Sydney Stuart Smith shot down 20/12/1943March 27 2007 at 11:17 AM
|Kevin Webster (no login)|
from IP address 188.8.131.52
I'm trying to find some information on behalf of my wifes grandmother.
She would like to find out what happened to her sweetheart and if possible trace any members of his family.
His name was:-
Sergeant Sydney Stuart Smith of the RCAF service number R/108246
Engineer on a Halifax from RAF Scampton,Lincolnshire
He was lost in action on the 20/12/1943 .
Any help or advice would be much appreciated.
Sidney Stuart SMITH
|March 27 2007, 12:02 PM |
I have found some data for you on Sidney SMITH.
He was a flight engineer on Halifax LK686 which launched from RCAF base Croft, Yorkshire on 20 Dec 1943.
He was from Lachine, Quebec and his father/mother were Arthur G.
and Veronika F.
His Halifax did not return from the raid to Frankfurt. All his crew of 7 men were reported as missing.
2 of the crew were washed up on the Dutch coast after they were posted missing so it is very logical to assume that their Halifax was shot down in the North Sea by the formidable German night fighter force based in Holland.
The names of the recovered crew were Walter Marshall (navigator) and Alfred Fischer (bombaimer) and they are buried in Holland.
The rest of the crew are were never found and are listed on the Runnymede memorial.
Hopefully the experts that are regulars here will provide some other info for you Please check back for other data.
Cheers, Karl Kj.
Sydney S Smith
|March 27 2007, 12:05 PM |
Sydney Smith was serving with No. 434 (RCAF) Squadron based at RAF Croft. They took of at 16.41hrs on Operations to Frankfurt but crashed in the sea off the coast of Holland. Two bodies were later recovered but the others are commemorated on the Runneymede Memorial. Let me know if you want details of the rest of the crew who were all Canadians
|John A. Neal|
434 "Bluenose" Squadron
|March 27 2007, 5:34 PM |
I was on the Croft bomber Command station on December 20th of 1943 when Sydney Smith of #434 Squadron went missing. My Pilot, S/Sgt Chester McClure was the Second Dickie pilot with the other plane lost that night, piloted by Sgt Austin.
Thank you for listing the other crew members with Chester that night, and fortunately they all survived to become POW's. Chester later escaped and became an Evader.
Re: 434 "Bluenose" Squadron
|March 27 2007, 5:47 PM |
Further to my previous
The others on board were
Walter Robert Ferrier (Pilot)from Montreal
Alfred Austin Fischer (Bomb Aimer) from North Bay, Ontario
Walter Farqhuar Marshall (Nav) from Vancouver
Malcolm Stout Taylor (W.Op) from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Edward Stanley Pridham (MUG) from Stayner, Ontario (a check on Canada 411 brings up only one Pridham in Stayner and his name is also Edward - might be worth a call or letter)
John David Pilkey (R/G) from Shanty Bay, Ontario
434 squadron - crew 54 - Ferrier
|October 21 2013, 9:55 PM |
Eddie - my name is Donald Edward Johnson - Sgt Edward Stanley Pridham - lost with crew 54 dec 20th 1943- was my uncle. My cousin Edward Pridham lives in Stayner and we would love additional info re the families of the other crew members lost that night - if you have anything - crew photos, articles - contacts with other crew member families we would appreciate anything that can be sent to us
|April 3 2007, 1:13 AM |
I also have a picture of "Guy" Austin when he was a Flying Control Officer. Here is the caption and fellows in picture.
PL 22318 / UK 6258
22 Nov. 1943
S/Ldr Guy Austin Crew 19
Crew 51, Failed To Return from mission to Berlin on 20/21 Jan. 1944
"A nightmare-like trip to Mannheim on the night of November 18-19 ended happily when F/O Dennis Brest, skipper of one of the Halifaxes of the RCAF Bomber Groups Bluenose squadron, returned safely to base. In the above picture the pilot, (standing left) whose home is at 835 Pine St., San Francisco, Calif. discussed the trip with S/Ldr Guy Austin, flying control officer at the station (wearing hat). The aircraft was coned in searchlights over the target and attacked from 50 yards range by a FW190. Blinded by the lights, the mid upper, P/O Michael Gnuis (correct) second from left, opened fire a split-second after the fighter but was unable to observe results. Cannon and machine gun bullets ripped through the rear turret in which Sgt Harry Hill, the tail gunner, (center) was seated, completely demolishing it but miraculously leaving Sgt Hill untouched. At the same time enemy flak blasted the bomber from below, knocking out one engine and rendering the starboard elevator useless. The flight engineer, Sgt. Jack Morgan, 533 East Fifth St. N., Vancouver, B.C. (pictured at right) assisted the pilot in getting the badly battered aircraft back to base where a safe landing was made. S/Ldr Austin resides at 2704 Montcalm Crescent, Calgary, Alberta. While P/O Gnuis, formerly lived at Regina but was employed with the C.P.R. at White River, Ont. before enlisting. Sgt. Hill is an Irish lad serving in the RAF. It was the crews second trip."
RCAF 454 Squdron - Crew 54 - Ferrier -
|October 21 2013, 9:46 PM |
Mr Neal - You posted info on 57 Rescue web page in 2007 re crew 54 - I have just come across it - If you get this message would you please contact me
Nephew of Sgt Edward Stanley Pridham
crew 54 - Ferrier
Sidney Stuart Smith
|March 29 2007, 8:45 PM |
Thank you everybody for the information.
We have learnt alot about him that we didn't know.
Would the crew & the aircraft have been the same or did they change with every mission?
What we would really like is to try and find a photograph of him. Can anyone point us in the right direction to try and find one
Re: Sidney Stuart Smith
|March 29 2007, 11:24 PM |
The crew was usually the same but could often vary if somebody was sick, on a course, leave etc. With aircraft it was pretty similar. When they first went onto a Squadron a crew could be allocated any aircraft but after a while may get one they called their own but servicing, damage etc may result in a different aircraft being alloted.As for photos, these may be held in the files of the Canadian Archives in Ottawa but it is possible that families of other crew members may be able to assist
|April 1 2007, 5:45 PM |
I have a photo to accompany this caption, if you send me an email at email@example.com I will send photo (original scan is 5mb) Also have plenty of photo's from National Archives Canada on 434 squadron will browse my files to see what else I have.
Three members of the RCAF Bomber Groups Bluenose squadron just back from attacking Mannheim await their turn to tell the squadron intelligence officers about fighting off an enemy night fighter. W/O Walter Wallie Ferrier, 5540 queen Mary Road, Montréal (Left) was skipper of the Halifax crew, which was approaching target when Sgt. Ed. S. Pridham (center) of Stayner, Ont., the midupper, and F/Sgt. Jack D. Pilkey of Shanty Bay, Ont. (near Barrie), rear gunner, saw the fighter creeping up. He was waiting to see if we noticed him. Said Sgt. Pridham who was making his first trip. The gunners opened fire at 700-yard range and succeeding in driving the enemy off before he could launch an attack.
Crew 54, Failed To Return from Frankfurt 20/21 Dec. 1943
22 Nov. 1943 Courtesy CFJIC - PL 22310 / UK 6250
Sydney Stuart Smith RCAF
|October 22 2013, 5:50 AM |
Offer to attempt to make a connection
|April 2 2007, 2:11 AM |
So happens Shanty Bay is just down the road from me so to speak. If it would be of any assistance I could try to contact some of the Pilkey (J.D. Pilkey listed as Rear Gunner) relatives who may still reside in the area. There are only a few listed and it's not a common surname so there's a chance to make a connection. You never know what might surface in family albums. I know I'd be calling out of the blue but let me know if I can help and I'll make a few local calls at an opportune time.
I had reason to contact the son of my Dad's rear gunner and after I introduced myself we had a really nice conversation and shared correspondence exchanging stories, pictures, etc. It was interesting to hear him tell me his Dad's RCAF uniform is on display in a local museum up in Northern Ontario. The moths ate my Dad's blue serge forty years ago and had a dessert of his leather flying helmet ...
434 Squadron - crew 54 lost dec 20 1943
|October 21 2013, 10:05 PM |
Mr Fulford :
I came across your communication re John David Pilkey (R/G) from Shanty Bay, Ontario and that you would try to look up his family -- I know this is a long time later but did you manage to track the family down - My uncle Sgt Edward Stanley Pridham was killed that night on the plane with Mr Pilkey --
Edward came from Stayner Ontario ( sort of down the road from Shanty Bay) and my family info is that he and John were fast friends and indeed when it came to assignments John and ed decided they wanted to crew together - unfortunately other then his name we knew little about him so would love to have to meet members of his family
|April 8 2017, 12:11 AM |
my grandmother was one of john pilkey he still has two sisters alive
reference 434 squadron - crew 54 - Ferrier -
|October 21 2013, 9:36 PM |
I have just come across your e mail asking for details about Sergeant Sydney Stuart Smith of the RCAF service number R/108246
My uncle Sgt Edward Stanley Pridham was a crew member on that flight and I have been looking for information about the other crew member for some time.
I did a fair bit of research and suggest that the 434 squadron web site is a good start as the mission records etc are available there.
My family never knew what happened to Edward other then he was reported missing in action. Indeed the family only knew name of one other flight member and believed he was killed in a Lancaster -until we were able to search the 434 squadron webside and to get his service records from Ottawa.
I strongly suggest you ask the government for the service records - they contain much info including photos and post war family information about him
I did a lot of research into the mission to try and determine what happened on that flight -- info is relayed in my quick synopsis about Sgt Edward Stanley Pridham - google search his name
In a quick synopsis - I could find no record of German air force night fighter activity that might have resulted in the planes loss. It is my strong belief that the Halifax was attacking at the limit of its range and that the plane went down due to running out of fuel - either due to some flack damage to the tanks or due to headwinds. The planes return was behind schedule and was due to land in England when it just crossed the Holland land mass and was over the north sea. A message giving location they were going to ditch at was received by air force command however no effort was made that I could tell to save the crew - water temperature would have been in high 30's to mid 40's F and survival would have been at best measured in minutes once emersion took place.
I know the 434 squadron website manager would love to have information about Sgt Smith added to the site - Alan is well deserving of much credit in putting it together to honour his uncle and the rest of the brave men who made up this squadron -
I would love to have contact with Mr Smiths Family - and family from the other crew members - these brave young men deserve to be remembered -
Nephew of Sgt Edward Stanley Johnson
RCAF 434 Squadron - Crew 54 - Pilot Walter Ferrier, Sgt A.G. Edward Pridham,
I am seeking any information or photo's for any members of crew 54 Lost Dec 20, 1943 (members F/O Malcolm Stout Taylor (from Sault Ste Marie Ont), F/O Alfred Austin Fischer (from North Bay Ont), P/O Walter Robert Ferrier ( from Montreal Que), W/O2 John David Pilkey( from Shanty Bay Ont), Sgt Sydney Stuart Smith ( from Lachine PQ), Sgt Edward Stanley Pridham (from Stayner Ont) ------ Would like contact from any family members of the crew ---- pls contact Don Johnson Nephew of Sgt Edward Stanley Pridham at firstname.lastname@example.org