Smyth, Wallace Robert (No. 149676)

Smyth, Wallace Robert

Pilot Officer (Navigator)

No. 149676, 57 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Killed in action on Friday 30 July 1943 (aged 21)

Buried:

Hamburg Cemetery, Hamburg, Germany (Grave 10. A. C. 7)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Holywood and District War Memorial

First Holywood Presbyterian Church

Sullivan Upper School Holywood

BIOGRAPHY

Wallace Robert Smyth was born on 15 May 1922 and he was the eldest son of Henry Percy and Maude Adelaide Smyth (nee Wallace) of Demesne Road, Holywood.  Henry Percy Smyth was a Lieutenant in the Army when he and Maude Wallace were married on 29 May 1919 in Horley Parish Church, Surrey.

Wallace Robert Smyth attended Sullivan Upper School in Holywood from 1930 until 1938.  Actively involved in the Boy Scout movement, he attended the 5th World Jamboree in Bloemendaal, Holland in 1937.  After leaving school he was employed in the Holywood office of the Belfast Corporation Gas Department.  He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in 1940 and received his training in Canada and the USA.  His death was reported in the 29 December 1943 edition of the Belfast Telegraph where his surname was spelt Smythe.  It was reported that he had a younger brother in the RAF.

Wallace Robert Smyth was one of a seven-man crew aboard an Avro Lancaster Mark III aircraft (ED616) that took off at 11.25 pm from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire on a mission to bomb Hamburg.  The aircraft was hit by flak and crashed in the Fuhlsbuttel quarter of Hamburg.

In addition to Pilot Officer Wallace Robert Smyth (No. 149676) the other six crew members who died that night were:

  • Pilot Officer Geoffrey Albert Norris Parker (aged 22) from Farnworth, Lancashire
  • Sergeant Thomas Lancaster (aged 36) from Colne, Lancashire
  • Flying Officer Gerard Mathews (aged 23) from Stockport, Cheshire
  • Sergeant Louis Edward Walters (aged 21) from Mountsorrel, Leicestershire
  • Sergeant James Clement Carpenter
  • Sergeant George Samuel Maddocks

Pilot Officer Wallace Robert Smyth (No. 149676) was 21 when he died, and he is commemorated on Holywood and District War Memorial; in First Holywood Presbyterian Church and in Sullivan Upper School.