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Thread: 401217 - Unaccounted airmen - 17-12-1940

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    Default Unaccounted airmen - 17-12-1940

    What caused the death of and/or what were the places of death registration for:
    W/Cdr Stanley J. SMETHAM - 4217, and
    W/O George D. THOM - 351783,
    both names not found Flight archives.
    Proposed aircraft loss for this day:
    Master I - N7691 - 5 FTS - crashed o take-off Ternhill.
    Regards and thanks for your help.
    Henk.

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    The only recorded entry of a crash in the 5 FTS ORB for this day was the following fatal accident involving LAC H.H. Joseph and (A)F/O W.N. Basson.

    December 17th 1940, “Master T7691 crashed, resulting in the death of 965834 LAC Jospeh,
    H.H. and dangerous injuries to A/F/O W.N. Basson. Investigation by W/Cdr Simpson.”
    Alan Clark

    Peak District Air Accident Research

    http://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/

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    Cant find either in the death index, so possibly died in Scotland? For further details on Master N7691 see the Australian Casualties thread started by Amrit a week or two back.

    Hopefully someone else might be able to check if either airmen's deaths were registered in Scotland for you?

    Cheers, Tom

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    The death of Stanley J. SMETHAM aged 45 was recorded at Oxford in the first quarter of 1941.
    The death of George D. Thom aged 37 was recorded at Aylesburyalso in the first quarter of 1941.
    This is quite normal for deaths towards the end of a quarter.
    Regards
    Andy

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    Well, you caught me out there Andy! I thought deaths had to be registered within 5 days of the death occuring, hence i didn't look in the next quarter? I usually only check the next quarter if say the death occured after about the 25th.

    Obviously not the case though!

    Tom
    Last edited by thorne83; 6th July 2008 at 15:42.

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    I could not find Smetham in an RAF casualty list. However, his death was announced in the civilian "Deaths" section, so likely due to natural causes.

    London Times, 21 Dec 1940:

    SMETHAM - At Oxford, Wing Commander James Stanley Smetham, R.A.F., of Higher Drive, Banstead, in his 46th year.

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    Thanks all. Suppose that both airmen may have died of natural causes, at least not involved in a flying accident.
    Regards,
    Henk.

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    Smeatham was published in the march 13th Flight page, but this is missing from the online archvie, found in The Times, Died on Active Service.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Hello

    W/O George D. THOM - 351783 - the Bucks Herald of December 27th 1940 reportted the following:

    TRAGEDY AT A CAMP
    Warrant Officer Found Shot
    A Coroner's inquest was held at a camp hospital on Thursday week, relating to the death of Warrant Officer george Douglas Thom.
    John Thom, of 22, Calder Avenue, Broomhouse, Glasgow, said that the deceased man was his brother, who was 37 years of age. Witness saw him alive two weeks ago, when he appeared to be quite well. So far as witness knew, hius brother had no worry or trouble. he had been in the R.A.F. for some years and was quite happy in it.
    Sergt. Edward Walker, a warrant officer, said a quantity of petrol had been stolen from a car and in consequence he had interviewed Thom on the matter. He told Thom that he had been seen taking the petrol from the car. Witness first saw him at 2 o'clock on Monday afternoon, and he denied that he had taken the petrol. Witness then told Thom that he would have to make further enquiries. The next day witness went to thom and asked him to accompany him to the Service School and there told him the result of further enquiries and again, that he had been seen taking the petrol from the car. Thom made no remarks beyond denying the accusation.
    The Coroner...had come to the conlcusion that his death was not due to an accident and he had inflicted the injuries which caused his death himself.


    Regards

    Simon

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