The Airmen's Stories - F/O R R Smith
Robert Rutherford Smith of London, Ontario, Canada joined the RAF on a short service commission in May 1938.
He joined 229 Squadron when it was reformed at Digby on 6th October 1939. Over Dunkirk on 29th May 1940 Smith probably destroyed a Me109 and on 1st June a Ju87 and probably another.
He claimed a He111 probably destroyed on 11th September and on the 15th he was shot down in an attack on Do17's and Me110's over Sevenoaks and baled out, with leg wounds, from Hurricane V6616.
On this day he damaged a Me109.
From September 1942 Smith served with 112 Squadron in the Western Desert. On the 22nd he destroyed a Me109, on the 31st a Ju87, on 5th November he destroyed a Me109 and damaged another, on the 17th shared a Me109 and on 10th December destroyed a Me109 and a Mc202.
Smith was awarded the DFC (gazetted 23rd February 1943).
On 10th March 1943 112 Squadron was covering Kittyhawks of 250 and 260 Squadrons, strafing Axis positions north-west of the Fuma and Tatauin area. In this operation, Smith was shot down by Major Muncheberg, Kommodore of JG27, and made a PoW.
Smith was released from the RAF in 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant.
He died on 17th November 1965.