28.05.1940 65 Squadron Spitfire Ia P9435 YT:K Plt.Off. Smart
Operation: Operation Dynamo (patrol Calais-Dunkerque)
Date: 28th May 1940 (Tuesday)
Unit: 65 Squadron
Type: Spitfire IA
Base: RAF Hornchurch
Location: Beach, Dunkirk, France
Pilot: Plt.Off. Thomas Smart 40324 RAF Age 21. Evaded
REASON FOR LOSS:
Forced-landed on beach outside Dunkirk glycol tank damaged by return fire from Do17s of III./KG77 10.00 hrs. Plt.Off. Smart was unhurt. Aircraft was set on fire by the pilot and he escaped by sea back to England on the same day.
On the 12th April 1943 at 15:00 hrs Sqn.Ldr Smart (Spitfire Vb, EP716, X:T), the Commanding Officer of 229 Sqn, lead four Spitfire Bombers from his Sqn and four from 249 Sqn and took off from Malta covered by four fighter from each unit, and attacked Comiso airfield. On their return from the sortie Sqn.Ldr. Smart’s Spitfire suffered an engine failure 15 to 20 miles south of Pozzallo at 15:55 hrs. He bailed out over the sea but drowned before he could be rescued.
Award of DFC, Gazetted 4th February 1941. Citation: Acting Flight Lieutenant Thomas SMART (40324), 65 Squadron. This officer has performed valuable work over a long period of intensive air operations including the Dunkirk evacuation and the mass attacks on this country. He has destroyed at least six enemy aircraft.
Acting Sqn Ldr. was awarded his Bar to DFC with effect from 11th April 1943 (since deceased), Gazetted 18th September 1945.
Sqn.Ldr. Thomas Smart DFC and Bar. Malta Memorial Panel 6. Column 1. From Broughton-in-Furness, Cumbria, England. Next of kin details not available - are you able to assist?
Researched Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered - May 2017. With thanks to John Ferros for photo of the pilot, others the collection of Michel Beckers.