Donald Taylor SMITH



SMITH, Donald Taylor




Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve/ Royal Canadian Air Force


Flying Lieutenant

Service No.:

102564 (RAFVR) & C/46810 (RCAF)

Date of Birth:

August 2, 1909

SMITH, F/O Donald Taylor (Service #: 102564) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.226 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 18 September 1942. Born 2 August 1909 in Port Colbourne, Ontario; educated in St. Catharines, Ontario, but eventually gave his home as Oakville, Ontario. Employed as a clerk by Northern Electric, Toronto, 1929-32, by Toronto Daily Star as journalist, 1932-34, Associated Publishing House, Shanghai, China, 1934-37 (self employed), and by Stone and Cox Publishers, London, January 1938 to enlistment. Enlisted as 1379861, Aircraftman 2nd Class (Aircraft Hand Pilot), 2 October 1940; reclassified as Leading Aircraftman and remustered under training as Pilot, 30 November 1940; commissioned 22 June 1941; promoted Flying Officer. 22 June 1942; promoted Flight Lieutenant, 28 August 1943. He summarized his postings as follows: No.4 ITW, Paighton, Devonshire, October 1940 to December 1940; EFTS at Sywell, January to March 1941; No.32 SFTS, Moose Jaw, March to June 1941; No.17 OTU, Upwood, July to October 1941; No.226 Squadron, November 1941 to April 1943; to No.34 OTU, Pennfield Ridge, June 1943. Transferred to RCAF (C46810), 10 July 1944, while on the staff of No.6 OTU. To No.4 Release Centre, 1 October 1945; released 18 October 1945. AFRO 1653/42 dated 16 October 1942 (reporting his DFC) identified him as a Canadian in the RAF. Air Ministry Bulletin 8087 refers and publishes the following citation with only minor differences.

This officer was the pilot of an aircraft detailed to lay a smoke screen along an area at Dieppe during the combined operations. In the face of intense opposition from the ground defences, Flying Officer Smith began his release run. When half way over the target a shell shattered the windscreen, wounding him in the face and a piece of perspex became imbedded in his right eye. Despite this he bravely pressed on and completed his task successfully. On the return flight Flying Officer Smith's left eye also became affected by powdered perspex causing him great discomfort but he eventually flew his aircraft back to this country and made a safe landing. Throughout this officer displayed the highest qualities of courage and resolution.

NOTE: In a letter dated 19 February 1944 to the Commanding Officer, No.34 OTU, he wrote, in part:

I was in Europe at the outbreak of war and upon reaching England offered my services to the RCAF through the offices of Canada House. I was informed that in view of my age and conditions then existing my chances of becoming eligible for flying crew were negligible. I then approached the RAF and finally in October 1940 was accepted for pilot's training in the RAFVR.

SOURCE: Air Force Association of Canada Website.

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