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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.


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515 Squadron Crest
21/22.11.1944 No. 515 Squadron Mosquito PZ344 Fl/Lt. Frederick T. L’Amie DFC

Operation: BS (Bomber Support)

Date: 21/22nd November 1944 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No. 515 Squadron

Type: Mosquito VI

Serial: PZ344

Code: 3P-?

Base: RAF Little Snoring, Norfolk.

Location: Walbeck, Germany.

Pilot: Fl/Lt. ‘Eric’ Frederick Theulis L'Amie DFC. 133267 RAFVR Age 22. Killed (1)

Nav: F/O. ‘Lucky Jack’ John William Smith DFC. 51068 RAF Age 28. Killed (2)


We are very keen to have Craig Benton contact us - he tried in December 2015 but failed to leave his email address.


REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off at 17:30 from Little Snoring. Hit by light flak and crashed near the small town of 515 , 5km WSW of Geldern and close to the German- Dutch borders. Both officers are buried in a joint grave (Joint grave 8.C.23-24). in Rheinberg War cemetery.

Above left to right: Fl/Lt. L'Amie DFC, (courtesy Valerie Stacey, QC) F/O. Smith DFC - also shown in flying gear (courtesy Mrs. Jameson (née Smith), Valerie Gordon (daughter), and Iain Gordon (grandson)

(1) Frederick L'Amie known as “Eric”, he was born in Callander, Scotland, the son of Frederick William and Mary L’Amie and brother of Neil St.Clair L’Amie .His father, Frederick, was head chemistry teacher at McLaren High School, Callender while his mother, Mary had been a teacher at Cambusnethan in Wishaw prior to her marriage. Eric and Neil were brought up in Callander, (the family moved to Edinburgh after the war when Eric’s father retired). When his brother Neil died he was buried there, with all of the family records including Eric on the gravestone.

DFC. Citation Fl/Lt. Frederick Theulis L'Amie. London Gazette: 2601.1945. Page 579:

“This officer has completed a large number of sorties during which he has inflicted much loss on the enemy. On a recent occasion he piloted an aircraft on a sortie far into enemy territory during which he shot down 2 enemy aircraft and most effectively attacked 3 more on the ground. The success achieved reflects the greatest credit on the efforts of this officer whose skill was superb.”

F/O. John William Smith DFCC. on left, with Fl/Sgt. Dockeray - also shown refuelling are an American airman with a F/O. Terry Graves (Courtesy Mrs. Jameson (nee Smith), Valerie Gordon (daughter), and Iain Gordon (grandson)The photograph was taken at Saint Dizier in France. The Mosquito in the background of this photograph is believed to be PZ217 3P-K, also from 515 Squadron, that went missing on the 6/7th November 1944, also on a bomber support mission. Flown by 30 year old, Fl/Lt Thomas Noel Cooper 68807 RAFVR from Talcahuano, Chile and his navigator, 29 year old, F/O. Kenneth Harding Bonner from Exmouth, Devon.

(2) John Smith, born on May 23rd 1916 and brought up by his mother (his father served in the First World War but was to die after his return, from the effects of being gassed and other injuries that he received), Flying Officer Smith was known as “Lucky Jack” and worked hard at school before accepting a post at a bank in North East Scotland. An excellent French speaker, he was also a great reader and an accomplished artist. He met his wife Edith at the Dundee Palais dance hall during a “Paul Jones” dance and instead of changing partners they stayed together for the rest of the evening, later marrying and having a daughter, Valerie. After joining the RAF where he excelled in fencing, he also served at Leuchars in 233 squadron as an Air Gunner prior to joining 515 squadron as a Navigator.

DFC. Citation F/O. John William Smith. London Gazette: 23.01.1945. Page 526:

“As observer this officer has participated in very many sorties. Throughout he has displayed great keenness and devotion to duty, setting a fine example. On a recent occasion, Flying Officer Smith was the observer in an aircraft detailed for a sortie far into enemy territory. During this well planned and brilliantly executed operation, 2 enemy aircraft were shot down and 3 more on the ground were most effectively attacked. By his skill and co-operation, Flying Officer Smith contributed materially to the success achieved.”

Roll of Victories, 515 Squadron, Little Snoring:

Fl/Lt. F.T. L’Amie and F/O. J.W. Smith

8.10.1944-Destroyed Messerschmitt ME109, North of Eggebek airfield
22.10.1944-Destroyed Focke-Wulf FW 190,Mechingen.
29.10.1944.Destroyed Junkers JU34.Straubing area.
29.10.1944.Destroyed 3 Messerschmitts ME109.Praque area.
29.10.1944.Damaged 2 Messerschmitts.Praque area.
(From plaque in St.Andrews Church, Little Snoring)
Both officers had their DFC’s gazetted after they were killed, the recommendations having been made earlier.

Above the original grave marker for this crew (courtesy of Mrs. Jameson (née Smith), Valerie Gordon (daughter), and Iain Gordon (grandson) and right Rheinberg War Cemetery today.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Frederick Theulis L'Amie DFC. Rheinberg War Cemetery Joint grave 8.C.23-24. Son of Frederick William and Mary L'Amie, of Blackhall, Edinburgh, Scotland.

F/O. John William Smith DFC. Rheinberg War Cemetery Joint grave 8.C.23-24. Son of John and Margaret Cormack Smith; husband of Edith Lilian Smith (née Milne), of Montrose, Angus. Father to Valerie Milne Smith (now Gordon).

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of this crew. Special thanks to Mrs Edith Jameson (nee Smith), Valerie Gordon (daughter), and Iain Gordon (grandson of F/O Smith) for the exceptional photo’s. Special thanks to Wallace Nicoll. Also Valerie Stacey, Q.C., for the photograph of Flight Lieutenant L’Amie and family information. Malcolm Wilson for citation information. Simon Knott (Plaque information) We are also grateful to Tom Cushing from Little Snoring, Norfolk, who has researched 515 Squadron and we hope to have further information for future articles.

We are also trying to identify the people shown in this photo and also where it was taken perhaps. Are you able to recognise any of them?

KTY 23.07.2015 Map added

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 18 June 2016, 21:49

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