Smith, Carthel Hill, Jr., LCDR

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Last Rank
Lieutenant Commander
Last Primary NEC
112X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Submarine Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1941-1944, 112X, USS Grayback (SS-208)
Service Years
1940 - 1944
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Bersley H. Thomas, Jr. (Tom), SMCS to remember Smith, Carthel Hill, Jr., LCDR.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Prestonsburg, KY
Last Address
Not Specified

Casualty Date
Feb 26, 1944
Hostile-Body Not Recovered
Other Explosive Device
Pacific Ocean
World War II
Location of Interment
Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial - Honolulu, Hawaii
Wall/Plot Coordinates

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Grayback’s tenth patrol, her most successful in terms of tonnage sunk, was also to be her last. She sailed from Pearl Harbor on 28 January 1944, for the East China Sea. On 24 February Grayback radioed that she had sunk two cargo ships 19 February and had damaged two others (Taikei Maru and Toshin Maru sunk). On 25 February she transmitted her second and final report. That morning she had sunk tanker Nanho Maru and severely damaged Asama Maru. With only two torpedoes remaining, she was ordered home from patrol. Due to reach Midway on 7 March, Grayback did not arrive. On 30 March ComSubPac listed her as missing and presumed lost with all hands.

From captured Japanese records the submarine's last few days can be pieced together. Heading home through the East China Sea after attacking convoy Hi-40 on 24 February, Grayback used her last two torpedoes to sink the freighter Ceylon Maru on 27 February. That same day, a Japanese carrier-based plane spotted a submarine on the surface in the East China Sea and attacked. According to Japanese reports the submarine "exploded and sank immediately," but antisubmarine craft were called in to depth-charge the area, clearly marked by a trail of air bubbles, until at last a heavy oil slick swelled to the surface. Grayback had ended her last patrol, one which cost the enemy some 21,594 tons of shipping.

Grayson CO, John Anderson Moore was posthumously awarded after this mission by third Navy Cross (see Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 336 (March 1945))

Grayback ranked 20th among all submarines in total tonnage sunk with 63,835 tons and 24th in number of ships sunk with 14. The submarine and crew had received two Navy Unit Commendations for their seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth war patrols.

Grayback received eight battle stars for World War II service.

Name of Award
Silver Star

Year Awarded
Details behind Award:
Awarded for actions during the World War II
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Lieutenant Carthel Hill Smith, Jr. (NSN: 0-85293), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity as Diving Officer of a United States Submarine in action against enemy Japanese forces during an aggressive War Patrol during World War II. Controlling the depth of his ship skillfully and with excellent judgment throughout this period of hazardous operations, Lieutenant Smith rendered valuable assistance to his Commanding Officer in directing vigorous torpedo attacks which resulted in the sinking and damaging of an important amount of enemy shipping, including an auxiliary cruiser and, by his unwavering perseverance and tireless efforts, contributed materially to the success of his vessel in executing effective evasive tactics during severe hostile countermeasures. Lieutenant Smith's cool courage and steadfast devotion to duty under extremely perilous conditions were an inspiration to the officers and men of his submarine and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Pacific Fleet Board Awards: Serial 78 (November 17, 1944)
Action Date: World War II
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Company: Diving Officer
Division: U.S. Submarine
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 Ribbon Bar
Submarine Officer Badge
Submarine Combat Patrol Badge

 Duty Stations
USS Grayback (SS-208)
  1941-1944, 112X, USS Grayback (SS-208)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1944 USS GRAYBACK (SS-208) 9th War Patrol
  1944-1944 USS Grayback (SS-208)
 Colleges Attended 
Eastern Kentucky UniversityUnited States Naval Academy
  1935-1936, Eastern Kentucky University
  1936-1940, United States Naval Academy2
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Jul 20, 2014, General Photos
 Military Association Memberships
World War II FallenUnited States Navy Memorial The National Gold Star Family RegistryWW II Memorial National Registry
  2012, World War II Fallen [Verified]
  2013, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2014, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2014, WW II Memorial National Registry
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