Born: 1917, Ipswich.

Died: 6th June 1943; age 25; Aircraft failed to return from a practice cross country flight.

Residence: 1, Wellesley Road, Ipswich.


Rank: Flight Sergeant/Pilot; Service Number: 646905.

Regiment: Royal Air Force, 30 Operational Training Unit.


Memorial Reference:

Panel 139.

Runnymede Memorial,




Father: Charles Smith, born November 1891, Ipswich. A Carpenter & Joiner.

Mother: Grace Evelyn Smith (nee Buckingham), born April 1891, Nacton, Suffolk.


6th June 1943

Aircraft: Wellington III; serial number: BJ801. The aircraft took-off from R.A.F. Hixon, Staffordshire, on a practice cross country flight between 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. over the North Sea. BJ801 was last heard at 11:42 a.m. when their position was given. The aircraft failed to return to base.


Eric Russell Swindells; Flight Sergeant/Pilot; age 23; R.C.A.F.

Robert Edward Gill; Sergeant/Air Bomber; age 19; R.A.F.V.R.

John Edward Plummer; Sergeant/Navigater; age 20; R.A.F.V.R.

Robert Eric Percival West; Sergeant/Wireless Operator/Air Gunner; age 21; R.A.F.V.R.

Lorne Barrie Hewer (picture); Sergeant/Air Gunner; age 20; R.C.A.F.

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