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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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65 Squadron Crest
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

Serial: P9435

Code: YT:K

Base: RAF Hornchurch

Location: Beach, Dunkirk, France

Pilot: Plt.Off. Thomas Smart 40324 RAF Age 21. Evaded


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.

Burial details:

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.

RS 10.07.2020 - Update to include loss details.

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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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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