LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant Mervyn Charles Bruce SMITH

Service No: 423098
Born: Uralla NSW, 13 May 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 20 June 1942
Unit: No. 32 Operational Training Unit (RAF), Patricia Bay, British Columbia
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 32 Operational Training Unit Hampden aircraft AN132), Vancouver Island, Canada, 16 October 1943, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Charles and Florence Isobel Smith, of Bundarra, New South Wales, Australia; husband of Iris Olive Smith, of Calgary, Alberta
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 3, Column 1, Ottawa Memorial, Ontario, Canada
Remembered: Panel 133, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 16 October 1943 Hampden AN132 did not return from a night navigation training exercise. The last radio contact was at 1949 hours on the 16 October. All emergency measures were taken to make contact with the aircraft but were unsuccessful. Searches were conducted for five days, but no trace could be found of the missing aircraft or crew. In 1945, the wreckage of a Hampden aircraft and the remains of four crew members were located north of Maggie Lake on Vancouver Island. The crash occurred on a hill in mountainous and wooded country, with access being too difficult to bring out the unidentifiable remains. A burial party including an RCAF Chaplain proceeded to the scene of the crash on Monday 30 July 1945 to conduct a funeral service and effect burial. In 1949 the Imperial War Graves Commission advised that it was not possible for the grave to be registered and to place a permanent headstone over the grave.

The crew members of Hampden AN132 were:

Sergeant Ronald Frank Allcorn (1318169) (RAFVR)
Sergeant Peter Francis Hornbrook (1586682) (RAFVR)
Pilot Officer Raymond Robert George Porter (21526) (Wireless Operator / Air Gunner)
Sergeant Mervyn Charles Bruce Smith (423098) (Wireless Operator / Air Gunner)

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, 166/38/307