31.12.1944 No. 197 Squadron Typhoon IB RB321 OV-A Sq/Ldr. Smith DFC
Date: 31st December 1944 (Sunday)
Unit: No. 197 Squadron - 84 Group (Findimus caelum - We cleave the sky)
Type: Typhoon IB
Base: B.70 Deurne, France
Location: South West Culembourg, Netherlands
Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Allan Henderson Smith DFC. NZ/411947 RNZAF Age 23. PoW
REASON FOR LOSS:
During a patrol over Holland when he was hit by flak. The pilot managed to force land on an ice covered lake some 2 km south west of Culembourg. Quickly taken PoW - to serve the rest of the war at Stalag Moosburg - released by the allies on the 29th April 1945.
Having flown over 100 operational sorties he was awarded the DFC on the 17th November 1944:
Left: Sq/Ldr. Allan Henderson Smith
"Acting Sq/Ldr. Allan Henderson Smith of 197 Squadron: This officer has achieved considerable success during a very large number of sorties, involving attacks on a wide range of targets. On his first operational tour he did much to defeat the enemy raids on our South Coast towns. He also made many attacks on shipping in the English channel and on some of the enemy's most heavily defended harbours. More recently Squadron Leader Smith has operated in support of land operations on the continent. His exceptional devotion to duty has been an outstanding example to the pilots of his squadron".
Sadly, 21 year old, F/O. Robert Henry Jones J/85509 RCAF serving with 197 Squadron on this operation. Flying Typhoon IB PD471 OV-S, also hit by flak, he crashed in the area of Aalburg, losing his life.
Sq/Ldr. Allan Henderson Smith - born on the 12th January 1921 survived the war. Awarded a bar to his DFC. on the 14th September 1946. He passed away on the 01st June 2004 age 87, survived by his two daughters, Denise and Carol.
F/O. Robert Henry Jones. Drunen Roman Catholic Churchyard (Elshout). Grave 1. Son of Albert Henry and Emily E. Jones, of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Grave inscription reads: "Father In Thy Gracious Keeping Leave We Now Thy Servant Sleeping".
Only two Commonwealth war graves in this cemetery. The other, a 23 year old Marine, Herbert William Clay CH/X109545 of the 27th Battalion Royal Marines from Doncaster, England. Born on the 08th February 1921 - killed on the 06th March 1945, his relatives placed a private memorial to him, next to that of F/O. Robert Jones. Both as shown above.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, Moos Raaijmakers for the wonderful grave photographs, other sources as quoted below: