Paul Ray Smith

Paul Ray Smith

El Paso, El Paso County, Texas, USA
Death 4 Apr 2003 (aged 33)
Cenotaph Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Memorial Section D, Grave 67
Memorial ID 7337801 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Iraq War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He served in the United States Army during the conflict in Iraq as a Sergeant 1st Class in the 11th Engineer Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division. He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery in Baghdad, Iraq on April 4, 2003. His citation reads "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy near Baghdad International Airport, Baghdad, Iraq on 4 April 2003. On that day, Sergeant First Class Smith was engaged in the construction of a prisoner of war holding area when his Task Force was violently attacked by a company-sized enemy force. Realizing the vulnerability of over 100 fellow soldiers, Sergeant First Class Smith quickly organized a hasty defense consisting of two platoons of soldiers, one Bradley Fighting Vehicle and three armored personnel carriers. As the fight developed, Sergeant First Class Smith braved hostile enemy fire to personally engage the enemy with hand grenades and anti-tank weapons, and organized the evacuation of three wounded soldiers from an armored personnel carrier struck by a rocket propelled grenade and a 60mm mortar round. Fearing the enemy would overrun their defenses, Sergeant First Class Smith moved under withering enemy fire to man a .50 caliber machine gun mounted on a damaged armored personnel carrier. In total disregard for his own life, he maintained his exposed position in order to engage the attacking enemy force. During this action, he was mortally wounded. His courageous actions helped defeat the enemy attack, and resulted in as many as 50 enemy soldiers killed, while allowing the safe withdrawal of numerous wounded soldiers. Sergeant First Class Smith's extraordinary heroism and uncommon valor are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the Third Infantry Division "Rock of the Marne," and the United States Army". His Medal was awarded to his family at the White House by President George W. Bush on April 4, 2005. He was cremated and per his wishes his ashes were scattered in the Gulf of Mexico where he enjoyed fishing. A memorial marker was erected for him in Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida. After the awarding of his Medal, the memorial was removed to Arlington National Cemetery.






Planning a visit to Arlington National Cemetery?



How famous was Paul Ray Smith?

Current rating:

118 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Peterborough K
  • Added: 7 Apr 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7337801
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Paul Ray Smith (24 Sep 1969–4 Apr 2003), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7337801, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .