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Home Town Joplin/Jasper, Missouri
Last Address Born in Joplin, Missouri High School in Grafton, Illinois Halls Preparatory School, Columbia, Missouri Direct selection to RAdm by President Kennedy Knighted (KBE) by Her Majesty the Queen, 1972 Died in San Diego, California in 1993
Date of Passing Apr 05, 1993
Location of Interment San Marcos District Cemetery - San Marcos, California
Vice Admiral Levering Smith, USN (Ret)
The Navy's Ordnance Engineering Duty Only (OEDO) specialist
Admiral Sir Levering Smith, KBE
Levering Smith, was a retired Navy Vice Admiral who played a leading role in giving the nation its undersea deterrent of nuclear missile submarines.
Levering Smith graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1932. During World War II, he participated in campaigns and engagements in the Pacific including the Battles of Santa Cruz and Lunga Point, and surviving the sinkings of the aircraft carrier USS HORNET and the cruiser USS NORTHAMPTON. He also took part in the Battle of the Philippine Sea in the cruiser USS INDIANAPOLIS.
Navy leaders consider Adm. Smith on a par with the late Adm. Hyman G. Rickover in pushing submarine technology to unprecedented heights. Adm. Smith quietly developed the Polaris, Poseidon and Trident ballistic missiles for submarines, while Rickover flamboyantly championed nuclear propulsion.
As well as being a brilliant scientist and engineer, Adm. Smith had a sense of mission about his work. He believed that once the United States and the Soviet Union had invulnerable retaliatory missiles under the sea, neither would tip the balance of terror by attacking the other in a surprise first strike.
Three times he received the highest navy award for noncombat service, the Distinguished Service Medal. He was awarded the American Defense Service Medal with one star, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with eleven stars, and many more. On January 7, 1972, Rear Admiral Smith received a high "Order of Chivalry" from Queen Elizabeth II of England. This made him "Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire." His technical peers showed their respect by the L. T. E. Thompson Award (1957, Naval Ordnance Test Station). He was also awarded the C. N. Hickman Award (1957, American Rocket Society); the American Society of Naval Engineers Gold Medal (1961); the William S. Parsons Award (1961, Navy League of the United States); the Gold Knight of Management Award (1972, National Management Association); and an honorary doctor of laws degree (New Mexico State University). Levering was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1965.
Admiral Smith also received The Captain Robert Dexter Conrad award which consists of a gold medal and a citation signed by the Secretary of the Navy.
Levering Smith Award
Established in 1986, The Vice Admiral Levering Smith Award for Submarine Support Achievement recognizes specific or continuing submarine support actions which have most contributed to the furtherance of the spirit or fighting mettle of the Submarine Force. Submarine support actions shall include service in submarine support activities, submarine maintenance and training activities, and other such activities engaged in direct support of the operating Submarine Force. One award is presented annually to a Navy or Naval Reserve service member (Officer or Enlisted) lieutenant commander or junior.