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William Edward Smith

Admitted to:

Catterick Hospital. RAF Hospital Rauceby (11/09/41).

Date of Injury:

11/09/1941

D.O.B/Age when admitted:

21

Cause of Incident:

Enemy Action. Shot down by a night fighter in a Whitley on return from ops.

Transferred to QVH:

19/03/1942

Injuries:

Burns to head, hands and legs. Broken jaw.

No. of Operations at East Grinstead:

1



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:

William Edward

Surname:

Smith

Service No:

R62692

Nationality:

Canadian


Awards/Honours:

DSO, CD, Croix de Guerre

Patient Unit:

102 Sqn

Profession:

Pilot

Patient Rank:

WO

Death:

October 2000

Age at Death:

79yrs

Dr Rank:

Dr Unit:

Notes:

Smith joined the RACF in July 1940 to train as a pilot and graduated in February 1941. He was posted to 102 Sqn, in Yorkshire, flying Whitleys. Having already survived a sea landing on return from Frankfurt, Smith was coming in to land after his next operation when his port rudder was shot off by a German night-fighter. The engines caught fire and they crashed into a field. Smith was thrown from the cockpit and was found by the tail-gunner, unconscious underneath a burning plane wing.

Smith completed his first round of surgery at QVH, and returned to his squadron, taking a ground job while waiting for his second round. He returned to service after this, flying Halifax bombers, and retired from the RCAF after 30 years of service.

He was then posted to Kinloss, Scotland, as an Instructor, and made another forced landing into the water when a students port engine died on take-off.

Smith retired from the RCAF in 1970, with the rank of Colonel.

Also a member of the Goldfish Club.

His Distinguished Service Order Citation reads: "He has attacked some of the enemy's most important and heavily defended targets. Flight Lieutenant Smith has consistently flown in adverse weather and in the face of enemy opposition but he has never let that deter him from completing his missions. Throughout his operational career this officer has displayed the highest standard of courage, determination and devotion to duty."

Glossary:

Further Reading:

As For the Canadians' By Rita Donovan.
'The English Patients', Jacob Berkowitz, The Guinea Pig, January 1999, pp. 24-9.

References:

'How Ed. Smith Became a Guinea Pig', The Guinea Pig, July 1992, pp. 9-11.
'Edward W. Smith', The Guinea Pig, July 2001, p. 5.



East Grinstead Museum Collection:
EGRTM 2751.120 - Black and white portrait photograph of Smith