Commanding VMF – 223
Solomon Islands area
August-September 19

Maj. Smith led his squadron in battle against a greatly superior enemy force. He personally shot down 16 enemy aircraft between 21 August and 15 September 1942. Major Smith Repeatedly risked his life in aggressive and daring attacks against enemy forces.

Although most of his pilots were green and had Zero combat time, Maj Smith’s men achieved an incredible tally of 83 enemy aircraft destroyed.

Success is credited directly Maj. Smith’s   intrepid and inspiring leadership along with the continual training. Maj. Smith pressed his pilots to achieve excellence – and “Stay Alive.”

Smith’s bold new tactics and indomitable fighting spirit he incited in his men rendered the enemy’s attacks ineffective, and significantly contributed to the security of our advance bases.


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