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Thread: Sgt. Charles Leslie SMITH D.F.M. gazetted July 30th 1940

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    Default Sgt. Charles Leslie SMITH D.F.M. gazetted July 30th 1940

    Hello everyone

    The above airman was awarded the D.F.M. in July 1940. His award was reported in the North East Gazette on September 4th 1940:

    D.F.M. for Ormesby Man

    Ormesby villagers are proud of one of their young airmen, Sergeant Charles Leslie Smith, who had been awarded the D.F.M. for his part in a raid over Stavanger, when, with pilot and gunner wounded, he came back to this country with the undercarriage blown away, Sergeant Smith, who is an Observer, is the only son of Mr. and Mrs. c. Smith, of Tittensa, Church Lane, Ormesby, his father being a retired railwayman.
    Aged 22, Sergeant Smith entered the Royal Air Force a year before the outbreak of hostilities. He was a pupil of the Middlesbrough High School for Boys.
    Needless to say, he has been the recipient of countless congratulations, including one from the Air Ministry and another from the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Bomber Command.

    He was later killed on December 18th 1941 in Stirling I N3665 LS-S of 15 Squadron, which was shot down on a daylight raid on Brest. I'd like to know if he was with 15 Sqn in 1940 when the events described in the newspaper report took place, if anyone can help.

    Many thanks,

    Regards

    Simon

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    Hi Simon,

    SMITH, Charles Leslie. 580383, Sergeant, No.115 Sqn.
    L.G. 30/7/1940. Air Observer. Air2/6085.

    Since the beginning of the war, this airman has taken part in 5 sweeps, 1 security patrol and 17 bomb raids or major operations. On two occasions he has seen aircraft in his own formation shot down in flames while he own aircraft had been severely damaged. In spite of these and other casualties in his flight amounting in all to six crews within two months and of the fact that he has been called upon to fly with several different Captains, Sergeant Smith displays a persistent determination and eagerness for operations which, coupled with his coolness in action, set an outstanding example of steady courage to all ranks which is most fully deserving of recognition.

    21st June, 1940.

    Remarks by A.O.C.

    As a Navigator, this N.C.O. has shown exceptional ability and has been of inestimable value to his unit in the training of replacement crews when the percentage of experienced personnel had been greatly reduced due to heavy casualties. I attribute the speed with which these young crews became efficient and able to take their place with credit in the operations undertaken by the unit largely to this N.C.O.'s forceable character and example and his readiness to fly in any aircraft.

    See: DFM Register/Tavender/II/K-Z/671.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 25th February 2018 at 14:15.

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    Hi Col

    Thanks for that, much appreciated.

    From the 115 Sqn ORB Form 541, April 11th 1940:

    Wellington 1c P9271 ‘O’
    Op: Stavanger Aerodrome
    Up: 18.00
    Down: 23.45
    To attack runways, aircraft, aerodrome installations or hangars.
    P/O Barber’s section attacked between 200 – 300 ft. missed aerodrome in run up and then encountered very accurate light A.A. fire. This section dropped no bombs on target, owing to damage received.
    P9271 was hit 3 times, and F/S Powell and L.A.C. Hodgson wounded, and hydraulics damaged. F/S Powell flew home and landed with wheels up. (Was awarded D.F.M. for this flight).
    F/S Powell*
    F/O Smyth
    Sgt. Smith (383)
    A/C Johnston
    L.A.C. Leins
    L.A.C. Hodgson (046)

    *508952 Gordon Allen Powell - see: http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...Leader-Details

    Regards

    Simon
    Last edited by wwrsimon; 25th February 2018 at 14:49. Reason: added ORB extract

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