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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. P Ward-Smith


Peter Ward-Smith was born on 8th December 1916 at Epping, Essex. He was educated at Brighton College and before the war was an insurance broker at Lloyds.

On 22nd July 1938 Ward-Smith joined the RAFVR as an Airman u/t Pilot and carried out his flying training at 20 E&RFTS Gravesend and later 13 E&RFTS White Waltham. He was called to full-time service on 1st September 1939 and, after completing his training and converting to Spitfires, he was posted to 610 Squadron at Acklington in August 1940.


Commissioned in June 1941, Ward-Smith was shot down on 10th July 1941 on Circus 42 in Spitfire IIb P8523 'Bansi' (presented by the citizens of Lucknow) . He baled out and was captured.

He was held in camps in Poland and at Stalag Luft III at Sagan and Belaria (PoW No 1619).

After being liberated by the British Army in May 1945, Ward-Smith returned to Britain and was released from the RAF later in the year, as a Flight Lieutenant.

He died in December 2003 in Worthing, West Sussex.


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