SMITH, Levering, VADM

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Last Rank
Vice Admiral
Last Primary NEC
113X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Special Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1974-1974, Strategic Systems Projects Office (SSPO), Washington, DC
Service Years
1932 - 1974
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember SMITH, Levering, VADM USN(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
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
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot: Section 21, Lot 6, #6

 Official Badges 

US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

US Navy Honorable Discharge

 Military Association Memberships
Navy League of the United StatesAmerican Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE)
  1940, Navy League of the United States - Assoc. Page
  1960, American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE)

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity


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. 

Other Comments:
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.

 Photo Album   (More...

  1954-1957, Naval Ordnance Missile Test Facility (NOMTF) , White Sands Missile Range


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 Naval Ordnance Missile Test Facility (NOMTF) , White Sands Missile Range Details

Naval Ordnance Missile Test Facility (NOMTF) , White Sands Missile Range

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Parent Unit
White Sands Missile Range


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Last Updated: May 20, 2014
Memories For This Unit

Chain of Command
Capt. LeveringSmith, commanding officer of the U. S. Naval Ordnance Missile Test..."

My Photos For This Unit
No Available Photos
6 Members Also There at Same Time
Naval Ordnance Missile Test Facility (NOMTF)

Penny, Harmon Charles, CAPT, (1942-1970) Lieutenant Commander
Gault, Harry, LT, (1956-1978) Seaman
Puckett, Clarence, PO2, (1954-1958) SH SH-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Stannard, Robert, PO2, (1955-1958) FT FT-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
White Sands Missile Range

HALVORSON, George, RADM, (1942-1974) Commander
Laughlin, Robert E, PO1, (1952-1956) FT FT-0000 Petty Officer First Class

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