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Allied Fighter Superiority

Heroes Remember

Allied Fighter Superiority

Got back finally to the UK and I was posted to 401 Squadron at Beacon Hill and as a supernumerary flight lieutenant and by this time all the flying instructors were overseas, had gone overseas. The ones that had been plucked for flying instructors, had been doing that for about two, two and a half years and now they were overseas. So all kinds of supernumerary flight lieutenants and so on, on all the Canadian squadrons. Anyway it was at Beacon Hill and I joined the squadron, hell of a nice squadron, good CO and everything, but the only thing missing was the German fighters. They were all back, well, there was a few there but you’d only meet them if you were lucky enough to see one. So all my experience in that last flight over Valletta where I thought I had all this great confidence and so on, was all for nothing because I never felt scared air fighting again because the German airplanes were becoming obsolescent and they weren’t, they were making so many foolish decisions and their pilots were getting less and less flying time and, of course, hours, hundreds and hundreds of hours because some of the flying instructors, two thousand hours, and the rest of us, by this time had hundreds, of course even to get your wings, you had to have hundreds of hours. So the German Air Force was going down for nothing and we were really had superior airplanes. I flew a Spitfire 9 for the first time. That was the one Rolls Royce that had the super charger, three-speed, two-stage super charger that could take us above the German fighters a little bit faster and we could always turn inside them so the Germans just had to make tracks whenever they saw us.

Mr. Smith describes the superiority of Allied aircraft and fighter pilots as attrition decimated the German Luftwaffe.

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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