Wildsmith, Hugh Errol Noel

Nationality:
South African

Biography

Service number P.47885.

Hugh Wildsmith learned to fly before the war and joined the South African Air Force. In 1940 and 1940 he was an instructor. In July 1942 as flight commander of 2 SAAF Squadron, he got his first success in combat when he damaged a BF 109 flying a Kittyhawk himself. A few days later he shot down another BF 109. From September till december 1942 he claimed three more victories. From May 1944 until November 1944 he was Squadron Commander of No. 9 SAAF. But in December of that year he was admitted in hospital and died soon after the end of the war.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Captain
Unit:
2 Squadron, SAAF (2 Squadron, SAAF)
Awarded on:
December 4th, 1942
Citation:
"This officer has participated in a large number of sorties, including a number of sorties and sweeps. On one occasion in July 1942, during an escort flight, his squadron engaged a formation of enemy bombers and destroyed 4 of them. Throughout the engagement, Captain Wildsmith displayed great courage and initiative. In October 1942, his squadron was detailed to escort a bomber force well into enemy territory. Whilst over the target area, Captain Wildsmith became separated from the formation and his aircraft was attacked by 10 enemy fighters. Displaying great skill he destroyed 1 of the attackers and frustrated the efforts of the others until he was able to re-join his formation. This officer has invariably displayed outstanding leadership and high courage. He has destroyed at least 3 enemy aircraft."
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)

Sources