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John Campbell Smith

Admitted to:

Torrington General Hospital. RAF Hosptial St.Athan (01/01/45).

Date of Injury:

24/12/1944

D.O.B/Age when admitted:

23

Cause of Incident:

Crashed in a Wellington due to icing over Devon.

Transferred to QVH:

01/03/1945

Injuries:

Burns to face, hands, wrists and buttocks.

No. of Operations at East Grinstead:

3



IDENTITY CARD

This is to certify that the patient mentioned below and whose description is stated hereon is the authorised holder of this Identity card.


Forename:

John Campbell

Surname:

Smith

Service No:

J23702

Nationality:

Canadian


Awards/Honours:

---

Patient Unit:

36 Sqn

Profession:

Pilot

Patient Rank:

Fg Off

Death:

29/09/2015

Age at Death:

94yrs

Dr Rank:

Dr Unit:

Notes:

Known as 'Jack'.

Ten minutes after take-off from RAF Chivenor, in the early hours of the morning, the starboard engine of Smith's Wellington malfunctioned. The plane was carrying a full load of fuel and depth charges for a nine hour anti-submarine patrol, and there was not time or opportunity to bail or drop the load. Smith aimed for an open field. Three crewmembers were killed in the ensuing crash; the remaining three severely injured. Smith was trapped in the cockpit when he regained consciousness, his clothes on fire, but he managed to escape the wreckage. The survivors made it to a nearby road, where they were taken to hospital by a passing motorist.

From the West Coast of Canada, retired to Florida. Lived in Naples, Florida for many years.

Glossary:

Further Reading:

As For the Canadians' By Rita Donovan, pp. 191-195.
'McIndoe's Army' By Edward Bishop.

References:

'How I Became a Guinea Pig', (includes article extracts from The North Devon Herald Journal, Matthew Small, September 1994), The Guinea Pig, January 2001, pp. 11-4.