20th (21st) Oct. 1943 1
At Sea near ITALY 1

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John R Smart 2
Age in 1930: 10 2
Estimated Birth Year: 1920 2
20th (21st) Oct. 1943 1
At Sea near ITALY 1
Cause: Ditched B-26 at Sea 1
Place: KING County, Washington 2
From: 1930 2
Enumeration District: GILMAN PCT 2

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Lt John R Smart, B-26 Pilot, 320th Bomb Group, 443rd Bomb Squad KIA


Lt John R Smart was the co-pilot on the B-26 C BN 8 Mission over Italy when the ship seveloped engine problems in both engines, the Pilot Lt John J Turner and he ditched the ship at sea.  Both of then died and the rest of the Crew got out and into the dingy. 

443th BS Martin B-26 C Marauder which was lost on October 20, 1943 after a bombing mission over Orvieto, central Italy.   Target was a railway bridge.

   #41-34912 B-26 C Tail Battle Number *8*  "Ramblin' Reck" 

 1st Lt Turner, pilot  Lt John J Turner  (Pilot) 0-668165

 2nd Lt Smart, co-pilot Lt John R Smart C-Pilot) 0-669799

S/Sgts Chavez, Alexander T Chavez (Radio/Gunner)  13042573

 S/Sgt Lefler, Albert L Leffler  (Bombardier) 12038292

S/Sgt Miles Jr.,  Clarence H Miles ( Aerial Gunner ) 14068323

S/Sgt Watt.   Julian Watt,  Eng/Gunner  34125316

John R. Smart Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Forces Service # O-669799 443rd Bomber Squadron, 320th Bomber Group, Medium Entered the Service from: Washington
Died: 21-Oct-44
Missing in Action or Buried at Sea
Tablets of the Missing at Florence American Cemetery
Florence, Italy
Awards: Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart

The B-26 Ship #41-34912 that was LOST on 20 Oct. 1943, the pilot was not able to make it to land only miles away and ditched at Sea. 

     The B-26C which was being flown by the 443rd Bomb Squadron was actually a 441st Ship.  She was named "Ramblin' Reck" with a Battle Number of *8* on her tail.   The 443rd Crew was assigned to her that day because the CREW was ready but not the ship they regularly flew.  Just before the Target (a Railroad Bridge West of Guardea, Italy) on 20 October, 1943 the engines were seen to start smoking.  The pilot 1st Lt John J Turner made a water landing 50 miles off the Italian coast, near to Giamutri Island.  The pilot and co-pilot 2nd Lt. John R Smart were killed but the other crew members took to the life raft.  The surviving crew members were spotted in the water by other aircraft in the formation.  Despite later sea searches the rest of the crew were never spotted again and presumed dead.  (Information and actual story from B-26 Historian Paul Clouting)

Researched by Barbara Ennis Connolly for Professor Agostini Alberti of the Air Crash PO Team. ...also assisted by Patti Johnson, Historical Researcher and Paul, Clouting, B-26 Historian and Researcher.

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