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Thread: Sgt. Arnold SMITH / No.463 (RAAF) Sqdn / 11 June 1944

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    Default Sgt. Arnold SMITH / No.463 (RAAF) Sqdn / 11 June 1944

    Hello/Bonjour,

    I am looking for information about Sgt. Arnold SMITH (service number 949366). I would have liked to obtain some biographical elements and his career as a prisoner of war. His bomber, a Lancaster (DV229 JO-P) belonging to No.463 Squadron (RAAF) crashed on June 11, 1944 on the communal territory of St. Gemmes-le-Robert, France while returning from a mission over Orleans.

    Best regards,
    Frederic

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    Default Re: Sgt. Arnold SMITH / No.463 (RAAF) Sqdn / 11 June 1944

    Frederic, Hi,
    Arnold Kenneth Smith.
    There is an Arnold Kenneth Smith, 949366, 1940, RAF on Find My Past.
    949366 is in Block 935000-964999, RAFVR, issued Cardington 01-Sep-39 to 31-Mar-40.
    Mathematically this might have been issued early Dec 1939
    If he was 18 when he Enlisted, he would have been born in 1921.
    There is an Arnold Kenneth Smith in Find My Past, born 21 May 1920, living at Weedon House Darran Road, Risca, Risca U.D., Monmouthshire, Wales, in the 1939 Register, described as a Motor Mechanic.
    This Arnold Kenneth Smith died Apr 1998, Registered Cardiff 8901B, B11B, 109.
    Might be same bloke?
    HTH
    Peter Davies

    PS Weedon House is at GE 51.618503 -3.111746
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 21st November 2021 at 15:04. Reason: PS added
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: Sgt. Arnold SMITH / No.463 (RAAF) Sqdn / 11 June 1944

    Bonjour Peter,

    Thank you for your answer and these few pieces of information. I don't know the date of birth of this airman, only his service number. Sgt. Smith was incarcerated between June 21 and 24 in the prison of Angers, France after his capture by the Germans. He left a graffiti on the wall of his cell (...like some other allies prisoners) and I am trying to find out more about him.

    Best regards,
    Frederic

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    Default Re: Sgt. Arnold SMITH / No.463 (RAAF) Sqdn / 11 June 1944

    Frederic,
    I saw, in the mid-1950's, the graffiti on the walls of a "cell" at Bardia, Libya. So, like you, I've been there, done it, and (not!) got the T-shirt!
    This "wall art" varies. Not far from where I now live is a large house. It was once the HQ building of an RAF Group in WW2 which controlled ammunition, and other aircraft 'consumables'!! On the walls of the cellar were said to be chalked the amounts of wine/beer incoming/outgoing to the Mess. Fascinating stuff! Many years ago I tried to get access to record (for DOBDA) the detail, but the current owners were, then, not keen to allow access.
    You can't win 'em all!!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: Sgt. Arnold SMITH / No.463 (RAAF) Sqdn / 11 June 1944

    Hi Frederic,
    According to Olive Clutton-Brock book ‘ Footprints on the Sands of Time’. He was he was shot down on 10 June 1944 and was captured on 19 June 1944. His pow number was 329 and he was sent to Stalag Luft VII.

    Cheers,

    John.

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    Default Re: Sgt. Arnold SMITH / No.463 (RAAF) Sqdn / 11 June 1944

    Hello,

    Following up from John's post, Oliver Clutton-Brock's "The Long Road" has your man marching with the rest of Stalag Luft VII from Bankau to Stalag IIIA at Luckenwalde in January/February 1945. Name, rank and s/n are shown on IIIA roster dated 8 May 1945, so he hadn't left the camp.

    In his index of prisoners at Bankau, Oliver has your man in Trupp 12 arriving at the camp 13 July 1944 w/ 43 other POWs. Captured date stated as 19 June 1944.

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Default Re: Sgt. Arnold SMITH / No.463 (RAAF) Sqdn / 11 June 1944

    Hello/Bonjour,

    Thank you all for your assistance and this information about this airman after his capture.

    The prison in Angers where he was incarcerated was used by the Gestapo who locked up captured soldiers (airmen) as well as civilians, especially French underground members. A survey of the graffiti of the cell, or cells was made just after the war and the sheets are kept by the Departemental Archives located at Angers, France. This old will soon be closed and a project for a memorial, a place of remembrance, has taken shape in order to preserve a place in this building that recalls the memory of all the people locked up there. I have the case of an allied airman, incarcerated there and considered as spy since he was captured in civilian clothes, who was then transferred to the Fresnes prison located in Paris, then to the Wiesbaden prison, Germany, and who only found a POW camp two and a half months later. Having escaped for a few days - like Sgt. Smith - the Gestapo was looking for those who had helped him in France (...his French helpers).

    About Sgt. Smith: Are we sure of his date of birth? 21 May 1920? Is it the one that match with the service number 949366? And - of course - any additional information are welcome.

    Best regards,
    Frederic

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    Default Re: Sgt. Arnold SMITH / No.463 (RAAF) Sqdn / 11 June 1944

    Frederic,
    The Birth Date comes from the entry of a:

    Arnold Kenneth Smith 21 May 1920 Male Motor Mechanic Single 2 4

    in the 1939 Register. The Arnold Kenneth Smith that died in April 1998 (Registered Cardiff 8901B, B11B, 109) is - almost certainly - the same one as above.
    The 949366 Sgt Arnold Kenneth Smith is the one who joined the RAF/VR and became a POW.
    What I cannot do is positively connect one with the other. Do we know if Sgt A K Smith was a Flight Engineer? That might go some way to connecting his (possible?) civilian trade with Sgt Smith's RAF trade?
    Best I can do!
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: Sgt. Arnold SMITH / No.463 (RAAF) Sqdn / 11 June 1944

    Hello,

    Posted in to 463 Sqn RAAF, from 51 Base, 18/05/1944:

    AUS414668 F/O FLETCHER, J. J. Pilot.
    949366 Sgt SMITH, A. K. Flight Engineer.
    AUS426352 F/S KING, G. W. Navigator.
    AUS418756 F/S MATTHEWS, A. W. Air Bomber.
    AUS404682 W/O ROBINSON, N. W. Wireless Operator/Air Gunner.
    AUS427743 F/S REDFORD, F. H. Air Gunner.
    AUS419784 F/S BARRY, M. R. Air Gunner.

    See: No.463 Sqn RAAF ORB (F.541) p.135 of 658.
    https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/Sear...aspx?B=1359216

    NB. 949366 Sgt SMITH, A. K., is continually referred to in the crew listings (7 ops), as "Sgt K. K. SMITH". Repeated by others without checking postings.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 22nd November 2021 at 12:28.

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    Default Re: Sgt. Arnold SMITH / No.463 (RAAF) Sqdn / 11 June 1944

    Hello/Bonjour,

    I had noted on the ORBs that the initials were K. K. and when the names of the crew members lost on this mission are listed, the initials appear as A. K. Being a flight engineer aboard the plane, there is a good chance that this Arnold K. Smith is our man. Once again to all of you.

    Best regards,
    Frederic

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