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First Name: Daniel

Last Name: Smith

Birthplace: Pittsburg, TX, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Home of Record: Falfurrias, TX
Middle Name: F.

Date of Birth: 31 March 1910

Date of Death: 05 October 1971

Rank or Rate: Rear Admiral

Years Served:
Daniel Fletcher Smith, Jr.

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Daniel Fletcher Smith, Jr.

Rear Admiral, U. S. Navy

Navy Cross

Commander 1st Carrier Task Force Pacific: Serial 012 (January 7, 1945)
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Commander Daniel Fletcher Smith, Jr. (NSN: 0-71350), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane and Commanding Officer of Fighting Squadron TWENTY (VF-20), attached to the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE (CV-6), during the Battle for Leyte Gulf in the Philippine Islands on 24 and 25 October 1944.
Taking off from his carrier on 24 October to interrupt the enemy fleet moving on the Philippines by a southern route, Commander Smith led a coordinated air attack on the hostile forces in the Sulu Sea and, during the fierce engagement, personally scored rocket hits on and strafed a cruiser and contributed to the success of his Air Group in the destruction of a battleship which was left a smoldering ruin.
Striking vigorously at Northern units of the enemy fleet on the following morning, Commander Smith conducted daring rocket and strafing attacks and aided in sinking one large carrier and in severely damaging a smaller one. Later in the afternoon he led a fighter-bomber sweep which scored direct hits on both a battleship and cruiser, inflicting heavy damage on the cruiser. Commander Smith's aggressive leadership and bold combat tactics upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Board Serial 1315 (August 5, 1970)
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Rear Admiral Daniel Fletcher Smith, Jr. (NSN: 0-71350), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States as Commander United States Naval Forces, Japan, from June 1968 to August 1970.
Through his extremely competent and resourceful leadership, Rear Admiral Smith coordinated and strengthened the efforts of all U.S. navy and Marine Corps activities in Japan and the Ryukyus in supporting the United States SEVENTH Fleet. His decisions in areas of extremely sensitive operations of high naval and national importance were made with precision and forcefulness and resulted in continued exceptional operational performance.
Rear Admiral Smith was exceptionally effective in his relationship with the leaders of the Japanese Government, industry, and the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force. His advice and counsel on matters mutually affecting the Self Defense Fleet and the United States Navy were often sought and highly valued.
Rear Admiral Smith's exemplary professionalism, coupled with his sincere and continuing personal interest and involvement in promoting good relations with the people of Japan, resulted in the highest esteem for the United States Navy and for Rear Admiral Smith himself. By his initiative, sound judgment, and inspiring devotion to duty, he rendered valuable and distinguished service, thereby upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Awarded the Silver Star, Legion of Merit and Combat V with one Gold Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross with three Gold Stars.

Origin of Nickname/Handle:

Texas WWII Exceptional Gallantry

Honoree ID: 316465   Created by: drjones46




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