The Airmen's Stories - F/O A W Smith
Arthur William Smith was born in Florida in 1916, the son of Mr. and Mrs. A.E. Smith. His family nickname was “Skook” . The family moved to Summerland, British Columbia, Canada where he was brought up as a Canadian citizen.
He joined the Royal Air Force on a short service commission in June 1938. After training Smith was posted on 4th October 1939 to the newly-formed 141 Squadron at Turnhouse, the squadron was still equipped with Gladiators. By the end of the month they had moved to Grangemouth.
Above: Smith, before being awarded his wings
On 27th November 1939 five aircraft set off for firing practice camp at Acklington. In very poor weather all five had to make forced landings though all pilots survived. Smith, in K7938, came down at Auldhouse, south of the Clyde in Glasgow. His aircraft turned over and had to be written off.
On 20th December 1939 Smith married Disa Elizabeth Beveridge of South Africa, the wedding took place at St. Andrews University where she was a student.
141 re-equipped with Blenheims at the end of 1939 but by May 1940 had replaced them with Defiants. Smith served with them throughout the Battle of Britain.
On 4th November 1940 he was posted to 242 Squadron at Duxford. On 28th March 1941 he was flying in Hurricane II Z2588 when the supercharger failed. This would normally be recoverable but he lost control and spun in at Bradfield St. George in Suffolk. Smith was killed.
It is possible that the aircraft was subject to icing. He is buried in Ipswich Cemetery.
Smith portrait courtesy of www.summerlandbanners.com via Sharon Stone of Summerland Library