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S/Ldr Neil Smith photographs

(Page 2)

A 455 squadron album
Other Beaufighter pics

   
       

Brother of Barrie Smith, Neil also served in the RAAF during WW2. These photographs were taken by Neil and others while he served with 455 Squadron flying cannon and rocket equipped Beaufighters attacking coastal shipping from Norway to Holland in 1944 and 1945. Many of these pictures are from the gun camera which was mounted in the very nose of the aircraft and took a picture every two seconds. Some of these pictures are dramatic to say the least...

Aircraft index    
   
       
   
The camera port can clearly be seen in the centre of the nose. This pic was taken by the observer over occupied territory and gives a good indication of the height at which Neil travelled.    
     
Possibly the most dramatic of Neil's images, the large splash in front of the ship was made by an impacting Beaufighter. Neil himself was hit and had to make a wheels up landing after a flak shell exploded behind him in the fuselage. He wasn't injured due to the armour plate on his seat but his Mae West was punctured.      
   
   

This is a German M class minesweeper, armed with k L44 (2 x 1), Two 37mm/83 M42 (2 x 1), Eight 20mm C38 (1 x 4, 2 x 2), One 73mm Fohn rocket projector. It carried 107 crew. (Thanks to Wirra for this information).

Moment of impact as 20mm shells strike.    
   
This well illustrates the power of a Beaufighter strike. Often several aircraft would coordinate an attack from different directions making it very difficult for a ship to defend itself.      
   
Stunning image of a salvo of RPs on their way towards a small German vessel which was later beached in a Norwegian fijord.

German ship in serious trouble... more pics