Pilot Officer Jack SMITHERS

Service No: 412853
Born: Ballina NSW, 21 November 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 20 July 1941
Unit: No. 57 Squadron (RAF), RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire
Died: Aircraft Accident: (No. 57 Squadron Lancaster aircraft JA896), Scampton, 16 August 1943, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Scampton (St. John the Baptist) Churchyard, Lincolnshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Louis James Smithers and Leila Irene Smithers; husband of Nancy Rose Smithers, of Armidale, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Armidale NSW
Remembered: Panel 130, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Lancaster JA896 took off from RAF Scampton at 2029 hours on the night of 15/16th August 1943, detailed to bomb Milan. On returning to base after the mission, the aircraft made a heavy landing and attempted a take off for a further circuit, on three engines the port outer being feathered. JA 896 turned to port through 180 degrees and crashed at 0447 hours on 16th August 1943. Four of the crew were killed and three were injured. Flight Sergeant Haskins died of his injuries later that day.

The seven crew members of JA896 were:

Pilot Officer Bladen (136388) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner) Injured
Sergeant Burgess (1813299) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner) Injured
Flight Sergeant Ronald Henry Haskins (415789) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant Alan George Luxford (1622053) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Flying Officer Arthur Joseph Organ (134688) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant Derrick John Rose (575202) (RAF) (Flight Engineer)
Pilot Officer Jack Smithers (412853) (Pilot)


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, 166/38/236

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