to get to Kew soon, and will have a look at 38 Squadron's ORB to confirm.

    Cheers
    Brian

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    Default

    Thanks in advance, Brian. I hope you can at the least nail down the identity of "Jack Smith" and perhaps determine who his pilot may have been. Any other details would be icing on the cake.

    Hugh

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