Marine John Smith

Marine John William Smith, Royal Marines. He was killed during the Normandy campaign on 17th August 1944, aged 22. He was the son of John William and Mabel Julia Smith of Wooler, Northumberland and is buried in Hermanville War Cemetery, Calvados, Normandy, France. He died when his Landing Craft was destroyed by an explosion off the coast of Normandy. A number of Landing Craft ( Tank) had been converted into Anti Aircraft vessels to protect the beachheads from enemy air raids and became known as Landing Craft Flak ships. As they were flat bottomed they could operate close to shore with  their armament of 4 Oerlikons and 4 pom pom rapid fire anti-aircraft guns. It is likely that his craft H.M. Landing Craft Flak 1 hit a mine. The photographs show a sister vessel Flak 37.

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