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First Name: Harold

Last Name: Smith

Birthplace: Grand Bay, AL, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)

Rating:

Middle Name: Page



Date of Birth: 17 February 1904

Date of Death: 04 January 1993

Rank or Rate: Admiral

Years Served: 1924-1965
Harold Page Smith

   
Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1924

Engagements:
•  World War II (1941 - 1945)

Biography:

Harold Page Smith
Admiral, U.S. Navy

Harold Page Smith was born on 17 February 1904 in Grand Bay, AL. He was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with the Class of 1924.

During the period 19-20 February 1942, Smith was a Lieutenant Commander serving as Captain of the USS Stewart (DD-224). For his actions on those days he was awarded the Navy Cross. The Citation reads as follows:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Commander Harold Page Smith, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the Destroyer U.S.S. STEWART (DD-224), in action against a greatly superior Japanese Naval force in the Badoeng Strait, off the Island of Bali, Netherlands East Indies, on the night of 19 - 20 February 1942. Although under heavy fire from the enemy, Lieutenant Commander Smith pressed home the attack which resulted in severe damage to the enemy, while receiving minor damage to his own ship and only one casualty to his personnel. The conduct of Lieutenant Commander Smith throughout this action reflects great credit upon himself, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

On 1 February 1960, Smith was promoted to the four-star rank of Admiral and assigned as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europe (CINCUSNAVEUR) and Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean (CINCNELM). In 1963, Admiral Smith became Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT); Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Command (CINCLANT); and Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (CINCLANTFLT). He served in those commands until 1965, when he retired from the Navy.

Presentation of Distinguished Service Medal to Admiral Harold Page Smith. Presentation was made by President Lyndon B. Johnson in the Rose Garden of the White House on 4 May 1965.

"Mr. Secretary [Paul H. Nitze, Secretary of the Navy], Admiral [Harold Page Smith], ladies and gentlemen:

Occasions such as this are always a very satisfying experience for a former lieutenant commander.

When I went on duty in the Navy on the day after Pearl Harbor, I did not fully appreciate that my uniform completely concealed my status as a Congressman. The fact that I looked like any other junior officer, and that I was expected to salute my superiors, was called to my attention in a rather memorable fashion by an admiral whom I remember most fondly.

Since that time, Admiral Smith, I have had rather mixed reactions to the sight of an admiral's stripes, including an almost automatic reflex to salute virtually anything that moves.

Today, in a figurative sense if not a literal one, I am very proud and very happy on behalf of all the American Nation to salute you as a distinguished officer and a most distinguished American. In your 45 years of service to your country, you have written a record of leadership, and courage, and responsibility that has the highest respect among all your colleagues and all your associates in the service in which you have spent your adult life. So, it is a genuine pleasure to welcome you here today, to pay honor to you and to your outstanding career.

Admiral Smith was born in the month of February in the year 1904, when the first war of this century began between Russia and Japan. He entered the Naval Academy at Annapolis in the same year, 1920 that the League of Nations began its efforts to outlaw war as an instrument of national policy.

Since that time this century has seen many wars on many fronts for many causes. But this century has seen something else, also. It has seen the growth among nations, among all mankind, of a very steadfast determination to end this senseless, needless, hopeless use of war to settle differences among nations and peoples.

I am convinced that when the history of the 30th century is finally written it will be a century remembered throughout all the ages for the constructive efforts toward peace, rather than for the destructive enterprises of war. And if that history is written justly and objectively, very great credit will be given to the kind of military man that we in this Nation have produced, the kind of man that is epitomized by Admiral Smith. These are men who, because they have known war, have given their talents, their energies, their devotion, and their loyalties to the preservation of peace.

Admiral Smith represents a generation of American naval and military officers who were asked, back in the dark days of 1941, to do so much so suddenly, but they were then given too little too late.

The memory of that era is engraved on America's national conscience, and as a responsible and conscientious Nation we have determined ever since that no other moment of shame and sorrow such as this should come to this free and this strong Nation.

That is why this morning I assembled 200 of our leaders from the House and Senate in the East Room of the White House to ask them to neither deny nor delay funds that are needed to provide ammunition for guns, and to provide fuel for helicopters, and to provide protection for our boys that are there on the battlefront. And I am hopeful that before many hours or many days pass, the Congress, in its wisdom, will hear that evidence and will supply our men in uniform all that they need, and more than they require.

Today, we are strong; we are the strongest nation in all the history of mankind. We are at the same time a nation that is definitely determined to pursue a responsible course--a course to seek peace with honor anywhere, anytime, to work wherever and however we can to make this a better world for all mankind--but always to be prepared and to be ready to resist those who would plunge humanity into the barbarianism of the Dark Ages.

So, it is with great gratitude this morning that this Nation pays tribute to this great man who has so distinguished himself and his chosen profession, both in times of war and in times of peace.

In the Pacific and in the Atlantic during World War II, Admiral Smith established a memorable record of courage and valor and leadership. Following the war, he held many important commands, both ashore and at sea. None was more vital than the one for which we honor him today--Commander in Chief, Atlantic; Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic--because in this capacity he has played a key role in building that great alliance of freedom-loving nations who have learned, I hope, the lessons of preparedness.

Combining in himself the finest qualities of the military man and the diplomat, Admiral Smith greatly strengthened the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the bonds of friendship with our European allies. That alliance is one of our great assurances that the failures of the first half of our century will not be repeated in the last half of our century.

I am proud now, on behalf of this Nation, to add the Distinguished Service Medal to the many honors that Admiral Smith has already so deservedly received, and with your permission I will now ask the Secretary of the Navy to read the citation. "

Personal

Harold married Helen Rogers, an Osage Indian, and they had been married for 66 years at the time of his death. She died on 24 February 2009 at the age of 101.

Smith was the uncle of Navy four-star Admiral Leighton W. Smith, Jr.

Death

Admiral Harold Page Smith died on 4 January 1993. His burial place is unknown.



Honoree ID: 648   Created by: MHOH

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