Sergeant James Arthur SMITH

Service No: 411413
Born: Eastwood NSW, 15 March 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 28 April 1941
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Station Breighton, Yorkshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 460 Squadron Wellington aircraft Z1485), North West Europe, 28 August 1942, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Cyril Spencer and Alma Isabella Smith, of Lewisham, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Lewisham NSW
Remembered: Panel 113, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 108, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Date: 28-29 August 1942
Target: Saarbrucken
Total Force: Dispatched – 113, Attacking – 88
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 6, Attacking – 6
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 133
Total Aircraft Lost: 10
RAAF Aircraft Lost: 1

In the attack on 28-29 August, weather dislocated the over-all flight plan. This led to widespread inaccurate bombing. Enemy ground and air defences had also been greatly strengthened, and in addition to dangerously high direct losses of 9 per cent of the attacking force, many other bombers were hotly engaged and damaged. In one Wellington of No. 12 Squadron RAF, which suffered fifteen deliberate attacks from a night fighter, Pilot Officer Wheeler (1), though himself sustaining shrapnel wounds in his hands, took over fire control duties from the badly-wounded navigator, and remained in the astrodome directing the pilot and gunners until the Me-110 finally broke away. Wheeler then gave morphine to the navigator and, although in great pain himself, picked up radio fixes and bearings which brought the badly – wrecked aircraft to an emergency airfield in southern England, just as the petrol supply failed.

(1) Flight Lieutenant Donald Joseph Wheeler DFC (404663) Discharged from the RAAF; 30 August 1946

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 330, 331

Wellington Z1485 took off from RAF Breighton at 1939 hours on 28 August 1942 to attack Saarbrucken, Germany. The bomb load carried was 810 x 4 lb (pound) (2 kg) incendiaries. Six aircraft from the squadron took part in the raid. Nothing was heard from Z 1485 after take off and it did not return to base. Post war enquires and investigations found no trace of the missing aircraft or crew, and their names are recorded on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, UK.

The crew members of Z1485 were:

Flying Officer William Dillon (401559) (Navigator)
Flying Officer Richard Douglas Elrington (403663) (Pilot)
Sergeant Eric Noel Hare (401436) (Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant James Arthur Smith (411413) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Norman Allan Taylor (401469) (Air Gunner)


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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9301, 411413


Firkins, P. C. (Peter Charles) (441386) Strike and Return, Westward Ho Publishing City Beach WA, 1985

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