The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. L E Smith
Laurence Edward Smith was born in 1918 and joined the RAFVR at Kidlington on 11th November 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot.
He was called to full-time service in September 1939. He was posted to 3 ITW Hastings in December, moved to 4 EFTS Brough on 3rd March 1940 and completed his training at 14 FTS Cranfield from 12th May to 28th September.
Smith was posted to 7 OTU Hawarden on the 29th and after converting to Spitfires joined 234 Squadron at St. Eval on 15th October 1940.
He was posted away to 53 OTU Llandow on 8th July 1941. Smith was commissioned in October, attached to CFS Upavon for an instructors course from 17th November and then returned to Llandow.
On 10th March 1942 Smith moved to 59 OTU at Crosby-on-Eden, remaining there until 11th August, when he was posted to 559 Squadron at Brunton. He continued instructing at various units and specialised in refresher flying training. Smith had W/Cdr. RRS Tuck as a pupil after the latter's return from PoW camp.
Smith was released from the RAF in late 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant. He rejoined the RAFVR in May 1947 and was instructing at Nottingham University Air Squadron.
When the RAFVR ceased, Smith joined the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, serving with a fighter control unit until November 1963.
At some time he changed his name to Hooper-Smith. He lived in Jersey and died there in 2007.