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First Name: John

Last Name: Smith

Birthplace: Houston, TX, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)



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



Date of Birth: 26 November 1912

Date of Death: 15 December 2001

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Years Served:
John Forrest Smith
'Buzzy'

   
Engagements:
•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)

Biography:

John F. Smith
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army

On 8 July 1944, then-Captain John F. Smith was serving with the 3rd Battalion, 359th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division, Third U.S. Army. On that day, CPT Smith’s unit was in action against German forces in France and the 3rd Battalion had been given an order to attack and seize an objective. In current command of the battalion, CPT Smith vigorously pushed it forward until his objectives were taken, but the Germans immediately counterattacked. CPT Smith, ignoring his own personal safety in an area swept by enemy small arms and artillery fire, moved from unit to unit encouraging his men by personal example to maintain their position. Although the Germans moved in from both flanks and cut off the 3rd Battalion for more than 24 hours, CPT Smith's personal example and firm determination withstood 6 German counterattacks against the battalion's position that were beaten back. The 3rd Battalion's position was held until reinforcements arrived and communications were reestablished. CPT Smith’s personal courageous actions and leadership that day earned him the U.S. Army's third highest award for valor, the Silver Star Medal.

On 10 January 1945, now-Lieutenant Colonel Smith was Commanding Officer, 3rd Battalion, 359th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division, Third U.S. Army. On that date, LTC Smith led his 3rd Battalion in an attack against strong German positions near Trentlehof, Luxembourg, during the Battle of the Bulge. When the advance was halted by intense fire, LTC Smith boldly charged forward alone, mounted a damaged tank destroyer and manned the machine gun mounted on the vehicle with deadly accuracy. Then, ignoring the hail of fire focused upon him, LTC Smith continued forward, reconnoitering German positions and directing concentrations of artillery upon them. Returning to his troops, LTC Smith led his battalion forward in a brilliant maneuver and seized the objective. LTC Smith’s courageous actions and extraordinary heroism that day earned him the U.S. Army's second highest award for valor, the Distinguished Service Cross.

Medals, Awards and Badges

Distinguished Service Cross
Silver Star Medal
Purple Heart
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with Arrowhead Pin and Silver Star
World War II Victory Medal
Combat Infantryman Badge

Distinguished Service Cross Citation

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry) John F. Smith (ASN: 0-316592), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while Commanding the 3d Battalion, 359th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces in Luxembourg, on 10 January 1945. On that date, Colonel Smith led his battalion in an attack against strong enemy positions near Trentlehof, Luxembourg. When the advance was halted by intense fire, Colonel Smith boldly charged forward alone, mounted a damaged tank destroyer and with deadly accuracy manned the machine gun mounted on the vehicle. Then, ignoring the hail of fire centered upon him he continued forward, reconnoitering enemy positions and directing artillery concentrations. Returning to his troops he led the battalion forward in a brilliant maneuver and seized the objective. The extraordinary heroism Lieutenant Colonel Smith displayed, and his inspiring leadership and courageous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 90th Infantry Division, and the United States Army.

Headquarters, Third U.S. Army, General Orders No. 123 (May 31, 1945)



Honoree ID: 316674   Created by: MHOH

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