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First Name: Frederic

Last Name: Smith

Birthplace: Fort Monroe, VA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Harrison

Date of Birth: 30 June 1908

Date of Death: 28 May 1980

Rank: General

Years Served: 1929-1962
Frederic Harrison Smith, Jr.

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1929

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Frederic Harrison Smith, Jr.
General, U.S. Air Force

Frederic Harrison Smith, Jr. was born on 30 June 1908 at Fort Monroe, VA. He attended the U.S. Military Academy and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Field Artillery upon graduation on 13 June 1929.

Smith's first assignment was that of student officer at the Air Corps Primary and Advanced Flying Schools at Brooks and Kelly Fields, TX. After receiving his pilot wings, he was transferred to the U.S. Army Air Corps in December 1930.

His first Air Corps assignment was at France Field, Panama Canal Zone, where he served with the 63rd Service Squadron and the 24th Pursuit Squadron until December 1932. Smith then returned to the U.S. for assignment to the 41st School Squadron at Kelly Field in January 1933.

From 1936-39, following three years as flying instructor at Kelly Field, Captain Smith served as Senior Aeronautical Inspector for the Panama Canal, Balboa Heights, Canal Zone. He also acted as advisor on aviation matters to the Governor of the Panama Canal. In late 1939, Captain Smith returned to the U.S. as Operations Officer of the 36th Pursuit Squadron. A few months later he became its Commander at Langley Field.

Within a year after Smith assumed his first command, he was appointed Commanding Officer of the Eighth Pursuit Group, Seventh Pursuit Wing, at Mitchel Field, NY. In January 1942, Lieutenant Colonel Smith took his Eighth Pursuit Group to the Southwest Pacific. Later in the year he left the Group to become Chief of Staff of the advanced echelon of the newly activated Fifth Air Force.

Following two years of combat service in the Pacific, Brigadier General Smith was transferred to the European Theater of Operations, where he served as Deputy Senior Air Staff officer and Chief of Operations of the Allied Expeditionary Air Forces, based in England. During the fall of 1944, Smith returned to the U.S. to become Deputy Chief of Air Staff at Headquarters, Army Air Force in Washington, DC. He returned to the Southwest Pacific in February 1945 to direct the Fifth Fighter Command.

At the end of the war Smith was ordered to Washington for duty in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Plans, at Army Air Force Headquarters. He served there in the Special Organizational Planning Group until March 1946. In April 1946, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Strategic Air Command at Andrews Field, MD, and in February 1947 became National Commander of the Civil Air Patrol.

On 10 October 1947, following establishment of U.S. Air Force Headquarters, Smith was appointed chief of the Requirements Division under the Director of Training and Requirements Division in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations.

Major General Smith was appointed Assistant for Programming in that office in February 1948, a position he held until 14 August 1950. He was then named Commanding General of the Eastern Air Defense Force, Stewart Air Force Base, NY.

Smith became Vice Commander of the Air Defense Command, Ent Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, CO, on 1 March 1952. He served there until 20 June 1956, when he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and again joined the Fifth Air Force, this time as its Commander.

On 1 July 1957, concurrently with a reorganization of the U.S. Forces in the Pacific Area, Smith, as Commander of the Fifth Air Force, was also appointed Commander of the U.S. Forces, Japan.

In September 1958, returned to the U.S. to assume Command of the Air Training Command, with Headquarters at Randolph Air Force Base, TX. He was promoted to the four-star rank of General on 1 August 1959 and sent to Germany to take Command of the 4th Allied Tactical Air Force and the U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

On 1 July 1961, General Smith assumed duties as Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force.

He retired from the Air Force on 1 September 1962.

Medals and Awards

Air Force Distinguished Service Medal

Navy Distinguished Service Medal

Legion of Merit

Air Medal with oak leaf cluster

Army Commendation Medal

National Defense Service Medal

Air Force Longevity Service Award with six oak leaf clusters

American Defense Service Medal

American Campaign Medal

Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal

European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Medal

World War II Victory Medal

Philippine Liberation Ribbon

He was rated as a Command Pilot.


Frederic Harrison Smith, Jr. married Martha Stuart King, daughter of U.S. Navy Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King.

Death and Burial

General Frederic Harrison Smith, Jr. died on 28 May 1980. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 3, Lot 4022.

Smith's wife, Martha, died in 1996 and is buried next to her husband.

Honoree ID: 842   Created by: MHOH




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