WIRELESS OPERATOR / AIR GUNNERS Part: IV
(Last updated: 04.04.12 - William Milligan)
Here's the fourth list of WWII 206 Squadron WOp/AG's, click their photograph for their story...
Douglas Smith by Kara Whiteman (Sep 2010)
Joe Peet by Sue Brown (Nov 2010)
William Milligan by Christine Boyd (Feb 2012)
Joined 206: 25/02/1940
Flew with Ken: 0 times
In August 2010 Kara Whiteman left a message on the Guest Book about her great uncle Douglas Smith who had flown with 206 Squadron during WWII as a Wireless Operator / Air Gunner.
There is a very close link to Pilot John Bendix, his story can be found in the 'Pilots: Part II' section of the 'Memoirs'.
Douglas Harry Smith
Douglas was born in Great Warley, Brentwood in Essex. His father was Harry Smith and his mother was Annie-May (nee Luckett). He never knew his father as Harry died on the 14th November 1920. Douglas was the youngest of five, he had 2 brothers, Cyril (RAF) and William (Army) and 2 sisters, Susie and Joan.
Kara supplied Douglas' Service Record which details the following:
21/08/1939 - Enlisted
02/09/1939 - Joined RAFVR at Coventry
27/10/1939 - Moved to Waddington
08/01/1940 - Continued training at HQ RC Pool, 16 OTU, 10 TU
21/07/1940 - Admitted to Westminster Hospital for a week
02/11/1940 - Promoted to Temporary Sergeant
25/02/1941 - Joined 206 Squadron
01/07/1941 - Killed in Action
Douglas Smith was part of John Bendix crew on a fateful flight on the 1st July 1941. They were based at St Eval and had taken off at 13:30 on a cross over patrol in Hudson AE609 'U'. As they failed to return they were classified as missing in action. The crew members were as follows:
P/O John Bendix
P/O Ian Maxwell Strachan (aged 23)
Sgt Douglas Harry Smith (aged 20)
Sgt John Fulford Smith
Since the war ended it has come to light that Douglas and the crew were shot down by a German Luftwaffe Pilot, Major Wilhelm Schmitter.
Official 206 Squadron Archived Record
Pilot P/O John Bendix St Eval Dedication Book
German Luftwaffe Fighter Pilot
Douglas Smith's RAF Scroll
As Ken (Grandad) joined the Squadron on 10.08.1941 he missed Douglas by just over a month.
Rank: Warrant Officer
Joined 206: 01/10/1941
Flew with Ken: 0 times
In November 2010 Sue Brown left a message on the Guest Book about her father Joe Peet who had flown with 206 Squadron during WWII. Sue supplied the following information and photographs.
Joe signed up to the RAF voluntary reserve and served from the 19th October 1940 when he was just 19, through to the 14th March 1946. During this time he served with 206 Squadron and was a prisoner of war in Germany after surviving the third 1,000 bomber raid over Bremen in June 1942.
November 1940 (Aged 20)
RAF Service and Release certificate
Prior to joining 206 Squadron, Joe like many others came through the O.T.U at Silloth. Joe is one of 4 people we know on this Silloth photograph that was provided by Ted Nelson whose story is in 'Wireless Ops: Part III', it also contains Richard Thomas whose story is in 'Wireless Ops: Part I'.
Top Row - Ted Nelson - 1st on left
Middle Row - Joe Peet - 1st on left
Bottom Row - Brian Spencer - 4th on left, Richard Thomas - 1st on right
Joe and Doris' Wedding Day
27th September 1941
Third 1,000 Bomber Raid - 25th June 1942
Joe was in 206 Squadron and part of Hudson crew when the Third 1,000 Bomber Raid over Bremen took place. They are likely to have been attacked as only two of the crew survived, Joe was one of those and survived by parachuting out of the plane over Germany. The details of that operation are as follows:
Lockheed Hudson AM606 'M' took off at 23:15 with 5 crew:
Sgt K.D Wright - Pilot
P/O D.T.W Phillips
Sgt R.W Payze
Sgt J.H Peet (survived as a POW)
Sgt J.W Speed (survived as a POW)
There is a close link to my Grandad Ken Bass as he was one of twelve Hudson pilots on that raid, Joe's crew are listed as the second crew within the 206 Squadron archive with Ken's crew listed as the third crew, just underneath.
Full details of the raid can be found within the 'F/Lt Ken Bass' section within the '1942' sub section.
206 Squadron Archive - 25th June 1942
Missing in Action - 25th June 1942
Letter - 8th July 1942
Nottingham Evening Post
Joe's wife was sent the following telegram which was followed up by an official letter confirming that he was alive but wounded and had been captured by the Germans on the 26th June which was the day after the Bremen raid. Joe was a POW from the 26th June 1942 to 8th May 1945.
Prisoner of War
Telegram - 30th July 1942
Joe was a member of the Caterpillar Club which was a club for those whose lives had been saved by a parachute.
Caterpillar Club Member
Prior to joining the RAF, Joe had a job at The Stag Cabinet Furniture Company in Nottingham. He returned there after being de-mobbed and worked there until he retired.
Joe's marriage to Doris ended in 1948 and he later remarried to Elizabeth. Sadly she died in 1963 and then Joe married Mary in 1964, they had 2 children, David and Sue.
Sadly Joe developed cancer and died aged 65 on the 19th December 1985, Sue was just 16 years old when he passed away.
Joe in the late 60's Joe and Sue in 1985