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Shooting down a Macchi

Heroes Remember

Shooting down a Macchi

And I saw, I thought it was a 109, and I wasn’t quite sure, actually it was a Macchi because they looked very much the same. They had the same engine, same shape, same size, wings the same. Anyway, so I just turned in behind this Macchi, just off to the right or down below me a little bit and started to fire at him and hit him very quickly and he started, I took I think two bursts at him. I hit him and he was waffling and seeing smoke but he didn’t catch fire so I took another couple of seconds at him and then he started down streaming black and white smoke and he, as he went down, he happened to be really right over Valletta, a big town there, and he was spiralling down all the time and as he got closer to the water, he came just to the left of Fort Saint Elmo in Valletta and the little gap there where you get out of the harbor is really in two parts - a part where you got one part, he was heading right for that and I could see he must have been firing his guns or they were firing by themselves or something because you could see his own cannon shells as he was turning hitting the water corresponding circles to him. Then he just hit the water with a terrific smash, of course, and right in the narrow part of the entrance into and out of that harbor.

Mr. Smith describes shooting down an Italian Macchi and watching its death dive into the harbour at Valletta, Malta.

Roderick Smith

Roderick Smith was born in Regina, Saskatchewan in March, 1922. He was the second of four children. His father, who had served in the First World War, was a land surveyor. Mr. Smith had been fascinated by propaganda leading up to the Second World War, so he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1940 following the completion of his Senior Matriculation. After pilot training in Canada, he was selected for overseas flying duty. His first tour of duty was on Malta and Mr. Smith’s impressive list of enemy aircraft destroyed began here. He was also shot down himself while on this tour. After returning to England, he joined 401 Squadron piloting new generation Spitfire 9's. Mr. Smith was in action on D-Day, and later did strafing runs in German held France. Later at Nijmegen, he destroyed several more enemy aircraft, including the shared kill of a prototypical ME-262 jet fighter. Mr. Smith retired with the rank of Flight-Lieutenant, DFC and Bar, with thirteen destroys, 1 shared and ½ possible to his credit.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Roderick Smith
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
401 Squadron
Flight Lieutenant

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