LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Brian Patten SMITH

Service No: 428057
Born: Hobart TAS, 14 September 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 9 October 1942
Unit: No. 1654 Conversion Unit (RAF), RAF Station Wigsley
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 1654 Conversion Unit Lancaster aircraft NG222), North Sea, 12 April 1945, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Smith, of Newtown, Tasmania, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 283, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 130, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1125 hours on 12 April 1945 Lancaster NG 222 took off from Wigsley on a cross country training flight in England, finishing up with an air sea firing exercise over the Wash off the east coast of England. At 1415 hours a message was received from the aircraft requesting a weather report, which was cloudy with slight haze, visibility 4 miles. The report was acknowledged at 1415 hours but there was no further contact however with the aircraft which failed to reply to a signal from base sent at 1540 hours for a report on its position and an ETA. Searches were subsequently made and one body was recovered at Northclates, near Grimsby, Lincoln. There was however no trace found of the missing aircraft or remaining crew members. It was later recorded that the eight missing crew members had lost their lives at sea.

The crew members of NG222 were:

Flight Sergeant Frederick Arthur Baker (1582205) (RAFVR)
Sergeant Kenneth Chapman (2202909) (RAFVR)
Pilot Officer Albert Darby DFM (55691) (RAF) (Flight Engineer) Remains recovered
Flight Sergeant Ian Hardman MID (196875) (RAFVR)
Sergeant Dennis William Hope (3051225) (RAFVR)
Flying Officer Archibald George Rolston (124764) (Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant Jack Wallace Sharp (432885) (Wireless Operator Air)
Flying Officer Brian Patten Smith (428057) (Observer)
Flight Sergeant Clifton Warwick Frank Wedd (35027) (Pilot)

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, 166/38/1027