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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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1 Squadron Crest
07.08.1952 No. 1 Squadron Meteor FB WE947 P/O. Peter A. Smith

Operation: Training

Date: 07th August 1952 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 1 Squadron

Type: Meteor F8

Serial: WE947

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.


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The aircraft struck the ground in a pancake fashion - undercarriage was retracted at point of impact.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.

Burial details:

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:


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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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