Captain Smith was born 29th August 1930 in Hammersmith, London. He left school in 1945 with General Schools Certificate to become a Solicitors Clerk in London.
He joined the Royal Air Force in 1949 and selected to join No.32 Pilot Course – training at Wittering and Ternhill on Prentices and Harvards. After graduation and presentation of Pilots 'Wings' returned to his job as a Solicitors Clerk. He served in the RAFVR at Panshanger until joining BOAC in 1952. He trained as a Flight Navigator on York freighters flying to the Middle and Far East. He transferred to the North Atlantic and Caribbean routes on Stratocruisers and Constellation 049's and then, after marriage in 1955, transferred to 749 Constellations flying to Australia and the Far East. During his time acting as Flight Navigator he kept his Pilot's licence valid with recency flying on the Company's small fleet of De Haviland Dove's.
Converted to Pilot on 749 Constellations and during his Civil Aviation career he went on to Britannia 312's; VC10's (where he obtained command in 1947 – being the youngest Captain in BOAC at that time); and Concorde from 1976 to 1981 where he was the first Line Captain and when he retired, he was the Senior Line Pilot on the Concorde Fleet.
His interests outside aviation have been many and varied. He was a member of St. Margarets (Westminster) choir and the Westminster Abbey Special Choir during the war years when the Choir Schools were evacuated. Very keen player of table-tennis and tennis and helped to set up the Billingshurst Lawn Tennis Club in Sussex. He served on the Board of Governors for Horsham High School and was Vice-Chairman for some time. He served on the BOAC section of the British Airline Pilots for many years and was Chairman of the section for some time.
He was married in 1955 and his wife, Betty, still puts up with him very well. They have three daughters and one grandson and live quietly in the village of Seend.
Information provided by Captain Robert S Smith