WALTER JOHN SMITH (1141900)
Date Of Birth 27 February 1921
Date Of Enlistment 8th February 1941
T Sgt 29-3-43
T FS 3-4-44
Aircrafthand/Plight Mechanic E or A: 8-2-41
Fit Mechanic Engineer: 28-10-41
FME under training FIIE: Fitter II E: 13-11-41
Under training Fit Engineer: 23-12-42
Fit Eng: 29-3-43
3 Recruitment Centre Padgate: 8-2-41
Res 9 Recruitment Centre Blackpool: 20-3-41
10 School of Technical Training: 25-3-41
Stn West Mailing: 14-11-41
No 1 Air Gunnery School: 23-12-42
4 School of Technical Training 1656 Conversion Unit: 3-3-43
Binbrook (attached): 3-3-43
1656 Conversion Unit: 18-3-43
12 Squadron: 17-4-43
27 Operational Training Unit: 25-10-43
51 Base: 17-5-44
A/C Sch (Attached): 17-5-44
463 Squadron: 24-7-44
DISCHARGED TO COMISSION 20-8-44
Record of commissioned service
FLYING OFFICER WALTER JOHN SMITH (184477)
Confirmed in appointment and promoted to Flying Officer: 21-2-45
Recategorised as Engineer Released 28-5-46
Last day of service 23-7-46
Commission relinquished. Retains rank of Flying Officer 1-7-59
No 463 Squadron 21-8-44
Aircrew Allocation Centre 21-3-45
HQ Training Command 17-4-45
No 1332 Heavy Conversion Unit 7-5-45
No 17 Aircrew Holding Unit 24-8-45
Full Sutton 8-11-45
No 100 Personnel Despatch Centre 28-5-46
Granted a commission for the emergency as a Pilot Officer
in the General Duties branch of the Royal Air Force 21-8-44
Throughout his career in Bomber Command Wally's duties were as a Flight Engineer.
The flight engineer sat to the right of the pilot. He had a folding seat, which was necessary to allow access to the bomb aimer's and front gunner's positions, and a tubular footrest which pulled out from under the raised floor section beneath the pilot's position. His task was to look after the engines, throttle settings and propellor pitch settings, fuel flow, and generally act as the pilot's assistant.
He had two panels to monitor. The first on the starboard side, that contained oil and fuel gauges, booster pump switches, fuel pressure warning lights, fuel tank selector cocks, and many other things. The second was part of the main dash, which could also be seen by the pilot. This contained revolution counters, boost gauges, ignition switches, engine fire extinguisher buttons and propellor feathering buttons, plus much else. All in all, the flight engineer was a pretty busy man .
Below is the view that Wally had during his 51 operations. Sitting on a bench seat sometimes for more than 9 hours with total concentration controlling this panel was vital to keeping the plane in flight.
Key To FLIGHT ENGINEER'S PANEL
69. Oil pressure gauges.
70. Pressure-head heater switch.
71. Oil temperature gauges.
72. Coolant temperature gauges.
74. Fuel contents gauges.
75. Inspection lamp socket.
76. Fuel contents gauge switch.
77. Fuel tanks selector cocks.
78. Electric fuel booster pump switches.
79. Fuel pressure warning lights.
80. Emergency air control.
81. Oil dilution buttons.
Main Dash Panel
FLIGHT ENGINEERS NOTES FOR LANCASTER AIRCRAFT
AVRO's message to Lancaster Flight Engineers
A Flight Engineer in action.