Ian Harrison SMITH

Poppy

SMITH, Ian Harrison

Service Number: 423913
Enlisted: 18 July 1942, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Last Rank: Flight Sergeant
Last Unit: No. 115 Squadron (RAF)
Born: Katoomba, Blue Mountains Region, New South Wales, 20 October 1922
Home Town: Bondi, Waverley, New South Wales
Schooling: Hurlston High School - 1934-38; Sydney Tehnical College - 1939-41.
Occupation: Assistant Civil Engineer
Died: Air Combat Operations, Gannes, Oise, Picardie, France, 18 June 1944, aged 21 years
Cemetery: Gannes Communal Cemetery, France
(CWGC) Official Commemoration - Grave Location: Column Graves. Roll of Honour: Sydney, New South Wales.
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, International Bomber Command Centre Memorial, Sydney Metropolitan Water Sewerage and Drainage Board WW2 Honour Roll
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World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, SN 423913, No. 115 Squadron (RAF)
18 Jul 1942: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, SN 423913, No. 115 Squadron (RAF), Air War NW Europe 1939-45
18 Jul 1942: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, SN 423913, No. 115 Squadron (RAF), Sydney, NSW, Australia
18 Jul 1942: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, SN 423913
18 Jul 1942: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, SN 423913
Date unknown: Discharged Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, SN 423913

One of our aircraft is Missing

This extract from the excellent "Aircrew Remembered" site details the fate of Ian Smith's aircraft 

In the early hours of 18 June 1944, ten Mk I and four Mk III Avro Lancaster bombers of 115 Squadron, RAF Bomber Command, based at Witchford in Cambridgeshire, undertook an operation to attack railway installations at Montdidier (Somme) in northern France.

Each aircraft carried eighteen 500lb general purpose bombs. All but one returned safely, the casualty being Mk I Lancaster, serial number HK559 and identifying code A4-H (painted on the sides, split by the RAF roundels). HK559 was apparently hit by anti-aircraft fire near to the target and crashed just outside the village of Gannes (Oise), a few kilometres to the south west, with the loss of all seven crew.

According to the Gannes stationmaster, who witnessed the crash, the aircraft exploded and burst into flames on impact, with a further bomb explosion triggered by the fire several hours later. The crash may have been on the outward or return journey, as cloud conditions at the target caused the instruction to be given for all aircraft to return without dropping their bombs.

Bomber Command suffered huge casualties in World War II, with over 8000 aircraft destroyed and more than 55,000 aircrew killed, but HK559 was its only operational loss on that date. - See more at: http://www.aircrewremembered.com/raf1944/traill.html#sthash.pcMnUJtX.dpuf

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