Rank and organization:   Major, U.S. Marine Corps, Marine Fighter Squadron
Place and date:   In the Solomon Islands area, August-September 1942.
Entered service at:   Oklahoma.
Birth:   26 December 1914, Lexington, Okla.
Other Navy awards:   Legion of Merit.
Citation:   For conspicuous gallantry
and heroic achievement in aerial combat above and beyond the call of duty
as commanding officer of Marine Fighting Squadron 223 during operations
against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands area, August-September
1942. Repeatedly risking his life in aggressive and daring attacks, Maj.
Smith led his squadron against a determined force, greatly superior in
numbers, personally shooting down 16 Japanese planes between 21 August
and 15 September 1942. In spite of the limited combat experience of many
of the pilots of this squadron, they achieved the notable record of a total
of 83 enemy aircraft destroyed in this period, mainly attributable to the
thorough training under Maj. Smith and to his intrepid and inspiring leadership.
His bold tactics and indomitable fighting spirit, and the valiant and zealous
fortitude of the men of his command not only rendered the enemy's attacks
ineffective and costly to Japan, but contributed to the security of our
advance base. His loyal and courageous devotion to duty sustains and enhances
the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)