Rutherford, Thomas Smith

  • Township: Embro & West Zorra
  • Branch: Royal Air Force
  • Date of birth: 1915
  • Date of death: May 26, 1984
  • Wars Served: World War II
  • Country enlisted with: Canada
    United Kingdom

Biography

Thomas Smith Rutherford of Lot 27, Concession 7, had just finished an air conditioning course in the United States, when war was declared. Upon enlisting, he trained as an Air Frame Mechanical Technician in St. Thomas and Goderich. Then he went to England with the Royal Air Force and worked on Spitfires and Hawkers. He also served in North Africa for about two months. One of his flights was with the dam busters who blew up the hydroelectric station on the Ruhr River in Germany. While working on the wing of a plane at his home base in England, Smith was seriously injured when the Germans dropped a bomb filled with sewing machine needles. He was hospitalized for months, and when his stomach was wired back together, its capacity was reduced, a condition that later caused him to groan in disappointment as the family sat down for Christmas dinner. The needles he took during the explosion found ways to work their way out of his body until he died, which was on May 26, 1984, at age 69.

 

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