R.J. Smith crew 08.06.42 †

09/05/1942 – Gardening – Kiel Bay
Eight Wellington aircraft were detailed from this Unit to carry out the above operations. The bomb load consisted of 1500 lbs. and 500 lbs. The 1500 lbs bombs were planted successfully, and a few of the aircraft dropped the 500 lbs. bombs on land targets. Weather conditions were good and there was no opposition.

Wellington Mk.III X.3760 AA-L

P/O Allen Armistice Fraser, RNZAF NZ405030 – Pilot.
P/O Rupert John Smith, RNZAF NZ41950 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O J.J. Manson, RAFVR 1251684/ 104475 – Navigator.
Sgt. Greig, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Tate, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
F/S Raymond Wickliffe John Trengrove, RNZAF NZ40927 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:20 – Landed 04:00
Flight Time 05:40

08/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Twelve aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4 lb inc was dropped in the target area. Owing to haze results were not observed. There was a heavy concentration of flak and searchlights in target area. Two unidentified a/c were observed near Dutch Coast by Well.III, X3720 and were eluded. Weather was good no cloud over target but hazy. Navigation was very good. Well.III, X3587, captained by P/O. Smith and Well.III, Z1573, captained by P/O Murdoch failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III X.3587 AA-P/S

P/O Rupert John Smith, RNZAF NZ41950 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Graham Clark, RAFVR 903293 – Observer.
Sgt. William Robertson Ramsay, RNZAF NZ405508 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Barry Herbert Coulter, RAFVR 1261820 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Henry Edward Jones, RAFVR 1192997 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off – Landed –
Flight Time – Missing

The aircraft was brought down, probably by flak, crashing near Dusseldorf. There were no survivors. All five crew were buried in the Nordfriedhof Cemetery, in Dusseldorf, but later reinterred at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, South West of Cleve.

P/O Rupert John Smith, RNZAF NZ41950 – Pilot.
Killed age 26.
Son of Ernest Harrison Smith and Emma Smith, of Wellington City, New Zealand.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 9. F. 17.

Sgt. William Graham Clark, RAFVR 903293 – Observer.
Killed age 29.
Son of Thomas Grant Clark and Elizabeth Marshall Clark, of Devonport.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 9. F. 16.
‘Pro patria mori’

Sgt. William Robertson Ramsay, RNZAF NZ405508 – Front Gunner.
Killed age 25.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. George J. Smith Ramsay, of Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 9. F. 15.

Sgt. Barry Herbert Coulter, RAFVR 1261820 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 19.
Son of Herbert Coulter, and of Enid Coulter (Nee Chesson), of Roehampton, London.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 9. F. 14.
‘To sleep; no more;
And, by a sleep, to say
We end the heartache
Of a thousand years’

Sgt. Henry Edward Jones, RAFVR 1192997 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 19.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 9. F. 13.