1Lt Thomas P. Smith was the pilot of the bomber B-17G #42-107030 (LG-T)"Fifinella" of 91Bomb Group/322 Squadron. He was killed in action on a on a tactical bombing raid in support of the Allied ground forces at Le Manoir (France).
Thomas Smith's crew flew the plane as element lead. It was the 16th mission the crew had flown in Fifinella. Just prior to bombs away the ship took a direct flak hit in the cockpit and fire broke out as oxygen bottles exploded and hydraulic fluid fed the blaze. 1Lt Smith held the plane steady, staying with the formation to bomb, then turning sharply upwards and away before peeling off to the left. In the next four minutes Fifinella dived several times, leveling off between each dive. Two chutes were seen to tumble from the aircraft which went into a steep dive close to the ground before being lost from view.
1Lt Smith lost his life, but his sacrifice has enabled his crew to bail out. 3 became POW, and 5 evaded helped by French resistance fighters.
Crash location of the bomber was Incarville (near Louviers, France): crossing of roads Rue d'Epreville and Rue des Prés.
On this spot, a memorial was erected and dedicated to 1Lt Smith.
Entered the service from Illinois.
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