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Thread: A.J SMITH (41072) Canadian?

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    Default A.J SMITH (41072) Canadian?

    According to my records there was a Fg. Off. A.J. Smith on 30 Sqn flying Blenheims in the Greece/Crete campaigns. I have logbook extracts from Jan 41' to May 41' showing him on the Sqn. Several books name this man as 'Andy' Smith.

    After searching the Gazette I have a likely candidate, ANDREW JOHN SMITH (41072).

    According to CWGC this pilot died on 12/2/1942 and his parents were from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

    Can anyone confirm that A.J Smith (41072) was indeed Canadian and whether this is the A.J Smith that served on 30 Sqn?

    Thanks,
    Simon

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    Hi Simon
    CWGC record him as of Canadian (based?)parentage when he died,but his service is given as RAF which suggests that he joined prior to the war otherwise he would have been RAFVR.
    30 Sqn converted to Hurricanes in June 1941 having had Blenheim 1Fs in Crete just prior to that date. In Late Feb they are recorded as being on HMS Indomitable en-route to Ceylon and spent the rest of the war in the Far East. At his death he is recorded, by CWGC , as being on 274 Sqn and they were flying Hurricanes in the W Desert based at LG111,El Adem and Gambut at the time.He has no known grave as he is on the Alemein Memorial. It would not be unusual for an individual to remain behind when a Sqn moved on and to be allocated to another Sqn particularly when the Sqns were similarly equipped and there was a need for combat experienced pilots in an active theatre.
    The information on Sqn equipment and location comes from W R Jefford-RAF Squadrons
    Regards
    Dick

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    Simon,

    Back in 2004, Floyd Williston had this to say about 41072 Andrew John SMITH (I only have written notes, you will have to dredge it out of the Archives):

    "The confirmation that 41072 was assigned to Andrew John Smith is conclusive proof that he was not a Battle of Britain participant as per other sources.. A native of Saskatoon, he graduated as an RAF pilot on August 31, 1938, and volunteered for the Middle East shipping out from the UK in May 1939. Initially a bomber pilot prior to retraining as a fighter pilot, he served at Port Sudan, and in Greece and Crete. He escaped from Greece and served with 274 Sq in the Western Desert, flying Hurricanes in 1941 and 1942.

    He failed to return from a sortie on Feb,12/42 and is remembered on the Alamein Memorial.

    One source gives his mother's name (in 1942) as being Mrs. R.H. Breckon of Saskatoon, Sask."

    I made a note then, that this material is unsourced, and needed to be verified. The same still applies.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 2nd May 2010 at 01:25.

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    In "They Shall Grow Not Old" (Allison) page 702 is mentioned that SMITH had flown in The Battle of Britain with 74 Sqn. I've him on Hurricane BD821 crashing into the sea near Tobruk hunting an Italian MC.200.
    Regards,
    Henk.

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    Henk,

    Mistaken identity on Allison's part:

    ARTHUR JOSEPH SMITH
    42657 P/O Pilot British 74 Squadron.

    Joined the RAF on a short service commission in June 1939. Smith joined 74 Squadron at Coltishall on September 30 1940 and was posted away on October 29 1940.

    Smith was released from the RAF in 1946, as a Flight Lieutenant.

    APO 2-9-39, P/O 13-4-40, F/O 13-4-41, F/Lt 13-4-42.

    See:
    Men of the Battle of Britain.
    Wynn,Kenneth G.
    Norwich:Gliddon Books,1989
    p.373

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 2nd May 2010 at 15:50.

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    Thanks Col; will inform Les Allison.

    Regards,
    Henk.
    (Having quite a lot of problems on aircraft and crew 458 Sqn lost 27/28-4-1943 !!).

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    Thanks to everyone for their responses.

    I think we can safely say that this is the Pilot that served on 30 Sqn in Greece/Crete.

    Regards,
    Simon

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