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Thread: 430902 - Unaccounted airmen - 2-9-1943

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    Default 430902 - Unaccounted airmen - 2-9-1943

    What were the places of death registration of:

    A - Not found in Flight Magazine:
    LAC Arthur MORIN - 987661, and

    B - Died on active service:
    AC1 Sydney J. SMITH - 1678521.

    C - Also looking for info on the following airmen commemorated on the Malta Air Forces Memorial:
    Capt (Pilot) James R. HASTINGS - 102438 - SAAF from Canada - 47 Sqn - Panel 12 Column 1, and
    F/Sgt (Nav) Francis P. HILL - 1208802 - 47 Sqn - Panel 7 Column 2.
    47 Sqn based at Protville-II in Tunisia. They may have been flying a Beaufighter X. A possible serial may have been LX802 listed for this date as lost over Mediterranean.

    Regards and thanks for your help.
    Henk.

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    Hi Henk

    Morin - Gateshead, Durham
    Smith - Barnet, Herts (age 34) or Blackburn, Lancashire (age 52)

    Malcolm

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    Henk,

    From Roy Conyer Nesbit's "Armed Rovers" (p.152):

    "The next attack was on 2 September (1943), when Squadron Leader Powell led ten of 47 Squadron against two merchant ships and two torpedo boats between Bastia and Leghorn. One Beaufighter burst into flames and crashed into the sea, killing the Canadian pilot Flight Lieutenant James R. Hastings and his RAF navigator, Flight Sergeant Francis P. Hill.

    Col.

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    Hi Henk,
    Captain James Russell Hastings, born 25 Jul 1908, Rouleau, Saskatchewan

    From the research of Earl Hastings (http://wurm-hastings.com/getperson.php?personID=I05989&tree=All)

    James Russell Hastings was educated at Albert Public School, Regina, Saskatchewan and Rouleau High School. He was one of the first students of R.J. Groome in attaining a private flying license at Regina. He homesteaded in the Meadow Lake District with his father from 190 to 1933 when he moved to Edmonton, Alberta. In 1936 he went to South Africa where he worked until enlisting in the Royal South African Air Force at Jonnanesburg on July 22, 1940. He was promoted to temporary Air Sergeant December 7, 1940 and qualified for his wings on 28 Jul 1941. He was commissioned as Pilot Officer in September 1941 and transferred to the Royal Air Force being sent to England where he was on Channel Patrol Duty over the North Sea until September 1942 when he was sent to Malta.

    Flight Lieutenant James Russell Hastings was reported missing and presumed dead at sea off the coast of Corsica following a flying battle on September 2, 1943... Medals: 1939/45 Star; Africa Star; Italy Star; War Medal 1939/45; Africa Service Medal.

    Regards
    Mojmir

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    Thanks all for your help. Question on 47 Sqn Beaufighter serial remains open (LX802 ??).
    Regards,
    Henk.

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    Hello

    AC1 Sydney J. SMITH - 1678521 - the Chester Chronicle of September 11th 1943 reported the following:

    AIRCRAFTMAN'S DEATH ON ACTIVE SERVICE
    The death occurred on Thursday, last week, on active service of A.C.1 Sydney Joseph Smith, aged 19, son of Mr. and Mrs. S. Smith, 25, Heath Lane, Chester. He volunteered for the R.A.F. twelve months ago and became a driver with a Ferry Transport Unit.

    The CWGC Graves Registration Report Form lists his unit as 303 F.T.U.

    There is a Sydney J. Smith, aged 19, registered at Haverfordwest, but in June 1944. However, the Western Mail of September 6th 1943 reported the following:

    Airman Killed When Car Hit Chapel
    When an R.A.F. vehicle crashed into the Methodist Church at Solva, Pembrokeshire, Sidney [sic] Joseph Smith, aged 19, an aircraftman, was killed and the two other occupants of the vehicle, Pilot Officer Maurice H. W. Roe and Flight Sergt, John Hutton, injured.
    The vehicle apparently got out of control descending Solva Hill, failed to take a corner and, turning over on its side, came to a rest against the chapel.
    Smith tried to jump clear, but struck the chapel railings and died instantly.


    Regards

    Simon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Henk Welting View Post
    Thanks all for your help. Question on 47 Sqn Beaufighter serial remains open (LX802 ??).
    Regards,
    Henk.
    Hello,

    Owen Clark, in his No.47 Squadron history, Under Their Own Flag (N.P.,:Fighting High Ltd.,2016),
    is seemingly in no doubt about the identity of F/L Hastings Beaufighter, lost on 2 September, 1943:

    (p.120)

    (2 September, 1943).

    The Beaufighters attacked with cannon, but two were shot down. Flight Lieutenant Hasting's aircraft (LX802/D) crashed in flames and he and his navigator Flight Sergeant Francis Hill, were killed. The other aircraft was flown by Sergeant R.A. Forbes* with his navigator, Sergeant A.C. Dingwell, who were on their first op with 47 Squadron. They ditched, both managing to escape the aircraft and were picked up and became POWs. The two vessels were left smoking but still afloat.

    * Sgt Forbes was piloting Beaufighter "G".

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 26th October 2019 at 05:36.

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