LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant Brian Barkley SMITH

Service No: 400296
Born: Melbourne VIC, 18 August 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 18 August 1940
Unit: No. 143 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 143 Squadron Beaufighter aircraft T4889), off Malta, 12 February 1942, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Mr. and Mrs C. B. Smith, of East Malvem, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 113, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 130, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 12 February 1942 Beaufighter T4889 was reported missing while in transit from RAF Portreath, to the Middle East. No. 143 Squadron was in the process of relinquishing its Beaufighter aircraft for Blenheim aircraft to become a training unit and T4889 was being delivered to the Middle East by the Squadron. T4889 reached the vicinity of Malta when it was last seen heading out to sea from Filfola Island (south of Malta) pursued by two ME109 fighters. T4889 was not seen or heard of again and it was assumed that it was attacked and shot down by the enemy fighters. Extensive searches were made both by aircraft and high speed launch, but no trace could be found of the missing aircraft or its occupants. It was presumed that the aircraft and crew members were lost at sea.

The crew members of R4889 were:

Wing Commander John Francis Maffett (25054) (RAF) (Supernumerary)
Sergeant Brian Barkley Smith (400296) (Pilot)
Sergeant Harry Kenneth Sprason (942383) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Observer)

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/162/286