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Thread: Sgt. Frederick Curtis Smith R/175155 RCAF - 10 Apr 1944

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    Default Sgt. Frederick Curtis Smith R/175155 RCAF - 10 Apr 1944

    I just bumped into the son of this airman today at a luncheon and he was telling me some stories about his efforts to learn more about the father he never knew. He says he located some info in town near the airfield, which he said was in the Midlands, and heard that the loss was a Whitley that went down in the Irish Sea.

    Can anyone with a copy of Chorley or Allison & Hayward handy give me the details please?

    CWGC has him listed without a squadron number, which leads me to believe from some of the other details he mentioned, that it was a training flight.
    David

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    Hi
    From Chorley BCL Vol 7, Sgt Smith was the pilot of a Whitley V,Z9163, of 24 OTU, based at Honeybourne with an all Canadian crew. They took off at 2205 for a night Navigation exercise and the last contact with them was 2219. 2 a/c of another OTU saw Yellow flares at 2315 and when they descended they saw 6 red flares in posn. 5319N 0432W. At 2328 a Wellington saw oil burning on the water. The crew were not found.
    Sgt F C Smith RCAF
    Sgt T W Mechefske RCAF
    F/O G J H Palsen RCAF
    WO2 R F Schimmens RCAF and
    F/Sgt R F C Reaume RCAF
    were the crew
    Regards
    Dick

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    Word for word from Chorley.

    24 OTU Whitley V Z9163 FB-O Training.

    T/o 2205 Honeybourne for a night navigation exercise. At 2219, QDY was obtained on the base direction finding, after which nothing further was heard. However, two crews operating from 11 OTU Westcott, flying at 10,000 feet saw, at 2315, yellow flares. Both aircraft came down to 6,000 feet and observed six reds being fired in position 5219N 0432W. Then, at 2328, a Wellington from 16 OTU, out from Barford St. John, saw oil burning on the water, the navigator plotting the position as 5223N 0432W. All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    Crew were:

    Sgt. F C Smith RCAF.
    Sgt. T W Mechefske RCAF.
    F/O G J H Palsen RCAF.
    WO2 E F Schimmens RCAF.
    F/S R F C Reaume RCAF.

    Hope this helps.

    Kevin Mears

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    Thanks Kevin, Dick, much appreciated.
    David

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