42-106264       P40

 

On 19 August 1944 a P-40N-15, # 106264, assigned to 14th Air Force, 23rd Fighter Group, 75th Fighter Squadron, Kweilin, China, departed the airfield at Lingling on a reconnaissance mission between Changsha to Sintsiang. It was engaged by enemy fighters at about 0545 hrs and downed. The pilot was 2ndLt William M. Smith, # 0-692217. It was last seen by 2ndLt Robert S. Peterson, 0-692712, who reported that about 10 miles South of Sinshih, he looked back and saw a Hamp approaching Lt. Smith. The Hamp was close and fired. He saw smoke puffs from Lt. Smith’s wing, from exploding ammunition. He saw 2 Zeros ahead and dropped his belly tank and dove southwest toward mountains. The P40 was believed to have crashed near Changlokai.

 

SMITH, WILLIAM MACKAY, First Lieutenant, # 0-692217, USAAF

 

William H. Smith was born on 23 January 1924 in Pennsylvania to John Calhoun Smith (1877-1949) and Ida Beatrice (Jordan) Smith (1885-1987). Siblings included John C. Smith Jr. (1917-2005) and Helen Ida (Smith) Chern (1919-2008).

 

He enlisted in the USAAF in Pennsylvania 22 December 1943. He completed flight instruction through advanced schools and earned his commission and fighter pilot wings. He was sent overseas through India to China. On 19 August 1944 a P-40N-15, # 106264, assigned to 14th Air Force, 23rd Fighter Group, 75th Fighter Squadron, Kweilin, China, departed the airfield at Lingling on a reconnaissance mission between Changsha to Sintsiang. It was engaged by enemy fighters at about 0545 hrs and downed. The pilot was 2ndLt William M. Smith, # 0-692217. It was last seen by 2ndLt Robert S. Peterson, 0-692712, who reported that about 10 miles South of Sinshih, he looked back and saw a Hamp approaching Lt. Smith. The Hamp was close and fired. He saw smoke puffs from Lt. Smith’s wing, from exploding ammunition. He saw two Zeros ahead and dropped his belly tank and dove southwest toward mountains. The P40 was believed to have crashed near Changlokai, China. After recovery, his remains were buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia (Sec. 34, Grave 2827). He was awarded the Purple Heart.

 

His brother, John C. Smith Jr., born 18 March 1917, served in the military during WWII. He died 9 March 2005 and is buried in the Forest Hills Memorial Park, Reiffton, Berks Co., Pennsylvania.