RAF hero in Zeppelin sheds raid

Luton will be particularly interested in the news that Capt Bernard Arthur Smart, son of Mr and Mrs Charles Smart, of Carlton House, London Road, has again brought credit to his native town by a brilliant feat while working in conjunction with the Royal Air Force in the North Sea.

He participated in the recent bombing expedition to Tondern, Schleswig, [July 19th, 1918] when Zeppelin sheds were destroyed. The first intimation Mr and Mrs Smart had came in the shape of a telegram received on Tuesday afternoon stating that he had again been awarded the Distinguished Service Order.

Capt Bernard Arthur SmartHe received this from the hands of the King on Tuesday, when His Majesty paid a visit to the Grand Fleet, and held an investiture on board Admiral Sir David Beatty's flagship. After decorating a number of American officers, the King decorated Capt Smart with the bar to the D.S.O., and also gave the D.S.O. To Capt W. F. Dickson, who was one of Capt Smart's colleagues in the raid.

Capt Smart [pictured right] won the decoration last autumn, but the little “affair” in which he then took part was not revealed by the Admiralty. He was afterwards home on leave for 14 days, and soon after resuming duty was compelled to go into hospital and was out of action for several months. He had evidently resumed to some purpose.

Educated at the Luton Modern School, he is now about 24 years of age. Before the war he was engaged in the hat trade on his own account. Immediately the war broke out he expressed a desire to join, and within a few weeks he was in the uniform of the Royal Naval Air Service, attached to the Scott Machine Gun Section.

He went out to the Dardanelles and served through the Suvla Bay campaign until within a fortnight of the evacuation of Gallipoli, when he contracted malaria and was sent to hospital at Lemnos.

Returning to England he received a commission and quickly obtained his pilot's certificate. He received his first D.S.O. From the King at Buckingham Palace, and also the French Croix de Guerre (with palms) from the French Minister of War.

[The Luton News: Thursday, July 25th, 1918.]

[The raid on Tondern – then in Germany but now in Denmark – was the first carried out from the deck of a Royal Navy ship, HMS Furious. Capt Smart was forced to ditch near the ship on his return and was rescued from the tail of his half-sunken Sopwith Camel.]