Another of the Few, Flight Lieutenant Ronald Henry Smyth, DFC, AE, died at his home on Thursday 26 October, aged 97.
A member of the Battle of Britain Fighter Association (BBFA), Flt Lt Smyth was also well known to the RAFA and Aircrew Associations near to his home near Shrewsbury. He also attended the BBFA tree planting at the National Arboretum in 2014, where this photograph was taken.
Flt Lt Smyth joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in May 1939, and after training at No 3 FTS South Cerney he converted to Blenheims at No 5 OTU, Aston Down. He joined No 25 Squadron at Martlesham Heath on 19 August and two days later was transferred to No 111 Squadron at Debden. After converting to Hurricanes he rejoined No 111 Squadron, then at Drem, on 19 September.
Flt Lt Smyth went to No 249 Squadron at North Weald on October 2 and then to No 615 Squadron on November 19 1940. He attended an instructors’ course in 1941 and was commissioned in August of that year.
He was posted to No.1 Glider Training Squadron to train instructors and Army pilots to fly Hotspur gliders, and later also qualified for his 2nd Class Air Navigator’s license. He commanded the Photo Reconnaissance Unit in Gibraltar from 9 March to 12 September 1944 and was awarded the DFC in July 1945. He was released from the RAF in January 1946 as a Flight Lieutenant.