ISABELLA COUNTY TIME NEWS
Feburary 27, 1941
Services to Be Held Friday For Sergeant Bennie Smith
Taps will be sounded Friday, February 28, for Sergeant Bennie Jay Smith, 29, of Mt. Pleasant, who died Tuesday, Feb. 25, following a plane crase near Camp Borden, Ontario, Sunday, February 23.
The crash occurred when Sergeant Smith, pilot instructor of the Royal Canadian Air Force at Camp Borden, attempted a forced landing when he experienced engine trouble shortly after taking off from the Camp Borden flying field. A student flier, Aircraftman, W. H. Shortt, 21, of Oshawa, Canada, was killed in the crash. Sergeant Smith, who received a broken leg and internal injuries in the crash, was exonerated of all blame by the Canadian air force officials.
The son of Mrs. Gillie Smith and Trott Smith of Mt. Pleasant, Sergeant Smith is the first Isabella county man to be killed in active defense service.
The remains will be brought to Mt. Pleasant, Thursday and funeral services will be held from the Stinson funeral home Friday afternoon, Feb. 28, at 2:00 o’clock with the Rev. Charles W. Mackenzie officiating. Interment will be made in Riverside cemetery and Stinson and Sons will be in charge of arrangements.
Sergeant Smith was born January 9, 1912, in Mt. Pleasant. He was a graduate of Mt. Pleasant high school and attended Central State Teachers college. He served in United States Naval air service at Grosse Point for three months and was student cadet at the United States Naval Air Corps school, Pensacola, Florida for eight months prior to becoming an instructor for the R. C. A. F.
“Bennie” a boy of charming personality and character, was a well-known Mt. Pleasant young man. He worked in the oil fields in the community and as a household appliance salesman for two years, before entering military air training. His friends, who are legion, were greatly shocked by the tragedy which took the life of this popular young man.
His is survived by his parents; three brothers, Lawrence L. Smith and Archie Smith, both of Mt. Pleasant, and Robert R. Smith of Walkerville; and three sisters, Mrs. John Wezensky of Mt. Pleasant, Mrs. Fred A. Taylor of Jackson and Mrs. Theodore V. Corpron of LaGrange, Illinois.
(This article also includes a picture of the Sergeant)
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