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The Airmen's Stories - F/O T Smart


Thomas Smart was born in Broughton-in-Furness in 1919 and educated at the Birkenhead Institute. He joined the RAF on a short service commission in September 1937. He was posted to 10 FTS, Tern Hill on 11th December and after completing his training he joined the staff at No. 1 Air Armament School at Manby.

In early 1940 Smart was with 65 Squadron at Northolt. Over France on 22nd May he damaged a Ju88, on the 24th shared a Hs126, over Dunkirk on the 26th destroyed a Me110, on the 27th two Do17’s and on 25th June a probable Me109 and damaged another.

He probably destroyed a Me109 and damaged two others on 12th August, destroyed a Me109 and damaged another on the 13th and destroyed a Do17 and probably another on the 26th. Smart destroyed a bomber at night on 10th January 1941 and was awarded the DFC (gazetted 4th February 1941).

He destroyed a Me109 on 8th July and was posted away from 65 in October to be an instructor.

He was given command of 229 Squadron at Ta Kali, Malta in November 1942 and led it until he was killed on 12th April 1943. His Spitfire EP716 was shot down, most likely by Oblt. Gunther Hannak of JG27. Smart baled out too low for his parachute to fully deploy.

He is commemorated on the Malta Memorial. Smart was awarded a Bar to the DFC (gazetted 18th September 1945) with effect from 11th April 1943.


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