Smith, Peter Tristan (No. 1290933)

Smith, Peter Tristan

Sergeant (Navigator)

No. 1290933, 61 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Killed on active service on Wednesday 21 April 1943 (aged 21)

Buried:

Berlin 1939 – 1945 War Cemetery, Berlin, Germany (Grave 2. L. 19)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

BIOGRAPHY

It is recorded in the CWGC Debt of Honour website that the Smith family lived in Bangor, Co. Down, Northern Ireland.

Peter Tristan Smith was born on 31 March 1922 in Romford, Essex and he was a son of Leonard Francis Sampson Smith and Lilian Elizabeth Smith (nee Brooker).  Leonard Francis Sampson Smith was born on 4 June 1895 and died on 8 May 1961.  Lilian Elizabeth Smith (nee Brooker) was born on 7 August 1894 and died on 5 December 1974.  Their marriage was registered in the second quarter of 1921 and they had four children including:

Peter Tristan (born 31 March 1922)

Pamela (born 6 May 1924; died 20 December 2008)

During the Second World War Sergeant Peter Tristan Smith (No. 1290933) served with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in Bomber Command and on 20 April 1943 he was one of a crew of seven aboard an Avro Lancaster Mark I aircraft (W4795) that took off at 9.27 pm from RAF Syerston in Nottinghamshire on a mission to bomb Stettin (then in Germany).  The aircraft crashed at 2.30 am on 21 April and all on board were killed.  One casualty (Sergeant Jackson) has no known grave, and the others were buried in Berlin 1939 – 1945 War Cemetery.  There is an inscription on Sergeant Peter Tristan Smith’s CWGC headstone:

INTO THY HANDS, O LORD, I COME,

EARTH’S STRUGGLE IS O’ER,

THE BATTLE IS WON.

In addition to Sergeant Peter Tristan Smith the other six crew members who died that night were:

  • Pilot Officer James Louis Rossignol (aged 21) from Florida, USA (Royal Canadian Air Force)
  • Sergeant William John Jackson (aged 23) from Tankerton, Kent
  • Sergeant Graham Fellows (aged 20) from Walton, Derbyshire
  • Flight Sergeant Thomas Charles James Grist (aged 28) from Dagenham, Essex
  • Sergeant Joseph Francis McNeill
  • Sergeant Michael Charles Burgoine (aged 20) from Eaton Hill, Norwich

Sergeant Peter Tristan Smith was 21 when he died.