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The Airmen's Stories - F/O P Wyatt-Smith


Peter Wyatt-Smith, of Lanarkshire, was born on 9th June 1918, the son of Stanley Wyatt-Smith (1887-1958) and Beatrix Wyatt-Smith (nee Metford).

His father had held consular posts in China but was stationed in Manila and interned after the Japanese invaded. He and his wife were released in 1942.

P Wyatt-Smith attended Brighton College from 1932 to 1935.

Wyatt-Smith joined the RAF on a short service commission and began his initial training course on 28th December 1938. He completed his training and joined 263 Squadron at its formation at Filton on 2nd October 1939.




He went to Norway with the squadron on 24th April 1940. The squadron, equipped with Gladiators, flew off from HMS Glorious and was soon operating from the frozen lake at Lesjeskogen.

All but one of the Gladiators were destroyed by bombing raids by the 28th and the squadron was ordered to Aandalsnes for evacuation aboard the SS Delius, it sailed on the 29th.

The ship was bombed and strafed continuously from 0800 to 1400 and Wyatt-Smith received a leg wound.

The squadron was ordered to Norway again and embarked on HMS Furious on 14th May. On this day Wyatt-Smith was found to have shrapnel embedded in his leg and was sent ashore to hospital.

The squadron was withdrawn on 6th June and arrived at Drem, to reform, on the 12th. Wyatt-Smith served with 263 in the Battle of Britain.



He was posted away for overseas duty on 15th December 1940.

He arrived in Malta from the Middle East in a Sunderland on 20th January 1941 and joined 261 Squadron. Wyatt-Smith returned to the Middle East in May 1941 and served later with 73 Squadron.

Wyatt-Smith married Helen Fair Rutherford on 25th March 1944 at Lenzie, Dumbartonshire.

He was killed on January 5th 1945 in a flying accident while serving with 165 Squadron. Mustang KH555 of 20 MU stalled on take-off at Aston Down.

Wyatt-Smith was 26 and is buried in Haycombe Cemetery, Englishcombe, Somerset.






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