Jan Aldrich of Project 1947 (click here) recently asked if I had come across a report from Korea in 1952, involving an Australian pilot named Smith. I had not.
I searched the TROVE digitised newspapers held by the National Library of Australia, using keywords such as "Smith," "Korea," "1952" but drew a blank.
Jan mentioned that he would try the digitised Project Blue Book Archive website (click here.)
As it turned out I was already researching this website myself, looking for references to Australian reports. Entering keywords, I located a document which described the sighting which Jan had come across.
The document ( click here) was referenced MAXW-PBB10-1134 and is page 12 of a 16 page "Air Intelligence Information Report." There is a hand written date of 6 June and the document refers to 7 Jun 1952.
"First ever flying saucer ever reported over South Korea was watched for four minutes today by Sargeant Ken Smith of Chapman Street, New Mile End, Adelaide.
"It was fifty or sixty feet with a depth of about 1/10 its diameter...I judged its size from its apparent height about ten thousand feet, behind and above a Sabre Jet flying over the airstrip. It was whirling and tumbling, and twinkling as the sun struck its smooth silvery surface. At the same time it was travelling laterally at about 350 knots. Suddenly it stopped in its course, stopped tumbling and flashed straight up in a few seconds to about thirty thousand feet. It hovered for a moment then shot away on a new course at right angles to the old one. It stopped again and then went at tremendous speed across the sun and I lost it."
"Smith, an experienced pilot who flew his 100th mission later in the day, called Sargeant Ken Towner of Bankston, veteran of nearly 200 missions. Together they saw the saucer reappear, whirling and twinkling before, it finally vanished."
Missing in action:
With the above information, I revisited the digitised newspaper collection of the National Library of Australia. I eventually located an article in the Adelaide Advertiser of Friday 11 July 1952 on page 1 (click here). Sadly, it reported:
"Flt Sgt Kenneth Dudley Smith, 25 of Chapman Street, New Mile End, who has been reported missing, believed killed in air operations over Korea, had completed 125 missions from February until late in June." The article includes a photograph of Flt Sgt Smith.
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