SMITH, Armistead, Jr., CAPT

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Captain
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1969-1972, Other Units
Service Years
1942 - 1972
Captain Captain

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Home State
North Carolina
North Carolina
Year of Birth
1921
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven D. Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember SMITH, Armistead, Jr. (ACE "Chick"), CAPT.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Gastonia, NC
Last Address
La Jolla, California, age 85. Burial:
Fort Roasecrans National Cemetery.

Date of Passing
Jul 10, 2006
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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Last Known Activity
Captain Armistead "Chick" Smith U.S.N.

After the North African invasion of 1942, 'Chick' Smith transferred with VF-9 to the Pacific in 1943 flying Hellcats from U.S.S. Essex. He participated in the carrier strikes against Wake, Marcus, the invasions of Tarawa and the Marshalls; and in the first carrier attacks against Truk and Saipan/Tinian. Becoming an Ace in 1944 he transferred to VBF-12 flying F6Fs in strikes against Tokyo, and the invasion of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. In 87 combat missions he recorded 11 victories. 'Chick' Smith retired in 1972.

Armistead Burwell Smith Jr. was born March 15, 1921, in Gastonia, North Carolina. He left the University of North Carolina after two years to join the Navy and was commissioned as an ensign in February 1942. In November 1942 in North Africa, he flew an F4F Wildcat off the carrier USS Ranger. Capt. Chick Smith over the course of the war, shot down 11 enemy aircraft during 87 combat missions. The first seven of the downed planes were during a 15-month period flying off the aircraft carrier Essex. Captain Smith flew F6F Hellcats with 9 squadron known as “the Ace maker” for its high success rate against Zeros. In the battle for Truk Lagoon in Micronesia, Capt. Smith's aircraft was shot down. After landing in the water, he was rescued by a destroyer. During the invasion of the islands of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, Capt. Smith operated from the US Carrier USS Randolph shooting down four Japanese aircraft. His decorations include four Distinguished Flying Crosses, a Silver Star, eight Air Medals, two Legions of Merit and a Navy Commendation Medal. After World War II, Capt. Smith commanded two fighter squadrons, a carrier air wing and the seaplane tender Pine Island. From 1967 to 1969, he commanded what was then the Miramar Naval Air Station he would continue in service and finally retire as Commander Fleet Fighter Squadrons in 1972. He passed away in July 2006.
 
   
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 Duty Stations
School Assignments - StaffUSS Ranger (CV-4)VF-9 Cat O NineUSS Essex (CV-9)
USS Randolph (CV-15)US NavyCOMNAVAIRLANT/Commander Fighter Wing AtlanticNAS Miramar
  1942-1942, Naval Flight School
  1942-1942, USS Ranger (CV-4)
  1942-1943, VF-9 Cat O Nine
  1943-1944, USS Essex (CV-9)
  1944-1945, USS Randolph (CV-15)
  1948-1948, COMFLTAIR/Quonset Point, RI
  1960-1964, COMNAVAIRLANT/Commander Fighter Wing Atlantic
  1965-1967, USS Pine Island (AV-12)
  1967-1969, NAS Miramar
  1969-1972, Other Units
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1943 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Naval attack of Truk (Operation Hailstone)
  1941-1943 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Naval attack of Truk (Operation Hailstone)
  1943-1944 Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Bismarck Archipelago operation
  1945-1945 Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto operation
  1945-1945 Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Iwo Jima operation
  1945-1945 Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto operation
 Colleges Attended 
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  1940-1942, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
 Other News, Events and Photographs
 
  WWII Ace, 10 Kills. VF-9 and VBF-121
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