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James Menzies Smith

Portrait James 'Jim' Menzies Smith (NZ404957). (Courtesy of the Air Force Museum, Christchurch, where original is held) - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait James 'Jim' Menzies Smith (NZ404957). (Courtesy of the Air Force Museum, Christchurch, wher …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    James Menzies AWMM
  • Surname
    Smith AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Jim Menzies Smith AWMM
  • Service number
    NZ404957 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    14 January 1915 AWMM Frankton JunctionWaikato AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Pre 20 July 1940 AWMM 171 Alexandra Street, Te Awamutu, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 20 July 1940 AWMM
    Age 25 AWMM
    Plasterer/Civilian AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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  • Embarkation details

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 10 inches AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • James ‘Jim’ Menzies Smith was the second 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, Jack Menzies Smith, Estelle Haidee Menzies Smith, Nancy May Menzies Smith, June Isabelle Menzies Smith, and Heather Jewel Menzies Smith.

    He was seriously injured on 26 March 1942, following an aircraft accident on the Coningsby base. The effects of those injuries were to trouble him periodically for the rest of his life.

    He was a keen sportsman involved in a range of different sports - twice winner of the Middleton swimming cup and represented both the King Country and Waipa hockey teams in the White Horse cup competitions.

    His ashes were interred next to the headstone of his brother Jack (NZ403040), who died on 7 September 1942 during air operations over Duisburg, Germany, and was buried in the Reichswald Forest Cemetery.

    The Auckland Museum Library holds further information on James Menzies Smith and his brother Jack 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. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    19 July 1983 AWMM
    Age 68 AWMM
    Te AwamutuWaikato 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

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  • External links
    The London Gazette website
    Further Reference
  • References
    • N.Z.E.F. Times AWMM
      Air Awards For New Zealanders', NZEF Times, 28 June 1943, vol. 3, no. 105, p. 4. AWMM
    • Hanson, C. (2001). By such deeds: honours and awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999. Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
      Hanson, C.M., (2001). pp. 446-47. 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
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM
    • List of RNZAF [Royal New Zealand Air Force] Personnel - Embarkation Lists, November 1940 - July 1942. Archives New Zealand, Wellington (R17845762). AWMM

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