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The Airmen's Stories - F/O D S Smith


Donald Sydney Smith of Highley, Shropshire was educated at Bridgnorth Grammar School and later Winchester College. He became a geography master at Droxford School and later Highley School, where his father was headmaster.

Smith joined the RAF on a short service commission and began his initial training course on 4th April 1938. After completing his training he may have served with the FAA.



By 3rd September 1939 Smith was serving with 'D' Flight of 2 AACU at Eastchurch. He was posted from there to 616 Squadron at Doncaster on 22nd September.

Over Dunkirk on 1st June Smith damaged a Ju88. Soon after midnight on 26th June he destroyed a He111 off Withernsea, one of the very few night victories credited to a Spitfire.

During a night-flying practice on 7th August Smith's Spitfire, R6696, crashed and exploded three miles from Leconfield. He is believed to have baled out, unhurt.

On the 15th Smith shared in the destruction of a Ju88 and on the 30th he destroyed a Me109.

On 27th September Smith was shot down by Me109's whilst acting as a weaver. It is believed that he crashed in Spitfire R6702 at Workhouse Cottage, Throwley near Faversham, seriously wounded.

Smith was admitted to Faversham Cottage Hospital, where he died the next day.

He was 26 years old and he is buried in St. Marys churchyard, Highley.


Above image courtesy of Julian Tansell.


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