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Thread: FAA Skuas to Malta, 17 November 1940

  1. #1
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    Default FAA Skuas to Malta, 17 November 1940

    Hi all

    On the morning of 17 November 1940, two flights of Hurricanes flew of HMS Argus to Malta in Operation 'White', each accompanied by an FAA Skua for Navigation. One of the Skuas, L2882,was navigated by Actg. Sub-Lt. M. P. Gorden-Smith, and the other, L2987, by Actg. Sub.-Lt. R. C. Neil. L2882 made it to Malta but L2987 forced-landed on Sicily.

    I am familiar with the full story surrounding 'White' and it's losses, so do not need any information about it. Rather I am only seeking the forenames of the two FAA navigators.

    Can anyone help, please?

    Thanks
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    I think you are looking for:

    Major Patrick Gordon Smith DSC and Bar (and yes, his firstname was Major!)

    and

    Robert Craig Neil - he was killed on 15 Dec 1944, in Barracuda MX691.

    A
    RAF Armoured Car Companies 1920-45 http://www.rafacciraq.com/

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    Thanks Amrit

    Just checking, is it a hyphenated Gorde(o)n-Smith or without?

    Re R. C. Neil, can it be the same man? I understand 'my' R. C. Neil was captured on force-landing on Sicily and spent the rest of the War behind wire... how could he have been KIA in December 1944? Or did he escape, or was he freed after the Italians gave up the fight?

    Thanks
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    Gordon Smith is unhyphaneted in the LG, and when his full name isn't given then the entries read MPG Smith.

    As for Neil, Sturtivant places the same RC Neil in both the Skua and Barracuda. As to how he ended up back in service, he may have been liberated, or managed to escape during taht brief transition between the Italians collapsing and the Germans taking over the POW camps. Sturtivant, nor the Fleet Air Arm Archive site, make any mention of how/when.

    A
    RAF Armoured Car Companies 1920-45 http://www.rafacciraq.com/

  5. #5
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    Thanks Amrit
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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