07.08.1952 No. 1 Squadron Meteor FB WE947 P/O. Peter A. Smith
Date: 07th August 1952 (Thursday)
Unit: No. 1 Squadron
Type: Meteor F8
Code: Not known
Base: RAF Tangemere
Location: South of Golf Course, Rowlands Castle, Horndean
Pilot: P/O. Peter Ashman Smith 3507711 RAF Age 20. Killed
A memorial is currently being planned for losses in this area of aircrew, from WWII and since, both Allied and Axis forces. Contact us for further information as the organisers, led by Robert Godwin, are trying to raise funds to finance this.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Fl/Lt. Walter James Sanderson, Flying Control Officer said the pilot asked him for control let-down. At the time he was flying at about 20,000 feet. There was cloud down to about 2,000 feet at the Station. He gave the pilot the course to fly to RAF Tangmere and he acknowledged it.
About a minute later he gave P/O. Smith a corrected course. Shortly afterwards the pilot got through again to say he was breaking off the exercise. "I asked him why and he said that his compass was behaving erratically".
The aircraft struck the ground in a pancake fashion - undercarriage was retracted at point of impact. The aircraft had struck the ground in a slightly nose down attitude, the inquest heard that from the position of surrounding trees it was obvious that he had descended quite sharply before impact.
The aircraft did catch fire due to the fuel tanks exploding at the time of the crash, despite reports a witness stated he thought that he saw both engines on fire during its descent.
P/O. Peter Ashman Smith. Tangemere Churchyard (St. Andrew) Grave 526. Only son of Mr. and Mrs. Huso Ashman Smith, of The Filberts, Edington. Wilts, and late of Purley, Surrey, England. Born on the 08th February at Norbury, England. Received his wings on the 08th August after training at No. 7 FTS RAF Cottesmore, England.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Robert Godwin and sources as quoted below: