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Thread: 48 Squadron F/Lt B. SMITH, DFC D-Day night flight

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    Default 48 Squadron F/Lt B. SMITH, DFC D-Day night flight

    Hi all,
    I am trying to identify the aircraft that dropped 1st Canadian Paras over Blonville Sur Mer / Villers Sur Mer/ Saint Vaast En auge on D-Day night, on of whom is buried in our local churchyard (H17245 Sgt Richard LA CROIX, 1st Canadian Para Bat.)
    Some years ago I got the account of one of the paras (Sgt Douglas BROWN). He explained me what happened: the port engine was on fire and the paras had to jump. In that short account, Sgt Brown writes that the pilot was an Australian.
    I looked at the 48 Squadron ORB, and one aircraft pretty matches Sgt Brown 's account:KG 436
    The Dakota crew was:
    F/Lt B. SMITH, DFC
    W/O R C CLARKE
    658895 Sgt Dennis Harry Ralph PLEAR (KIA 21.09.1944)
    W/O G. BIRLISSON

    Would someone have more information about that crew and F/Lt B SMITH in particular?
    Thanks for your help,

    Ludo

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    Hello,

    42365 F/L Bernard SMITH DFC, MiD, RAF, came from Bolton, Lancashire.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 18th November 2012 at 00:49.

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    Hello Col.,

    Thanks for you reply.
    I have more questions for you.
    Would you know the service numbers for W/O R C CLARKE and W/O G BIRLISSON?
    Do you know if any of the 48 Squadron pilots was Australian ? F/O R G J HULL (KG414)? F/O M R S MACKAY (KG439)? F/Lt W F STONE (KG423)?

    Regards,

    Ludo

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    Hello,

    BIRLISON (195693), and CLARK/CLARKE were aboard the same No.48 Sqn Dakota (KG579) as PLEAR on 21-9-1944. Birlison was shot as he descended by parachute, Clark/Clarke also baled out, he reached Allied lines.

    I don't have full details to hand, someone should be able to supply the rest.

    I don't recognize any of the names mentioned as RAAF/Australians. l'm not at home and can't check.

    Notified:

    129373 Raymond George James HULL RAFVR
    131570 Martin Reay Sutherland MACKAY RAFVR (Later F/L DFC LG: 2-2-1945, p.700)
    W F STONE ?

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 18th November 2012 at 10:48.

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    Unfortunately, M R S MacKay was the sole survivor of a Dakota which crashed taking off from Zeals on a return flight to its base in Leicestershire.

    Post war, he went into the colonial service but then killed himself whilst serving in Kenya.

    Colin Cummings

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    131570 Martin Reay Sutherland Mackay was my 3rd cousin once removed. Although his parents were from Doune, Perthshire, Scotland, he happened to be born in Australia in 1923. I believe his father was a doctor and his mother a nurse stationed there at the time. They all returned to England in Feb. 1924 when M.R.S. Mackay was just 1 year old. I wonder if that's where the "Australian" pilot fits in?

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