Leonard Smith was a Flight Sergeant, Air Gunner with 148 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
He was born on 12th September, 1921, son of James and Margaret Smith, husband of Ethel Annie Smith of Coventry.
He was reported missing after Air Operations in the Meditteranean War Area in Bata Record on 21st July 1944
He died on Tuesday 4th July 1944, aged 22.
A Leading Aircraftman in the R.A.F. he wrote to the Bata Record in June 1943 to say that he had completed his training for Air Crew and should pass out soon.
Leonard Smith was first employed by the Britsh Bata Shoe Company on 9th March, 1936 leaving previous employment with Tilbury Estates.He left the Bata Shoe Factory at East Tilbury to join the R.A.F. in May 1941 at the age of 19 after working there for 5 years. He worked in the Leather Factory.
He was married to Ethel Percy from Tilbury, who was a fellow Bata employee.
Between 1943 and 1945, No. 148 Squadron RAF carried out Special Duties on behalf of the Special Operations Executive. Operating first out of North Africa and later from Brindisi in S. Italy, the Squadron dropped supplies and agents to Allied forces behind enemy lines in S. Europe, the Balkans and as far up as Warsaw, Poland in Central Europe3-4 July 1944
No. 148 Squadron lost no fewer than four aircraft, all Halifaxes, on the night of 3-4.7.44: one over Budapest; the other three – including JP292, Leonard Smith’s aircraft – in the vicinity of Sombor in Yugoslavia. Here are the details
Serial No. JP292
Squadron code FS-W
Failed to Return from Poland 3-4.7.44
’…W/O Fairweather only needed 50 hours to complete his second tour of 300 hours operational flying with this squadron.’ Flights of the Forgotten p.199.
Bata Record 04.06.43
Two more pictures of Leonard Smith in uniform on left and on his wedding day on the right.
Missing Believed Killed, an account of the life of Leonard Smith.