Jerrold Alpine "Jerry" Smith


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Air Force Casualties

Ottawa, Sept. 17, 1942 - (CP) - The Royal Canadian Air Force today issued its 372nd casualty list of the war, containing the names of nine men killed on active service overseas, three missing arid believed killed during overseas air operations, and ten missing after overseas air operations.
The list of casualties includes - with next of kin:

SMITH, Jerrold Alpine, Pilot Officer, missing after air operations overseas. D. A. Smith (father), 3052 18th Avenue, Regina.


Jerrold Alpine Smith born 26 March 1921, In Regina, Sask.
Son of Donald and Blanche Smith of 3052 18th Ave. Regina.
Older brother of Rod Smith.
Joined the RCAF, 22 October 1940 &
Sent immediatly to No.1 MD,Toronto.
To RCAF Station Dartmouth 13 November 1940.
Posted to 1 ITS, Toronto, 13 January 1941.
Trained at:
1 ITS, Toronto, 16 January to 20 February 1941,
(course #16, he graduated 14th out of a class of 112 [1]).
10 EFTS, Mount Hope, 21 February to 22 April 1941,
(course #21, he graduated 4th in a class of 36 [2])
9 SFTS, Summerside, 4 May to 15 July 1941,
(course #27, he graduated 4th in a class of 53 [3])
Winged 14 July and Commissioned a P/O.
To the UK.
At No.57 OTU Hawarden, 5 September to 21 October 1941.
Posted to:
152 Squadron on 21 October 1941 to 31 April 1942.
Aboard the USS Wasp in transit to Malta.
With 601 Squadron 20 May to 30 June 1942, Luqa.
With 126 Squadron 1 July to 10 August 1942, Luqa.
MIA 10 August 1942.

[1] "Excellent pilot material. Very smart, keen young airman.
Considerably above average, with good education, and ability
to accept responsibility. Very cool, serious and dependable.
Recommend for commission.
[2] "Average - need practice on aerobatics and instruments."
[3] "Flying progress average. Good reliable pilot and smooth
on controls."
"Above average student, very keen, quick to grasp
knowledge. Conduct and deportment good."
"Conscientious worker with good average ability."


Jerry Smith & David McCampbell
May 9th 1942, Operation Bowery - Jerry Smith and Lt.-Cmdr. David McCampbell* exchange caps after Jerry managed the world's first Spitfire landing on an aircraft carrier - without a tail-hook no less! Immediately after taking off from the USS Wasp in Spitfire BR126, X-3, the auxiliary tank on Jerry's Spit failed to draw and he was forced to turn back. He was told to ditch in the water but instead asked if he could try and save the plane (and his ass from the cold water no doubt) and land on the flight deck - the Spit stopped just feet from the end of the ship. Malta would have to wait a bit for Jerry's arrival.

The Incident in McCampbell's words

"Smith had lost his 90-gallon belly tank on take off. There was, therefore no way that he was going to have enough fuel to reach Malta - nor could he make it back to Gibraltar. He had two choices - climbing up & bailing out & being picked up by a destroyer, or going for a landing back aboard ship with no tailhook to check him.
Fortunately, I had given all the Spitfire pilots a briefing before take off to acquaint them with the operations aboard ship. One of the things I told them was that during landing operations if anyone saw me jump into the air alongside my platform he would know the plane coming in to land was in trouble and it was the signal for the pilot to go round again and make a new approach.

Jerry Smith gets Navy Wings
Smith feels his new Navy Wings given to him by the officers of the Wasp for a job well done

When Pilot Officer Smith decided to make his attempt at a landing without the tailhook, all our planes were in the air so we could give him the whole length of the flight deck.
On the first approach he was much too high and too fast and when I found I couldn't bring him down or slow him down enough for a landing, I simply jumped into the net.
He got the news real fast and went round for a second approach.
As I got him to slow down and make his approach a little lower, I decided to give him the 'cut' signal.
He landed safely with his wheels just 6 feet short of the forward part of the flight deck. That night, in the Wardroom, we presented him with a pair of Navy wings."

* Jerry was unofficially awarded a set of US Navy wings for this feet by the deck landing officer, David McCampbell. McCampbell went on to win the Medal of Honor as the US Navy's top scoring fighter pilot. He is also credited with 9 kills in one mission on 24 October 1944 - a US record.


Air Force Casualties

Ottawa, April 14, 1943 - (CP) – In it’s 549th casualty list of the war, containing 19 names, the RCAF tonight named three men as killed on active service overseas and 10 missing on active service after overseas air operations. Following is the latest list with next of kin:
FERNIE, Campbell William James, F/L, previously reported missing on active service overseas, now, for official purposes, presumed dead. Mrs. M. C. Fernie (mother), Vancouver.
SMITH, Jerrold Alpine, P/O, previously reported missing on active service overseas, now, for official purposes, presumed dead. D. A. Smith (father), Regina.

Jerry & Rod

Jerry & Rod Smith


Victories Include :

15 June 1942

10 July 1942
12 July 1942
18 July 1942
24 July 1942
26 July 1942
28 July 1942
10 Aug 1942
1 Ju88
1 Ju87
1 Ju88
1 Me109
1 Ju88
1 Me109
1/2 Ju88
1 Ju88
1 Ju88
1/5 Ju88
1 Ju88
Possible [a]
S. Pantelleria
over convoy
30 m N. Malta

175 "Z"

BP952 "F"
BR242 "A"
BR176 "Q"
BR242 "A"
BP952 "F"
BR242 "F"
BR336 "P"

4.2 - 3.2 / 1.5 / 4

[a] On 10 August 1942 he took off to investigate some minesweepers which came under attack. He was last seen chasing a Ju88 towards Sicily in BR366 'P'. An aircraft of 9/KG 77, 3Z+ET, flown by Fw Helmut Streubel, was lost on this date and in the absence of any claims for a Ju88 by any other unit, it's possible that he shot this down. If so, it would seem likely that this combat cost Jerry his life (it had been his habit to press his attacks and get in quite close, once being hit by a rear gunner).
Rod searched for his brother for hours but found no sign of man or machine.
Jerry's name is commemorated on the Malta Memorial.




Thanks to Wendy Noble (Rod and Jerry's Sister) for the pix & infos !

Christopher Shores, with Wendy's help, has put out a book called "The Spitfire Smiths". It's basically Rod's writings (log books, diary, a book that he never finished) with Chris doing his thing & putting it all together and making a great book out of it. Highly recommended.

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