The Airmen's Stories - F/O R Smither
Ross Smither was born in London, Ontario on 12th November 1912, the son of Frank Smither and Susan Smither (nee Crockford).
He was educated at Beal Technical School in London and sang in the choir at St.Pauls Cathedral there.
Smither served two years in the militia before joining the RCAF on 10th September 1930 as a fitter. He later qualified as an air gunner before applying for a pilot's course. He did well, assessments noted he was 'an above-average pilot with a good air sense but heavy on the controls'.
He was serving with No. 1 (RCAF) Squadron when it arrived in the UK on 20th June 1940.
Smither claimed a Me109 damaged on 31st August and a Me110 destroyed and another damaged on 4th September.
He was shot down and killed by Me109s over Tunbridge Wells on the 15th September, in Hurricane P3876.
Smither was 27 years old and is buried in Brookwood Military Cemetery.
Above : the photo sent to the family in Canada (his name misspelt)
Above: the grave of F/O Smither is saluted by a RCMP officer on Remembrance Sunday 2018.
His brother P/O Sydney Frank Smither (below) was killed aged 21 on 5th June 1942 when his Spitfire Vb BL849 YO-S of 401 Squadron was shot down by Focke-Wulf 190 fighters near Abbeville on Circus 188 to Le Havre. He is buried in Abbeville Communal Cemetery.
Photos and additional research courtesy of Ross Smither (nephew).