The pilot of Hawker Demon K2905 which was abandoned at night after getting lost was Sgt P R Smith. Which is Sgt Pilot Philip Richard Smith #580208 (which is typo 580308 in ORB) later killed as F/Lt # 45352 on 04/04/1943
Previously Sgt Smith was flying Demon K4538 (passenger #360981 Cpl H Stoten) which collided on November 5, 1937 with Demon K3983 (Pilot:P/O John Geoffrey Cave passenger AC1 James Dale #534589 ) of same Sqn over East Langton, Dover. Cave baled ok, Dale recovered from wreckge and taken to Ryal Victoria Hospital, Dover. Died from severe injuries at 2130 hours same night.
Smith landed the aircraft OK in this incident.
Re: F/L P R Smith:
In April (1943), the tempo of rescues rose as the tempo of operations rose; but initially it cost the lives of some of the men of 278 squadron, including the CO. On the 4th, Flight Lieutenant P. R. Smith took off on a night patrol in one of the unit's Ansons (DG809), with Warrant Officer C. Telford, Flight Sergeants C. Hogan and J. Bartlett, and Sergeant D. Forestall. A Spitfire pilot had gone into the sea 70 miles out and it was hoped that the distress flares might be spotted. The Anson failed to return, although Ops did hear a brief distress call from it.
l had already made one search that day in that very Anson, and l was due to make this night Op, but Smith said that he would fly it. All that was heard was a call saying, 'They're shooting at us.. !' And that was that.
Sergeant T. H Humphrey, No.278 Squadron.
Another Kind of Courage:Stories of the UK-based Walrus Air-Sea Rescue Squadrons.