W.B.M. Smyth crew 07.09.41 †

21/07/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Mannheim and Cherbourg
Eleven Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried and was made up of 1000lbs; 500lbs; 250lbs; and containers of incendiaries.
CKN.294 reports that bomb bursts were observed. Bursts were observed by CKN.326
Bombs were dropped in target area by CKN.342.
The target was attacked by CKN.380 and bombs were seen to burst. CKN.432 attacked the docks at Cherbourg and reports hits on North West corner. The target was bombed by CKN.446.
CKN.530 bombed target area but no results were observed.
CKN.591 reports that a large fire was started in target area.
CKN.627 started medium fire slightly south east of target and several explosions were observed.
CKN.664 saw H.E.’s and incendiaries burst in target area.
P/O. Scott reports that incendiaries were seen burning.
Dummy fires were observed. An aircraft was seen to be caught in searchlights over Ostend. It was hit by A.A. fire and seen to burst into flames.
A.A. fire was not very intense.
Searchlights were active in target area and at parts of route.
No enemy aircraft were encountered. The weather was fine. Navigation was by D/R, loop, astro, map reading, W/T.

Wellington Mk.Ic T.2747 AA-J

P/O Arthur ‘Artie’ Ashworth, RAFVR 43699 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Bennett Megarry Smyth, RAFVR 1053919 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Edward James McSherry, RNZAF NZ39867 – Observer.
Sgt. Welby, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Hume, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Cadieux, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:30 – Landed 04:45
Flight Time 06:15

24/07/1941 – Daylight Attacks Against Battleship Gneisenau at Brest
Six Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out daylight attacks against the above target. One of these aircraft, N.2854 captained by SGT. Streeter failed to return to base. The bomb load consisted of 24 500lbs. S.A.P.
Results were unobserved by DNS.772.
DNS.329 reports bombs overshot aiming point. Direct hits on sheds or warehouses about half mile S.E. of aiming point were observed.
DNS.411 reports that one and possibly two hits were observed on north end of No.1 graving dock.
Results were not observed by P/). Ashworth.
S/L. Lucas reports that bombs were dropped in target area.
Balloons were observed in the harbour.
A.A. fire was very intense and accurate.
Enemy aircraft were numerous and our aircraft were attacked.
The weather was excellent and visibility was good.
Navigation was by D/R, and map reading.

Wellington Mk.Ic T.2747 AA-J

P/O Arthur ‘Artie’ Ashworth, RAFVR 43699 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Bennett Megarry Smyth, RAFVR 1053919 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Edward James McSherry, RNZAF NZ39867 – Observer.
Sgt. Welby, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Hume, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
F/O William Davenport Brown, RNZAF NZ40732 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 10:50 – Landed 17:05
Flight Time 06:15

06/08/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Mannheim and Calais
Thirteen Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. One of these aircraft, R.1648 captained by SGT. Millet, failed to return to base. The bomb load was mixed and consisted of 1000lbs; 500lbs; 250lbs; and containers of incendiaries.
GHC.170 sighted river near target but had to bomb through 10/10 cloud. Glow of a fire was seen through clouds. Bomb bursts were observed in target area by GHC.231. GNC.265 observed bomb bursts in dock area. GHC.279 bombed target area but was unable to pinpoint target on account of haze. GHC.324 saw bombs burst across outer harbour of Ostend. Unable to reach primary target owing to loss of time and petrol in extensive thunder cloud on East Coast. GHC.470 dropped bombs in target area but results were not observed. GHC.535 bombed target through 9/10 cloud. Fire observed on departure. GHC.688 failed to attack target. GHC.719 bombed flak and searchlight concentrations on E.T.A. through 10/10 cloud. Results were not observed by GHC.750.
P/O. Williams reports direct hit on lock gates. Results were not observed by P/O. Scott owing to heavy cloud.
A fair amount of activity was observed on enemy aerodromes in Brussels-liege area.
A.A. fire was slight but accurate.
Searchlights were ineffective owing to cloud.
GHC.279 reports encounter with probable JU.88. Three attacks were made but the enemy was driven off by return fire. Rear gunner believes he scored hit with third burst, causing aircraft to break away.
Weather was not favourable, there being heavy cloud, thunder, electric storms, and bad icing conditions.
Navigation was by W/T, D/R, astro and loop.

Wellington Mk.Ic T.2747 AA-J

S/L Frederick John ‘Popeye’ Lucas, RNZAF NZ1056 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Bennett Megarry Smyth, RAFVR 1053919 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Francis William Green, RAFVR 581283 – Observer.
Sgt. Leonard Roy Gould, RAFVR 552462/ 49001 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Norman George Errington, RAFVR 942763/ 115638) – Front Gunner.
Sgt. James, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:45 – Landed 04:15
Flight Time 05:30

12/08/1942 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hanover and Le Havre
Nine Wellington aircraft were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks against the above targets. One of these aircraft, SXA.893 captained by P/O. Roberts was attacked over the Zuyder Zee by an enemy fighter. Our aircraft was damaged but a good hit was scored on the enemy which turned away in a steep dive. When nearing base out aircraft ran out of petrol and the captain succeeded in baling out 5 of his crew, but he himself had no time to jump. By the aid of his landing light he picked out a fire break in a forestry plantation and landed safely with little additional damage. All bombs were dropped and fires were started. A.A. fire was heavy and co-operating with searchlights. Search lights were numerous but not troublesome. Thunderstorms were encountered on route and there was slight cloud and haze in target areas.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1518 AA-X

Sgt. John Anthony Matetich, RAFVR 778235 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Bennett Megarry Smyth, RAFVR 1053919 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Rigden, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Chapman, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Birchall, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Donald Frederick Barkhouse, RCAF R.65416 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:20 – Landed 04:05
Flight Time 06:45

14/08/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Hanover
Eight Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1000lbs; 500lbs; 250lbs; and containers of incendiaries.
ROB.214 reports bombs fell probably near centre of town but to N.W. of railway station. Bursts observed. Large fires seen when leaving. Have and cloud over target made pinpointing impossible.
ROB.417 bombed south of town.
ROB.476 reports one very large fire started approx.. half mile N.W. of target aiming point.
ROB.556 dropped bombs in target area.
ROB.577 reports that bursts were see and a small fire started.
P/O. Scott reports bomb bursts see and a large fire started.
S/L. Widdowson bombed target.
P/O. Williams bombed buildings near target.
Several dummy fires were observed around target area.
A.A fire was fairly intense and co-operating with searchlights.
Searchlights were active.
ROB.214 was attacked by enemy aircraft, probably JU.88, at about 1200feet over base. One head-on attack was made with cannon and machine gun, but no hits scored. Avoided enemy action by diving to about 200 feet.
The weather was fine in target area, but there was heavy cloud on route.
Navigation was D/R, W/T, loop, astro, Q.D.M.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1518 AA-X

Sgt. John Anthony Matetich, RAFVR 778235 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Bennett Megarry Smyth, RAFVR 1053919 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Rigden, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Chapman, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Birchall, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Donald Frederick Barkhouse, RCAF R.65416 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:30 – Landed 03:40
Flight Time 06:10

17/08/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Duisburg
Five Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. The bomb load was mixed and was made up of 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs, and containers of incendiaries. All bombs were dropped, but owing to heavy cloud results were not observed. A.A. fire was moderate, and there was little searchlight activity.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.1518 AA-X

Sgt. John Anthony Matetich, RAFVR 778235 – Pilot.
Sgt. William Bennett Megarry Smyth, RAFVR 1053919 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Rigden, RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. Frederick Harry Worledge, RAFVR 755764 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Birchall, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Donald Frederick Barkhouse, RCAF R.65416 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:15 – Landed 04:40
Flight Time 04:25

07/09/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Boulogne
One Wellington aircraft carried out the above attack. The target was bombed and fires started. Light and heavy flak was encountered over the target area, and searchlights were working in cones. Good weather was experienced.

Wellington Mk.Ic XKC.677 AA-?

Sgt. William Bennett Megarry Smyth, RAFVR 1053919 – Pilot.
P/O Walter John Smith, RAFVR 1058110/ 67704 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Kenneth Edward Algar Savage, RAFVR 106545 – Observer.
Sgt. Alfred Hubert Harrison, RNZAF NZ403000 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Howard Clive McLeish Haselden, RNZAF NZ403003 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Twisteton, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:20 – Landed 23:40
Flight Time 03:20

17/09/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Karlsruhe
Eight Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out individual bombing attacks on the above targets. One of these aircraft failed to return. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1,000 lb, 500 lb, 250 lb and containers of incendiaries. A.A. fire and searchlights were slight in the target area. Weather was hazy over the target.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9834 AA-?

Sgt. William Bennett Megarry Smyth, RAFVR 1053919 – Pilot.
P/O Walter John Smith, RAFVR 1058110/ 67704 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Kenneth Edward Algar Savage, RAFVR 106545 – Observer.
Sgt. James Henry Reid, RAFVR 997006 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Howard Clive McLeish Haselden, RNZAF NZ403003 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. A.H. Heard, RAFVR 960717 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off –  Landed –
Flight Time – Missing

X9834 was not heard from and thus it must be assumed it was either hit by flak or by a night fighter. It would appear that the Pilot was forced to crash-land the aircraft, on fire, at Holsthum on the river Prüm, seven miles South South West of Bitburg, Germany.

Sgt. Smyth, P/O Savage and Sgt. McL Hazelden died in the crash and were buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery. P/O Smith, Sgt. Reid and Sgt. Heard escaped unhurt from the plane and were taken prisoners of war. When under confinement at Lamsdorf POW camp, Sgt Reid was shot by  a prison guard and killed on 29 Dec 41. It was reported that Sgt. Reid was shot whilst trying to remove fence panels for heating, other reports indicate that he was trying to escape. He is buried in the Cracow Military Cemetery.

Sgt. William Bennett Megarry Smyth, RAFVR 1053919 – Pilot.
Killed age 23.
Son of William Samuel and Augusta Dorothea Smyth, of Kill of The Grange, Co. Dublin, Irish Republic. B.A. (Dublin): Trinity College.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 8. G. 16.
‘Courage is the only purpose, For without courage There can be no survival’

P/O Walter John S. Smith, RAFVR 1058110/ 67704 – 2nd Pilot.
P.o.W No. 3796
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags XC and Luft III
Safe return to United Kingdom not known.

P/O Kenneth Edward Algar Savage
, RAFVR 106545 – Observer.
Killed age 20.
Son of Edward E. Savage and May G. Savage, of Watford, Hertfordshire.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 8. G. 15.
‘Rest in peace’

Sgt. Howard Clive McLeish Haselden, RNZAF NZ403003 – Front Gunner.
Killed age 22.
Son of Howard Tiffen Haselden and Jean Black Haselden, of Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany..
Grave location – 8. G. 17.

Sgt. Jeffrey Walter Reid, RAFVR 920054 – Wireless Operator.
P.o.W – Killed whilst in captivity age 23.
Son of James Alexander Milne Reid and Hilda Jane Reid, of West Norwood, London.
Buried Cracow Rakowicki Military Cemetery, Poland.     .
Grave location – 1. B. 9.
‘Ever in our memory’

Sgt. A.H. Heard, RAFVR 960717 – Rear Gunner.
P.o.W No. 9653
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB, Luft I. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Safe return to United Kingdom not known