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Thread: Wing Commander William John Smith 39134 RAFO

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    Default Wing Commander William John Smith 39134 RAFO

    Gents,

    Looking for any details on this officer from March 1938 until July 1944. It is believed he served in Canada as a instructor pilot, can anyone confirm. It is also mentioned he served in the UK as an instructor with a rank of temp Squadron Leader from December 1941.

    Any details most welcome.

    TIA

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
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    Just on the off-chance that someone has confused Canada with South Africa . . . . .

    SMITH, William John Thomas, S/L (45189, Royal Air Force - No.27 Air School, South Africa - Air Force Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 8 June 1944. Public Record Officer Air 2/9004 has recommendation drafted when he had flown 3,567 hours; material provided courtesy of Steve Brew.

    "During his period with the unit, Squadron Leader Smith has acted in various capacities, namely as Staff Pilot, as Commanding Officer of a detachment, as a Flight Commander and as Officer Commanding flying. His work and conduct throughout his career have been of the highest order and his devotion to duty, loyalty to the service and bearing as an officer are worthy of high praise."

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    Quote Originally Posted by HughAHalliday View Post
    Just on the off-chance that someone has confused Canada with South Africa . . . . .

    SMITH, William John Thomas, S/L (45189, Royal Air Force - No.27 Air School, South Africa - Air Force Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 8 June 1944. Public Record Officer Air 2/9004 has recommendation drafted when he had flown 3,567 hours; material provided courtesy of Steve Brew.

    "During his period with the unit, Squadron Leader Smith has acted in various capacities, namely as Staff Pilot, as Commanding Officer of a detachment, as a Flight Commander and as Officer Commanding flying. His work and conduct throughout his career have been of the highest order and his devotion to duty, loyalty to the service and bearing as an officer are worthy of high praise."
    Hi Hugh,

    Thank you for the above but I dont think this is "my" Smith. William John Smith was awarded a DFC in 1945, I have not seen any mention of a AFC. Only yesterday I spoke to a chap who served with him (Smith) on No.115 squadron and he confirms he had spent a few years in Canada as an instructor prior to operations.

    Thank you for the above anyway.

    Regards

    Steve
    Last edited by Steve Smith; 3rd December 2012 at 13:58. Reason: miss spelling!
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
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    Gents,

    Given that I have drawn a complete blank on this what options are now open to me. I am not a relative and for all I know Wing Commander Smith could still be with us.

    Any advice most welcome.

    TIA

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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    Might need to cast the net a bit wider.

    For any officer who served beyond the end of 1945 I would look at the RAF Retired Lists for a clue.

    They do not give service numbers but they do give commission dates etc.

    Among the possibles is the entry:

    Smith W J DFC Born 9/2/13. Commd 13/7/36. Wg Cdr 1/10/46. Retd GD 14/2/58

    The Surname, initials, DFC and post war rank all fit the Gazette entries for your man. RAFO would fit with a pre war service.

    Checks with AFL prewar holdings confirm this is the same man and agree with a commission date of July 1936. Service with No.52 Squadron at least upto May 1939.

    Now you have his DoB and can go to the Geni sources.

    In this case a search for Smith DoB 9/2/13 gives a possible match of a gent who passed away Mar 2004 at Wokingham.

    I would start looking for Obits for this man.

    Regards
    Ross
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    Ross,

    Thank you so much.

    Regards

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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    Steve, From the LG:
    Air Ministry, 18th February, 1958.
    ROYAL AIR FORCE.
    GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH.
    Retirement.
    Wing Commanders:
    W. J. SMITH, D.F.C. (39134). 14th Feb. 1958.
    Regards, Terry

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