LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Owen Preston SMITH

Service No: 423344
Born: Mosman NSW, 5 July 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 20 June 1942
Unit: No 630 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station East Kirkby
Died: Air Operations: (No. 630 Squadron Lancaster aircraft BD338), Germany, 21 February 1944, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Durnbach War Cemetery, Bayern, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Cornelius Preston Smith and Anna Emily Smith; husband of Jennie Morphy Smith, of Balgowlah, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Manly NSW
Remembered: Panel 130, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 2351 hours on the night of 20 February 1944, Lancaster BD338 took off from East Kirkby detained to bomb Stuttgart, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. A Missing Research and Enquiry team later reported: “the aircraft crashed on the banks of the Rhine near Pittersdorf, some 3 miles south east of Bonn.” Six of the crew members had been killed and one was a Prisoner of War.

The crew members of BD338 were:

Flight Sergeant Burton Dix Howard (R/88689) (RCAF) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant Elwyn Rees Hughes (1709121) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Pilot Officer Harold Charles Leeton MacKintosh (414052) (Pilot)
Sergeant A Newson (1316771) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner) PoW
Flight Sergeant Geoffrey Slater (656696) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Owen Preston Smith (423344) (Air Bomber)
Flight Sergeant Stephen Tatai (R/173802) (RCAF) (Mid Upper 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, 166/38/433