LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Ronald Alfred SMITH

Service No: 423365
Born: East Sydney NSW, 19 September 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 20 June 1942
Unit: No. 251 Squadron (RAF), Reykjavik, Iceland
Died: Air Operations: (No. 251 Squadron Hudson aircraft FK752), off Iceland, 9 November 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Alfred and Maude Matilda Rosaleen Smith, of East Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 261, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 130, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1230 hours on 9 November 1944 Hudson FK752 took off from Reykjavik to carry out a normal meteorological flight. Clear icing conditions were encountered on the outward leg. The return journey was carried out under similar conditions, until a distress message was received at 2057 hours when the aircraft was approximately 75 miles south west of Reykjavik. The trouble being encountered was not stated. At 2105 hours the aircraft key was held down enabling the direction finding station to get a bearing. After that there was no further contact with the aircraft which did not return to base. Large scale air and sea searches were carried out but no trace of the missing aircraft or crew members was found. It was believed that the aircraft had become loaded with ice to such an extent that it was forced down into the sea.

The crew members of FK752 were:

Flight Sergeant H J E Chouchoux (also known as Syms) (1396371) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant John Desmond Jenner (423132) (Wireless Operator Air)
Flying Officer Bernard Francis Lambert (151807) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Leading Aircraftman Ian Buchanan Martin (924725) (RAFVR) (Meteorological Observer)
Flight Sergeant Ronald Alfred Smith (423365) (Wireless Operator Air)

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, 166/38/769