LEST WE FORGET

Flight Lieutenant Leonard Anthony SMITH

Service No: 416521
Born: Port Augusta SA, 17 February 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 23 June 1941
Unit: No. 90 Squadron (RAF), RAF Wratting Common, Cambridgeshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 90 Squadron Stirling aircraft EH996), Germany, 18 November 1943, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Rheinberg War Cemetery, Kamp Lintfort, Nordrhein-Westfal, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Albert Augustine and Jean Helena Smith, of Ceduna, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Adelaide SA
Remembered: Panel 130, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Stirling EH996 took off from RAF Wratting Common at 1710 hours on the night of 18/19th November 1943, detailed to carry out an attack on Mannheim, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. The aircraft crashed 1.5 miles north west of Fussgonheim, which is 15 kms south west of Mannheim. Seven of the crew members were killed and one became a Prisoner of War.

The crew members of EH996 were

Sergeant Dennis Reginald Bailey (1395673) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Sergeant John Stuart Selby Fleming (421038) (RNZAF) (Second Pilot)
Flying Officer John Hampton (136895) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant F Northard (RAF) (Flight Engineer) PoW
Sergeant John Wilson Richardson (1300201) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Stuart Edward Simpson (421995) (RNZAF) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant Leonard Anthony Smith (416521) (Pilot)
Pilot Officer Jack William Snook (161695) (RAFVR) (Navigator)

Sergeant Northard later reported: “the last time I saw the Captain was a few seconds before I baled out. He was seated at the controls and was not wounded.”

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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/38/338

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