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Tom A. Smith

Admitted to:

POW. Fassburg SQ. Dulag Luft, Frankfurt. Homemark Convent Hospital. RAF Hospital Cosford (10/04/45)

Date of Injury:

17/01/1945

D.O.B/Age when admitted:

Cause of Incident:

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

Transferred to QVH:

10.05.1946.

Injuries:

Burns. Fractured Leg. Lost Eye.

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 A.

Surname:

Smith

Service No:

100570

Nationality:

British


Awards/Honours:

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Patient Unit:

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Profession:

Pilot

Patient Rank:

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Death:

May 2006

Age at Death:

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Dr Rank:

Dr Unit:

Notes:

On return from a search operation over Germany, Smith came across an airfield with an aircraft taxiing, and one already taking off. He shot at both, taking them out, but was hit by flak cannons at the end of the runway, setting his right engine on fire. The second engine stopped, and Smith was forced to skim across the top of a forest before ditching into a snow-covered field, skidding through more trees. When the plane came to a stop in the next field, Smith managed to pull himself from the burning wreckage, badly burned and with a broken leg. He was found by two soldiers, and picked up by Luftwaffe ambulance to be treated at Fassburg.

Smith lived in a number of POW hospitals, ending up in Homemark. In March 1945, the US 3rd Army arrived and he was released, flown to Paris, then England. He arrived at RAF Hospital Cosford in April, and a month later he was transferred to QVH, where he underwent more than 50 operations, the last in 1963.

Glossary:

Further Reading:

Photographs & letters.
East Grinstead Museum.

References:

'How I Became a Guinea Pig', T. A. Smith, The Guinea Pig, July 1999, pp. 4-5.