​LEUT (P) R.E. Smith was killed on 16 February 1951 whilst attempting to land his Fairey Firefly VX371 (816 Squadron) aboard HMAS Sydney

Smith was born in Bundaberg, QLD on 09 Dec 1924, and was employed as a Bank Clerk before joining the RAF when in turned 18 in 1943. He became a bomber pilot and served as a Lancaster captain in 460 Squadron in April of 1945.  He was demobbed in early 1946 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant.  

Finding civilian employment not to his liking, Smith joined the fledgling RAN Fleet Air Arm in December of the following year.

In February 1951 he was killed when his aircraft crashed into the sea, reportedly after his starboard wing entered funnel turbulence following a late wave-off.  This caused the Firefly to strike Sydney’s island before falling overboard.  Observer PO Keith Bunning survived the accident, but Robert Evans Smith was lost.