Flight Sergeant Leslie Joseph SMITH

Service No: 419976
Born: Fitzroy VIC, 9 May 1915
Enlisted in the RAAF: 9 October 1942
Unit: No. 100 Squadron (RAF), RAF Grimsby, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 100 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ND995), Germany, 26 August 1944, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Rheinberg War Cemetery, Kamp Lintfort, Nordrhein-Westfal, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Phillip Joseph and Florence Smith, of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Melbourne VIC
Remembered: Panel 130, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Lancaster ND995 took off from RAF Grimsby at 2032 hours on the night of 25/26th August 1944, detailed to bomb Russelsheim, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. A missing Research & Enquiry team report stated “the aircraft crashed at Ellern 26 miles south of Konlenz, Germany. Six of the crew were killed and Flying Officer Seage became a Prisoner of War.

The crew members of ND995 were:

Flight Sergeant James Attewood Boatswain (424359) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Ernest William Clark (1324105) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant Frederick William Evered (1809566) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Hugh Patrick Martin (1880935) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Kevin Ambrose Pavey (430939) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flying Officer Kenneth Francis Seage (427154) (Pilot) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 29 January 1946
Flight Sergeant Leslie Joseph Smith (419976) (Air Bomber)

Flying Officer Seage later reported” the aircraft was attacked by a night fighter. The first burst shot away the elevators and the port outer engine was on fire. The plane started to dive and I gave the order to bale out which was not acknowledged. The second burst raked the fuselage and set the port inner on fire. The plane was in a steep dive and I was unable to move because of ‘G’ pressure. Very soon the plane exploded and I was blown out at a probable height of 14,000 feet. The crash occurred about 10 minutes after the target. To my knowledge all the crew were in the aircraft when it exploded. The aircraft crashed in the vicinity of Russelsheim and about 5 miles from Oberstein. I had to be hidden owing to darkness of wood and undergrowth, but it was impossible to traverse in pitch dark. Early next morning I was seen and challenged by a German sentry.”

No. 100 Squadron lost Lancaster LM622 (Flying Officer Kenneth Millett Hutchins (422956) (Pilot)) on 26 August 1944


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 A705, 166/38/663

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