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Thomas Charles Frank Smith

Admitted to:

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Date of Injury:

06/07/1944

D.O.B/Age when admitted:

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Cause of Incident:

Enemy Action. Crashed landed in a Stirling on return from op after losing engines to enemy flak over France.

Transferred to QVH:

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Injuries:

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No. of Operations at East Grinstead:

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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:

Thomas Charles Frank

Surname:

Smith

Service No:

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Nationality:

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Awards/Honours:

DFM

Patient Unit:

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Profession:

Wireless Operator

Patient Rank:

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Death:

01/08/1988

Age at Death:

70yrs

Dr Rank:

Dr Unit:

Notes:

Smith, along with fellow Guinea Pigs Harry Stannus and William Holmes, was flying a Special Op. to drop supplies near the French/Swiss border on the night of 5 July 1944. There was no reception committee and as they climbed to fly back, they crossed an airfield and were shot at - it took out the port engines, damaged the petrol tanks and set fire to the port wing root, though Smith was able to extinguish that. They managed to make it back to Britain and had to crash land on Thorney Island, Kent. Holmes made a landing on the planes belly, before sparks caused a fire. Smith pushed Holmes out of the pilot's escape hatch, resulting in severe burns due to the delay in getting himself out.

He was award the DFM for his conduct on that night, on the recommendation of Holmes.

Glossary:

Further Reading:

References:

'How I Became a Guinea Pig - The Three Little Pigs', Bill Holmes, The Guinea Pig, July 1985, pp. 10-1.
'Thomas C.F. Smith', The Guinea Pig, New Year 1989, p. 7.



East Grinstead Museum Collection:
EGRTM 2785.153 - Informal photograph of Smith smiling to camera