Pilot, Sergeant Crichton Alexander Smith, RAFVR 1368806 died on 10 March 1942 at RAF 61 Operational Training Unit (OTU), RAF Heston, Middlesex, England.
On 8 March 1942, in a Miles M.9A Master Mk.I T8504 taking off from RAF Heston, the aircraft swung 90% and crashed into four parked aircraft on the apron and burst into flames. Crichton died from injuries sustained two days later, 10 March 1942.
Ground crew, Aircraftman (AC1) F. Waller was injured and de Havilland DH.87 Hornet Moth X9446 G-AFEC which was hit was written off.
Crichton Alexander Smith aged 21, was the eldest son of Mr and Mrs George Smith, ‘Dyalla’, Balmoral Road, Blairgowrie. Crichton attended Blairgowrie High School and worked at the Blairgowrie branch of the Union Bank before volunteering for the RAF in December 1940. He was a keen sportsman, cricket, golf, football, ice hockey and swimming, as well as angling. As a member of Blairgowrie Golf Club, he won the Druidesmere Cup in 1939.
Crichton gained quick promotion and was recommended for a commission a short time before his death. Sergeant Crichton Alexander Smith is buried in Blairgowrie Cemetery.
61 OTU was formed in June 1941 at RAF Heston to train single-seat fighter pilots. Supermarine Spitfires were allocated to the station.
61 Operational Training Unit (OTU) was formed at RAF Heston in June 1941 and moved to RAF Rednal in April 1942 and RAF Keevil in June 1945.
Hornet Moth X9446 G-AFEC was owned before being pressed into RAF service on 10 May 1940, by Captain Hugh Sale Ford, of Farrington, Berkshire.