SMITH, Donald Orris

No.C/KX 110962, Stoker 1st Class, Donald Orris SMITH
Aged 33

H.M.S. "Goodall", Royal Navy
Killed in Action on Sunday, 29th April 1945

Donald Orris Smith was born in Hundon on 24th November 1911 (Risbridge Q4-1921 4A:1554), son of George William [27/11/1888] and Blanche Emily SMITH [9/11/1891](née ORRIS). There was a sister Beryl and it appears there were also brother Gordon and sisters Ruby and Emily

He was single, a general labourer, in 1939 and his father was a farmer and with his mother, they were living at The Bungalow, Chin Street, Hundon. He married Gladys Gertrude RAWLINGS (Newmarket Q4-1941 4A:2999). Their son Michael W was born in 1943.

HMS "Goodall" was a laid down as destroyer escort USS Reybold (DE 275) of the Evarts-class for the US Navy, completed in October 1943 as HMS Goodall (K 479) for the Royal Navy.
At 21.00 on 29 April 1945, U-968 fired torpedoes at the escort vessels of convoy RA-66 in the Barents Sea and reported two destroyers sunk. The detonations were observed by HMS Alnwick Castle (K 405) and a torpedo missed HMS Goodall (K 479).
About one hour later, in the entrance to the Kola Inlet 7 miles from Murmansk, U-286 hit HMS Goodall (K 479) with a torpedo. The magazine exploded, blowing away the forepart of the vessel and killing the commander. The abandoned ship had to be scuttled by gunfire by HMS Anguilla (K 500) the next day. The U-boat was sunk by other ships of the 19th Escort Group during the following night. This was the last confirmed U-boat success in the Northern theatre. There were 44 survivors from the crew of 156.

HMS "Goodall" sunk here

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Donald Smith is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, panel 81, column 2

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details