By Gary Lloyd
A UAB professor and local filmmaker will be showing a documentary about her uncle, a fighter pilot whose P-47 Thunderbolt fell out of the skies over northwestern France on May 21, 1944.
UAB professor June Mack, who directs the individually designed major in film and the interdisciplinary film minor in the UAB Department of Communication Studies, will be showing the documentary about her uncle, Captain Malcolm A. Smith.
The Trussville Historical Society and Trussville Senior Activity Center is hosting the free event at the Trussville Civic Center on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The U.S. Army Air Corps, suspecting weather trouble, informed Smith’s family in Alabama of the loss, but kept his status as “missing in action” for another two years before acknowledging he would never return, according to a story in UAB Magazine.
Sixty years later, Smith’s sister, Marianne Smith Morgan, received a letter from a Frenchman who said he had discovered what really happened on that fateful Sunday afternoon. Smith had actually been killed in action in a dogfight with a German warplane—and he had become a beacon of hope for the villagers of Vibraye, a tiny community near his crash site.
Mack eventually turned the tale into a documentary, “Lest We Forget: A French Village Recalls 1944.” The film premiered in November 2012.
“It is very interesting,” said Trussville Historical Society President Donnette Plant.
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