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Gen Frederic Harrison Smith, Jr

Gen Frederic Harrison Smith, Jr

Birth
Fort Monroe, Hampton City, Virginia, USA
Death 28 May 1980 (aged 71)
San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 3 Lot 4022-A
Memorial ID 8130355 · View Source
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US Air Force General. A combat veteran of World War II, he rose in rank to become the Commander-in-Chief of US Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) and US Air Force Vice Chief of Staff. After completing high school, he received an appointment to the US Military Academy at West Point, New York and in June 1920 graduated with a commission as a 2nd lieutenant of Field Artillery. His first assignment was that of a student officer at the Air Corps Primary and Advanced Flying Schools at Brooks (now closed) and Kelly (now Kelly Air Reserve Base, a part of Joint Base San Antonio) Fields, Texas. After receiving his pilot wings, he was transferred to the US Army Air Corps in December 1930. He was assigned to France Field (now Enrique Adolfo Jiménez Airport), Panama Canal Zone, where he served with the 63rd Service Squadron and the 24th Pursuit Squadron until December 1932. He then returned to the US and in January 1933 he was assigned to the 41st School Squadron at Kelly Field, Texas. In 1936 he was promoted to the rank of captain and served as senior aeronautical inspector for the Panama Canal, Balboa Heights, Canal Zone and also acted as advisor on aviation matters to the Governor of the Panama Canal. In 1939 he returned to the US and became the operations officer and later the commander of the 36th Pursuit Squadron at Langley Field (now Langley Air Force Base, a part of Joint Base Langley-Eustis), Virginia. In 1940 he was appointed commanding officer of the 8th Pursuit Group, 7th Pursuit Wing at Mitchel Field, New York (now closed). In January 1942, after the US entered World War II, at the rank of lieutenant colonel, he transferred with his unit to the Southwest Pacific and later that year he became the chief of staff of the advanced echelon of the newly activated 5th Air Force. In 1944 he was transferred to the European Theater of Operations, serving as deputy senior Air Staff officer and chief of operations of the Allied Expeditionary Air Forces, based in England. In the fall of 1944, at the rank of brigadier general, he returned to the US to become deputy chief of Air Staff at Headquarters US Army Air Force in Washington DC and returned to the Southwest Pacific the following February to direct the 5th Fighter Command. After the end of World War II, he returned to the US and served in the Special Organizational Planning Group in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Plans, at US Army Air Force Headquarters in Washington DC until March 1946. In April 1946 he became chief of staff of the Strategic Air Command at Andrews Field (now Andrews Air Force Base), Maryland, and in February 1947 became national commander of the Civil Air Patrol. In October 1947, following the creation of the establishment of the US Air Force as a separate military branch, he was appointed chief of the Requirements Division under the director of Training and Requirements Division in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters US Air Force in Washington DC and was promoted to the rank of major general. In February 1948 he was appointed assistant for programming in that office until August 1950, when he became Commanding General of the Eastern Air Defense Force at Stewart Air Force Base (now Stewart Air National Guard Base), New York. In March 1952 he became Vice Commander of the Air Defense Command at Ent Air Force Base (now closed), Colorado Springs, Colorado until June 1956, when he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and again joined the Fifth Air Force in Japan as its commander. In July 1957 he received the additional duty as commander of the US Forces in Japan. In September 1958 he returned to the US to assume command of the Air Training Command (now Air Education and Training Command) at Randolph Air Force Base (now part of Joint Base San Antonio), Texas. The following year he was assigned to Germany and promoted to the rank of general, and became Commander-in-Chief of the 4th Allied Tactical Air Force and USAFE. Upon his return to the US, in July 1961 he became the US Air Force Vice Chief of Staff in Washington DC and retired in that position in September 1962 with 33 years of continuous military service in the US Army Air Corps and US Air Force. Among his military and foreign awards and decorations include the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal (with one oak leaf cluster), the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Air Medal (with one oak leaf cluster), the Army Commendation Ribbon, the American Defense Service Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, the Air Force Longevity Service Award (with six oak leaf clusters), the American Campaign Medal, and the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. He died at the age of 71. He was the son-in-law of US Navy five-star Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 26 Nov 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8130355
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Gen Frederic Harrison Smith, Jr (30 Jun 1908–28 May 1980), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8130355, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave (contributor 8) .