F/O Rupert Frederick Smythe (40436, dob 11/6/16, Killiney) of 32 Sqn. is shot down and his aircraft lands near Lyminge.
The casualty record for P/O Smythe (AIR 81/2756) contains the following:
1A & 1B
Biggin Admin NR9 IMEDIATE SECRET NOT WT
Pass to AM (C1 Acc and P4 Cas)
To:- A.M. (C.I. Accidents), and P.4. (cas), repeated H.Q.F.C, 11 Group, 43 Group.
From:- 32 Squadron.
Received A.M.C.S. 2252hrs. 24.8.40
3 24/8. F/B.
(A) Hurricane V.6568.
(B) 32 Squadron.
(C) Over Hawkinge area at approx 1600 hours 24/8. Aircraft near Lyminge exact location unknown.
(D) 40436 F/O Smythe wounded in leg.
(E) Returning to Biggin Hill
(G) Enemy action.
(H) Cat three.
Time of Origin:- 2222hrs 24.8.40
DF B PIP
|Casualty Verification Sheet|
|Name of officer||SMYTHE Rupert Frederich|
|Rank & No.||F/O 40436|
|Date of birth||11/6/16|
|Place of birth||Killiney Co Dublin|
|Type of commission||SSC|
|Date of casualty||24/8|
|Date and reference of report|
|Name & address of wife (if any)|
|If to be informed of casualties|
|Particulars of next-of-kin (other than wife)||Father Lt Col. Rupert Ceasar Smythe G.M.G. D.S.O. J.P. Late 1st Batt R.I.F
Augher Castle, Augher, Co Tyrone
|Any other persons to be informed of casualties||Miss S. West
I of W
26 August, 1940.
I am directed to inform you that your son, Flying Officer Rupert Frederick Smythe, is suffering from a wound in the leg as a result of air operations on 24th August, 1940
As his condition is not serious, no further reports are expected but should any be received you will be informed as quickly as possible.
I am, Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
(Sgd.) R. HALL
for Director of Personal Services
Lt.Col. R.C. Smythe, C.M.G., D.S.O., J.P.,
At Elham post office the Smiths came out to watch the air battles. Suddenly there was excited shouting: "Look! there’s one going down … Yes, I can see it, look—he’s baled out!" Arthur Wootten, standing in front of his petrol station, saw a parachute blossom behind a descending Hurricane. Jumping into his Austin Ten, he raced along the lanes until he arrived on the hillside at Shuttlesfield. There he found an officer with a small sandy moustache suffering from cannon shell splinters in his shoulder and legs. Dr Hunter-Smith soon arrived with his medicine bag and, after examining the pilot, established that his wounds were rather more painful than serious. Surgery was necessary to remove all the little slivers of metal and the doctor could do no more than apply sterile dressings.
For F/O Rupert Smythe, it was the fourth time he’d been shot down over the district, but on previous occasions he had managed to reach Hawkinge. He cheerfully accepted a little hospitality at Lower Court, where Martin Constant was famed for his generosity with whisky, However, the wounded pilot made it quite clear that wasn't going to be taken back to Hawkinge: he felt much safer in the cockpit of a fighter than on the ground at the aerodrome. His benefactors were sympathetic and by nightfall he was being made comfortable at the Royal Masonic Hospital in London.
He did not return to operational flying and was awarded the D.F.C. on 30 Aug 1940. The London Gazette records:
Flying Officer Rupert Frederick Smythe (40426)
In July, 1940, this officer, whilst leading his section, broke up a formation of six Messerchmitt 109's near Folkestone, and succeeded in destroying one. Flying Officer Smythe has displayed great courage and set an excellent example to all.