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Jack Menzies Smith

Portrait, Jack Menzies Smith. (Courtesy of the Air Force Museum, Christchurch, where original is held) - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait, Jack Menzies Smith. (Courtesy of the Air Force Museum, Christchurch, where original is hel …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Jack Menzies AWMM
  • Surname
    Smith AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    • NZ403040 AWMM
    • WWII 403040 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    16 March 1917 AWMM DargavilleNorthland AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Pre 1 September 1940 AWMM Tauranga, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    • WW2 Wife: Mrs E. M. Smith, 43 Dorset Street, Westmere, Auckland AWMM
    • WW2 Parents: Mr & Mrs S. Smith of Te Awamutu AWMM
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM) AWMM
      Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM) awarded in June 1942. AWMM
    • 1939-1945 Star AWMM
      The Distinguished Flying Medal has been awarded [to] Flight-Sergeant Jack Menzies Smith, of Te Awamutu. Flight-Sergeant Smith was the rear-gunner of a Stirling bomber which took part in a daylight attack on Brest in December, 1941. Two enemy machines attacked the Stirling while it was approaching the target but Sergeant Smith shot down one. Two fighters attacked his aircraft during a night operation in April, 1942, one being claimed as a probable. Flight-Sergeant Smith has always set a fine example and maintained a high standard of gunnery. [Source: taken from an article entitled 'Air Awards For New Zealanders Announced In London: Attack On Brest', NZEF Times, 13 July 1942, vol. 2, no. 55, p. 3] AWMM
    • Air Crew Europe Star AWMM
    • War Medal 1939-1945 AWMM
    • New Zealand War Service Medal AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    • Height, Unknown Period AWMM
      5 feet 7 inches AWMM
    • Killed in Action, Cause of Death AWMM

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Jack Menzies Smith was the third child of seven born to Shepherd and Ruby Jean Isabelle Smith (nee Menzies), of Te Awamutu. His siblings, from eldest to youngest, were as follows: Archie Menzies Smith, James ('Jim') Menzies Smith, Estelle Haidee Menzies Smith, Nancy May Menzies Smith, June Isabelle Menzies Smith, and Heather Jewel Menzies Smith.

    He married Edna Gilder in July, 1942, at Long Stanton, Cambridge, England.

    He was a keen sportsman and was involved in a range of different sports such as hunting, rowing, swimming and tennis.

    Initially posted to the No. 2 Wireless School in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, as part of the Empire Air Training Scheme.

    Posted to No. 7 (RAF) Squadron, at Oakington, Cambridgeshire, England.

    Was shot down during a bombing raid over Duisberg, Germany [see Martyn 1998 p. 245].

    His brother James ('Jim') Menzies Smith (NZ404957), also served in the Air Force during the war. Jim's ashes were interred next to Jack's headstone.

    Throughout his wartime service he wrote a number of articles which appeared in both New Zealand and overseas newspapers.

    The Auckland Museum Library holds further information on Jack Menzies Smith and his brother James ('Jim') in its manuscripts collection. [Ref. MS 2004/30]

    In 1998 Adriaan de Winter and Ton van Alphen undertook a project in the Reichswald Forest Cemetery photographing all the headstones of New Zealanders buried there.

    Attended Te Awamutu District High School (Source: RNZAF Biographies (R17845616)) AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    7 September 1942 AWMM
    Age 25 AWMM
    Baerler BuschGermany AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany AWMM Plot 31, Row B. AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name
    Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 2 Hall of Memories AWMM

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  • External links
  • References
    • Hanson, C. (2001). By such deeds: honours and awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999. Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
    • Martyn, E. (1998-2008). For Your Tomorrow (Vols. 1-3). Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
    • Middlebrook, M., & Everitt, C. (1990). The Bomber Command war diaries an operational reference book, 1939-1945. London, England: Penguin. AWMM
    • Natzke, Trevor. Papers relating to war service of World War II airmen James and Jack Menzies Smith [2003]. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS-2004/30 AWMM
    • This record is a work in progress and was partially compiled from the “Database of New Zealand Airmen who took part in Advanced Air Training in Canada during WW2”. Researched by Ivan and Lorna Lindsey of Tauranga. N.Z. 2003 – 2012. Reproduced with permission. AWMM
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM
    • RNZAF [Royal New Zealand Air Force] Biographies of Deceased Personnel 1939 - 1945 (Bound Volumes) - Sm- Ty. Archives New Zealand (R17845616) - Former archives reference: AIR118 AWMM
    • List of RNZAF [Royal New Zealand Air Force] Personnel - List of Personnel Killed or Missing in Various Theatres, 1940 - 1945. [Missing - But Presumed Dead on Lapse of Time - Officers, Airmen]. Archives New Zealand (R17845743) AWMM
    • Please note that the 12 volumes of the "RNZAF [Royal New Zealand Air Force] Biographies of Deceased Personnel 1939-1945" held at Archives NZ (formerly known as AIR118) should be used in conjunction with Errol Martyn's "For Your Tomorrow". FYT reflects detailed examination of all of the AIR118 bios which contain many inaccuracies and omissions. AWMM


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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
24 August 2017JeniferWairarapaResearcher

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