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Smith, Michael Charles Pulsford

Date of birth:
June 29th, 1924
Date of death:
August 10th, 2003
Service number:
148169
Nationality:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)

Biography

Michael Smith joined the Shropshire Yeomanry in 1938 before transferring to the R.A.F.V.R. in July 1941. He completed his pilot training in Georgia, U.S.A. on 6th March 1942, as a Sgt Pilot. He returned to England and continued his training in Oxfords and Whitleys.
He started operational flying in Whitleys in November 1942, flying anti submarine sweeps from St Eval. After a conversoin course he was posted to 158 Squadron which was equipped with the Halifax, flying his first mission on 19th Feb 1943, as a familiarisation with another pilot and crew, to the German naval base at Wilhelmshaven. His next few missions were to Nurnberg, Munich, St Nazaire, Essen and Kiel.
Following this tour of duty he was posted as an instructor with 1663 Conversion Unit, teaching pilots to fly the Halifax and Lancaster. After several applications to be returned to operational flying were refused, he was finally granted his wish and posted to 640 Squadron at Leconfield in March 1945. His first operation with 640 Squadron flying Halifaxes was to Hemmingstedt on 7th March, followed by raids on Essen, Dortmund, Wuppertal, Bottrop and Witten on 18th March, as mentioned on his DFC bar award. The last flown raid was on 25th April to Wangerooge, 640 Squadron being wound up on 6th May 1945.
He was posted to 51 Squadron in May 1945 flying Halifaxes and Sterlings with the last flight recorded as 5th December 1945. He was discharged in March 1946.
Michael Smith lies burried on St. Mary's Church, Donnington, near Ledbury in Herefordshire.

Promotions:
Sergeant
May 10th, 1943: Pilot Officer (probation/emergency)
November 17th, 1943: Flying Officer (probation/war sub)
May 17th, 1945: Flight Lieutenant (war sub)

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Pilot Officer
Unit:
No. 158 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
October 19th, 1943
Press cutting:
“Pilot Officer Smith, who is 23, has just completed an extremely successful tour of duty. On one occasion his aircraft sustained severe damage when over a target in the Rhur states the official report. Although the engine caught fire Pilot Officer Smith maintained control and flew it safely to base. This officer has frequently obtained excellent photographs of the target area. His skill as a pilot and his powers of leadership have imbued his crew with the utmost confidence.”
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Flying Officer
Unit:
No. 640 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
May 1st, 1945
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Citation:
“This officer has set a fine example of determination and devotion to duty in operations against the enemy. He has participated in very many sorties and has invariably pressed home his attacks with great accuracy. One night in March 1945 Flying Officer Smith piloted an aircraft detailed to attack an oil refinery at Witten. When nearing the target area, the port outer engine became unserviceable. Some height was lost. Even so, Flying Officer Smith continued to the target and pressed home his attack. His determination on this occasion was characteristic of that which he has shown at all times.”

Second DFC awarded as a bar for on the ribbon of the first DFC.

Sources

  • - Second Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36135 published on the 13 August 1943
    - Third Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36215 published on the 15 October 1943
    - Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36254 published on the 16 November 1943
    - Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 37059 published on the 27 April 1945
    - Warwick & Warwick
    -