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Thread: F/S Leslie Mason SMITH, 64829, RAF d. 7 May 1843 Squadron 143

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    Default F/S Leslie Mason SMITH, 64829, RAF d. 7 May 1843 Squadron 143

    Searching for any info on my relation Leslie Mason SMITH based in Coates, Grimsby at the time of his death.
    I have not been able to locate any details in the newspapers of what mission that he may have been flying when he died. I would be interested in knowing what plane he would have been flying in - the Beaufighter XI?
    Thanks for any help,
    Sharon

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    Hi Sharon

    Your relation was probably killed whilst flying as the Navigator in Beaufighter XI, JL887 of No 143 Sqn from RAF North Coates, which failed to return from a recce sortie off the Dutch coast. He is buried in Kiel War Cemetery. His pilot was : -

    WORSWICK, JAMES RONALD (104358) RAFVR; age: 22 He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial

    Malcolm

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    Confirmed Beaufighter JL887 coded P for Peter.

    Took off for a mission to the coast of Holland but reported engine trouble an hour later and failed to return. F/Sgt Smith was washed ashore north of Wenningstedt and now rests in Kiel War Cemetery while F/O Worswick is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    Regards
    Ross
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    Default Service record

    Sharon,

    You can obtain his service record from the RAF, details are at https://www.gov.uk/requests-for-personal-data-and-service-records#how-to-apply-for-service-personnel-records . There is a 30 fee and a delay of about 22 weeks before the documents arrive.

    You do not state your actual relationship, but if it is close you should receive the complete document, otherwise the information will list only his promotions and dates, together with the units with which he served. The units are usually given in abbreviated format, for example 8 E.F.T.S. (which actually means No 8 Elementary Flying Training School), but this forum would happily advise you of their meanings and locations.

    In truth the limited document will contain all the information you probably seek.

    Once you know which units he flew with you should be able to find the operations he took part in from each unit's Operations Record Books (ORB), available on-line from the National Archives. An ORB is essentially a diary.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 29th August 2013 at 11:16. Reason: Addition of reference to ORB

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    Thanks Ross, Malcolm & Lyffe for your help,
    cheers,
    Sharon

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    Hello Sharon
    I inherited two lever arch files from my farther-in-law which covered numerous descriptions of the flights that 143 squadron were engaged in. I also have a file of photographys of the squadron personalities during that time. I have a photograph of F/sgt. Smith. If you are interested please send me your email to melvynjackson@accamail.com and I can copy the photo to you.
    Regards

    Melvyn

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    Melvyn,

    A word of advice if I may - never use your email address in an open forum as this can be swept up by programs seeking addresses. If you left click on the name name/nom de plume at the beginning of a post you will often find you can access a person's email address via the drop-down menu - this is only accessible to bona fide forum members. Alternatively use 'AT' for @ and 'dot' for the '.' before com.

    Brian

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    My stepfather was F/L Bill Johnstone who died in 1997. He also had a scrapbook of 143 Squadron with some profiles, one of which was Leslie M Smith. This is what he wrote " Les joined us at Stratford and carried right thru to the squadron. He was crewed up with Dickie Worswick in June 1942 and was soon making a reputation for himself as a "daredevil" on ops, and a good type. He was a keen soccer player having played for his native Manchester. He was married to a Blackpool girl whom he met while at Squires Gate in 1941. He and Dickie went out on a Dutch Coast recci and the last that was heard from them was on the W/T saying they were ditching. It was a shock to lose this lad as he was one whom we thought would be the last to go." My name is Carol Redclift. Do hope this is of interest to you.
    Last edited by Starke; 20th October 2013 at 15:33.

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    Thank you Brian for the advice. Will certainly do this in future.
    Regards

    Melvyn

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    A great big thanks Melvyn, just brilliant!
    Quote Originally Posted by Melvyn View Post
    Hello Sharon
    I inherited two lever arch files from my farther-in-law which covered numerous descriptions of the flights that 143 squadron were engaged in. I also have a file of photographys of the squadron personalities during that time. I have a photograph of F/sgt. Smith. If you are interested please send me your email to melvynjackson@accamail.com and I can copy the photo to you.
    Regards

    Melvyn

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