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Smith, George John DFC (Flight Lieutenant)

Killed in Action 1944-05-01

Birth Date: 1918-06-22 (age 25)

Born: Verwood, Assiniboia Census Division, Saskatchewan, Canada

Son of Paul Smith and Annie Margaret Smith, of Verwood, Saskatchewan, Canada

Husband of Audrey Jeanette (nee Norin) married at Willows, Saskatchewan on December 7, 1942

Home: Verwood, Saskatchewan

Enlistment: Regina, Saskatchewan

Enlistment Date: 1941-07-08

Decorations: DFC, CDGB

Distinguished Service CrossCroix de Guerre Belgium
405 (PFF) Sqn- Squadron
Ducimus (We Lead)
Gransden Lodge
Flight Lieutenant
Air Chief MarshalA/C/M
Air MarshalA/M
Air Vice MarshalA/V/M
Air CommodoreA/C
Group CaptainG/C
Wing CommanderW/C
Squadron LeaderS/L
Flight LieutenantF/L
Flying OfficerF/O
Pilot OfficerP/O
Warrant Officer 1st ClassWO1
Warrant Officer 2nd ClassWO2
Flight SergeantFS
Senior AircraftmanSAC
Leading AircraftmanLAC
Aircraftman 1st ClassAC1
Aircraftman 2nd ClassAC2
Bomb Aimer
Service Numbers

Lancaster Mk.III JA976

Bombing Montzen Belgium 1944-April-27 to 1944-April-28

Aircraft JA976 LQ-S was shot down by a German night fighter while on an operation to the Marshalling Yards at Montzen, Belgium

One Who Almost Made it Back, The Remarkable Story of one of World War Two's Unsung Heroes, Sqn Ldr Edward Teddy Blenkinsop, DFC CdeG (Belge), RCAF by Peter Celis

General Aviation Safety Network

General Lancaster at Webbekom I I History Aircraft...

General "Belgians Remember Them": Places of RAF aircraft's crashes: Webbecom

Smith DFC CDG (Belgium) (RCAF) was severely injured and succumbed two days later from his injuries

Smith had completed over 50 trips and was half way through his second tour of operations when he was killed in action

Smith had been bomb aimer on 432 Squadron Lancaster DS 832 QO-K on 1944-12-16/17, the "Black Night" operation to Berlin, Germany that lost over forty aircraft and many aircrews due to poor weather conditions and fog over the UK when they returned. Smith's aircraft had been diverted to RAF Leeming but ran out of fuel and the crew baled out before the Lancaster crashed at Danby, England

Canada Source Canadian Virtual War Memorial

International Bomber Command Centre International Bomber Command Centre

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial

Canada Primary Source Library and Archives Canada Service Files (may not exist)

Crew on Lancaster Mk.III JA976

Previous Events

1943-12-17 Pilot Officer - Survived

Lancaster Mk.II DS832      QORAF RoundelK

432 (B) Sqn (RCAF)

Take-off: 16:57:00

Target: Berlin Germany

Lancaster Mk.II DS832

Bombing Berlin Germany 1943-December-16 to 1943-December-17

483 Lancasters and I0 Mosquitoes on the main raid and 5 further Mosquitoes dropped decoy fighter flares south of Berlin.

The bomber route again led directly to Berlin across Holland and Northern Germany and there wore no major diversions, The German controllers plotted the the course of the bombers with great accuracy; many German fighters were met T the coast of Holland and further fighters were guided on to the bomber stream throughout the approach to the target. More fighters were waiting at the target and there were many combats. The bombers shook off the opposition on the return flight by taking a northerly route over Denmark. 25 Lancasters, 5.2 per cent of the Lancaster force, were lost. Many further aircraft were lost on returning to England (see later paragraph).

Berlin was cloud-covered but the Pathfinder sky-marking was reasonably accurate and much of the bombing fell in the city. The local report says that the raid hit no identifiable aiming point but the central and eastern districts were hit more than other areas. Little industrial damage was caused; most of the bombing hit housing and railways. Conflicting figures on the number of dead are given; the overall tot may be 720, of which 279 were foreign workers - 186 women, 65 men and 28 youths 70 of these foreigners - all from the East - were killed when the train in which they were travelling was bombed at the Halensee Station. In the city centre, the National Theatre and the building housing Germany's military and political archives were both destroyed. The damage to the Berlin railway system and to rolling stock, and the large numbers of people still leaving the city, were having a cumulative effect upon the transportation of supplies to the Russian Front; 1000 wagon-loads of war material were held up for 6 days. The sustained bombing had now made more than a quarter of Berlin's total living accommodation unusable.

On their return to England, many of the bombers encountered very low cloud at their bases. The squadrons of 1, 6 and 8 Groups were particularly badly affected. Lancasters (and a Stirling from the minelaying operation) either crashed or were abandoned when their crews parachuted. The group with heaviest losses was 1 Group with 13 aircraft lost; the squadron with heaviest losses was 97 Squadron, 8 Group with 7 aircraft lost. There is a little confusion in Bomber Command records over aircrew casualties but it is probable that 148 men were killed in the crashes, 39 were injured and 6 presumed lost in the sea.

source: The Bomber Command War Diaries, Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt

Lancaster BII aircraft DS 832 QO-K returning from an operation to Berlin, Germany encountered poor weather conditions and heavy fog over England. The aircraft was directed north to RAF Leeming but, unable to locate Leeming and out of fuel, the aircraft was abandoned by the crew over Castleton, England. The Lancaster crashed in a peat bog north of Danby, Yorkshire

F/O HB Hatfield (RCAF), F/L JA Allen (RCAF), F/O JL Higgs (RCAF), F/O GJ Smith (RCAF), P/O GM McGregor (RCAF), Sgt AC Phillips (RAF), Sgt WH Poole (RAF) and Sgt RA Hutchinson (RAFVR) all survived the crash with various injuries. F/O Hatfield with a broken leg and Sgt Poole with serious injuries suffered exiting the bomber. The other crew members with minor or no injuries

There were two 432 Squadron Lancaster II aircraft lost on this operation. Please see Turner, HA for information on Lancaster DS 831 QO-N

Black Night for Bomber Command, The Tragedy of 16 December 1943 by Richard Knott

General The night of the Intruders

General Lancaster DS832

F/L Smith would be killed in action 1944-05-01 on 405 Squadron Lancaster II aircraft JA 796 LQ-S on an operation to bomb the railyards at Montzen, Liege, Belgium

Others on the Aircraft

1943-12-17 RCAF Flight Lieutenant John Allardyce Allen Survived 2023-01-27
1943-12-17 RCAF Flying Officer Hubert Baker Hatfield Survived 2023-01-27
1943-12-17 RCAF Joseph Layton Higgs Survived 2023-01-27
1943-12-17 RAFVR Sergeant Robert Anthony Hutchinson Survived 2023-01-27
1943-12-17 RCAF Pilot Officer Alexander Morvan McGregor Survived 2023-01-27
1943-12-17 RAF Alfred Clarence Phillips Survived 2023-01-27
1943-12-17 RAF William Henry Poole Survived 2023-01-27

Avro Lancaster

Avro Lancaster Mk. X RCAF Serial FM 213
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

The Avro Lancaster is a British Second World War heavy bomber. It was designed and manufactured by Avro as a contemporary of the Handley Page Halifax, both bombers having been developed to the same specification, as well as the Short Stirling, all three aircraft being four-engined heavy bombers adopted by the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the same wartime era.

The Lancaster has its origins in the twin-engine Avro Manchester which had been developed during the late 1930s in response to the Air Ministry Specification P.13/36 for a capable medium bomber for "world-wide use". Originally developed as an evolution of the Manchester (which had proved troublesome in service and was retired in 1942), the Lancaster was designed by Roy Chadwick and powered by four Rolls-Royce Merlins and in one version, Bristol Hercules engines. It first saw service with RAF Bomber Command in 1942 and as the strategic bombing offensive over Europe gathered momentum, it was the main aircraft for the night-time bombing campaigns that followed. As increasing numbers of the type were produced, it became the principal heavy bomber used by the RAF, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and squadrons from other Commonwealth and European countries serving within the RAF, overshadowing the Halifax and Stirling. Wikipedia

YouTube Lancaster Bomber

Wkikpedia Wikipedia

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (234), RCAF 6 Group (5), RCAF 400 Squadron (7), Canadian Aircraft Losses (1732)
last update: 2021-09-18 14:32:33

Lancaster Mk.III JA976

Used by No. 405 Squadron, RCAF, coded "LQ*S". Failed to return from operation over Montzen on 28 April 1944. Only survivor was pilot S/L E.W. Blenkinsop, who evaded capture for several days and joined the Belgium resistance. Later captured and spent time in St. Gilles Prison in Brussels and died in Neuengamme concentration camp on 23 January 1945.
1944-04-28 Failed to Return failed to return from operation over Montzen 2019-08-20

405 (PFF) Sqn- Squadron Ducimus ("Vancouver")

History of the Squadron during World War II (Aircraft: Wellington II, Halifax II, Lancaster I, III & X)

This was the first RCAF bomber squadron to be activated at Driffield, Yorkshire, England and flew its first mission on 12/13 June 1941. At that time it was a member of 4 Group of Bomber Command, and flew successively from Driffield, Pocklington and Topcliffe, Yorkshire, England. With Code Letters LQ It flew Wellington Mk II aircraft until converting to Halifax II in April 1942, in time for the first 1000-bomber raid on Cologne. In October 1942 it was transferred to Coastal Command No 18 Group, flying over the Bay of Biscay from Beaulieu, Hampshire. Returning to Bomber Command, the squadron joined No 6 (RCAF) Group and flew from Topcliffe and Leeming, Yorkshire in March and April 1943. It was then seconded to No. 8 (Pathfinder) Group and for the rest of the war flew from Grandsen Lodge, Bedfordshire, UK . Its first Pathfinder mission was on 26th April 1943, and its last on 25th April 1945. It was slated to become part of the "Tiger Force" to attack Japan, but the surrender of Japan precluded that, and the Squadron was disbanded at Greenwood, Nova Scotia on September 5th, 1945. One of the aircraft that flew briefly with the squadron was the first Canadian-built Lancaster Mk. X, KB700, christened the "Ruhr Express", which was subsequently transferred to 419 Sqn RCAF in December 1943. Overall, the squadron flew 4427 sorties, of which 349 were with Coastal Command and 41 were in Operation Exodus, the repatriation of POWs. Nearly 25000 operational hours were logged together with 12,000 non-operational, and 12,856 tons of bombs were dropped. In the course of operations, 167 aircraft were lost with 937 aircrew. In the course of its history, squadron members were awarded 9 DSO's, 161 DFC's and 24 Bars to DFC's, 38 DFM's, 2 CGM's 2 BEM's and 11 MiD's. Battle Honours were: Fortress Europe 1941-44, France and Germany 1944-45, Biscay Ports 1941-45, Ruhr 1941-45, Berlin 1941; 1943-44, German Ports 1941-45, Normandy 1944, Walcheren, Rhine; Biscay 1942-43.Moyes, Kostenuk and Griffin

Squadron History (Bomber Command Museum PDF)

Maps for Movements of 405 Squadron 1941-45

MAP 1: 405 Squadron Movements in Yorkshire 1941-45 (right-click on image to display enlarged in new tab)
MAP 2: 405 Squadron Movements in England 1941-45

405 Sqn History Summary 1941-45

405 Sqn History Summary 1941-45 Page 2

History of the Squadron Post-WWII (Aircraft: Lancaster X, Neptune, Argus I & II, Aurora)

The squadron was re-formed as No 405 (Maritime Reconnaissance) Squadron at Greenwood, Nova Scotia on 31 March 1950, and redesignated No 405 (Maritime Patrol) Sqn on 17 July 1956. The squadron was the first of four formed in Maritime Air Command. It flew modified Lancaster Mk. X aircraft until mid-1955, when they were replaced by P2V7 Lockheed Neptunes, which gave an enhanced anti-submarine capability. and the first to fly Lancaster, Neptune and Argus aircraft on East Coast maritime duty. In April 1958 the squadron was given the distinction of being the first to fly the Canadian-built CP-107 Argus. The squadron made its last flight in the Argus on 10 November 1980 before introducing the CP-140 Aurora. On 1 February 1968 the squadron was integrated into the Canadian Armed Forces. It is now designated No 405 Long Range Patrol Squadron, flying from Greenwood, NS.

The squadron’s primary combat functions are Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-Surface (ASUW). The Squadron regularly trains for its roles by participating in a number of naval exercises at home and abroad. However, most of its time is taken up in a number of non-combat roles, including search and rescue and support to other government departments, including counter-drug operations with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and fisheries patrols with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Year-round, the Squadron carries out sovereignty patrols covering the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and maritime areas of interest . During these patrols, 405 LRPS crews maintain a constant vigil for ships that discharge pollutants illegal at sea. Similarly, its crews verify that foreign and Canadian fishing vessels abide by their Canadian licensing agreements and report suspected violators to DFO patrol boats.

405 LRPS regularly deploys to a number of allied bases for an assortment of exercises and missions. Among its international training sites are US NAS Keflavik (Iceland), US NAS Sigonella (Sicily, Italy), US NAS Oceana (Virginia, USA), US NAS Jacksonville (Florida, USA), US NAS Roosevelt Roads (Puerto Rico), UK RAF Kinloss (Moray, Scotland),UK RAF Station St. Mawgan (Cornwall, England) and NL NAS Valkenburg (Netherlands).

General Government of Canada RCAF Website

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