Smith, Robert Holmes, CAPT

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
8 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Captain
Last Primary NEC
112X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Submarine Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1943-1943, 112X, COMSUBGRU 2/COMSUBRON 2
Service Years
1919 - 1943
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Order of the Golden Dragon
Neptune Subpoena
Panama Canal
Plank Owner
Captain
Captain

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

336 kb

Home State
North Carolina
North Carolina
Year of Birth
1898
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Bersley H. Thomas, Jr. (Tom), SMCS to remember Smith, Robert Holmes, CAPT.

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
Harrellsville
Last Address
Rocky Mount, North Carolina

Date of Passing
Jan 21, 1943
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 




 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback Order of the Golden Dragon


 Military Association Memberships
United States Naval Academy Alumni AssociationMilitary Order of Foreign Wars of the United StatesSubmarine Veterans of WW IIMilitary Order of the World Wars (MOWW)
  1919, United States Naval Academy Alumni Association [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1941, Military Order of Foreign Wars of the United States [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1943, Submarine Veterans of WW II
  1945, Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW)


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

                  USS Sperry USS Proteus USS Dixon SanDiego 1985.jpeg

USS Sperry (AS-12) was a Fulton-class submarine tender in the United States Navy. She was named for Elmer Sperry.


Sperry
was laid down on 1 February 1941 at the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California; launched on 17 December 1941, just 10 days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor; sponsored by Mrs. Helen Sperry Lea, daughter of Elmer Ambrose Sperry; and commissioned on 1 May 1942, Captain Robert H. Smith in command.

Born in Harrellsville, North Carolina, CAPT Smith graduated from the Naval Academy on 6 June 1919. After duty in various surface ships, he served with the Submarine Service for 17 years. He commanded USS Bonita (SS-165), was an instructor at the New London submarine school, a member of the Naval Academy staff, Submarine Gunnery Officer with the Bureau of Navigation, Navigation Officer in USS Pennsylvania (BB-38), and Chief of Staff for Submarine Division, Atlantic Patrol Force. Following promotion to captain, he commanded USS Sperry (AS-12) in the Pacific from May 1942 to January 1943.


He was Commander of Submarine Squadron 2, Pacific Submarine Force, when he died in the crash of the Philippine Clipper flying boat in Northern California on 21 January 1943.
 

   
Other Comments:


Legion of MeritBronze Star

Rank/Rate Captain
Service Number 0-055994
Birth Date August 8, 1898
From Rocky Mount, North Carolina
Decorations Legion of Merit, Bronze Star
Command COMSUBRON 2
Loss Date January 21, 1943
Location Near Booneville, California, north of San Francisco
Circumstances Killed in the crash of the Philippine Clipper
Remarks Robert was born in Harrellsville, North Carolina.
He had just been relieved of command of USS Sperry.



 

   
 Photo Album   (More...



World War II
Start Year
1941
End Year
1945

Description
Overview of World War II 

World War II killed more people, involved more nations, and cost more money than any other war in history. Altogether, 70 million people served in the armed forces during the war, and 17 million combatants died. Civilian deaths were ever greater. At least 19 million Soviet civilians, 10 million Chinese, and 6 million European Jews lost their lives during the war.

World War II was truly a global war. Some 70 nations took part in the conflict, and fighting took place on the continents of Africa, Asia, and Europe, as well as on the high seas. Entire societies participated as soldiers or as war workers, while others were persecuted as victims of occupation and mass murder.

World War II cost the United States a million causalities and nearly 400,000 deaths. In both domestic and foreign affairs, its consequences were far-reaching. It ended the Depression, brought millions of married women into the workforce, initiated sweeping changes in the lives of the nation's minority groups, and dramatically expanded government's presence in American life.

The War at Home & Abroad

On September 1, 1939, World War II started when Germany invaded Poland. By November 1942, the Axis powers controlled territory from Norway to North Africa and from France to the Soviet Union. After defeating the Axis in North Africa in May 1941, the United States and its Allies invaded Sicily in July 1943 and forced Italy to surrender in September. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, the Allies landed in Northern France. In December, a German counteroffensive (the Battle of the Bulge) failed. Germany surrendered in May 1945.

The United States entered the war following a surprise attack by Japan on the U.S. Pacific fleet in Hawaii. The United States and its Allies halted Japanese expansion at the Battle of Midway in June 1942 and in other campaigns in the South Pacific. From 1943 to August 1945, the Allies hopped from island to island across the Central Pacific and also battled the Japanese in China, Burma, and India. Japan agreed to surrender on August 14, 1945 after the United States dropped the first atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Consequences:

1. The war ended Depression unemployment and dramatically expanded government's presence in American life. It led the federal government to create a War Production Board to oversee conversion to a wartime economy and the Office of Price Administration to set prices on many items and to supervise a rationing system.

2. During the war, African Americans, women, and Mexican Americans founded new opportunities in industry. But Japanese Americans living on the Pacific coast were relocated from their homes and placed in internment camps.

The Dawn of the Atomic Age

In 1939, Albert Einstein wrote a letter to President Roosevelt, warning him that the Nazis might be able to build an atomic bomb. On December 2, 1942, Enrico Fermi, an Italian refugee, produced the first self-sustained, controlled nuclear chain reaction in Chicago.

To ensure that the United States developed a bomb before Nazi Germany did, the federal government started the secret $2 billion Manhattan Project. On July 16, 1945, in the New Mexico desert near Alamogordo, the Manhattan Project's scientists exploded the first atomic bomb.

It was during the Potsdam negotiations that President Harry Truman learned that American scientists had tested the first atomic bomb. On August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay, a B-29 Superfortress, released an atomic bomb over Hiroshima, Japan. Between 80,000 and 140,000 people were killed or fatally wounded. Three days later, a second bomb fell on Nagasaki. About 35,000 people were killed. The following day Japan sued for peace.

President Truman's defenders argued that the bombs ended the war quickly, avoiding the necessity of a costly invasion and the probable loss of tens of thousands of American lives and hundreds of thousands of Japanese lives. His critics argued that the war might have ended even without the atomic bombings. They maintained that the Japanese economy would have been strangled by a continued naval blockade, and that Japan could have been forced to surrender by conventional firebombing or by a demonstration of the atomic bomb's power.

The unleashing of nuclear power during World War II generated hope of a cheap and abundant source of energy, but it also produced anxiety among large numbers of people in the United States and around the world.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1942
To Year
1943
 
Last Updated:
Sep 22, 2014
   
Personal Memories

Memories
Sperry completed trials and shakedown training, and on 2 August 1942, she reported for duty to the Commander, Submarines, Pacific, at Pearl Harbor. She remained at Oahu for almost three months, refitting seven submarines and making voyage repairs to four others.

On 26 October, she weighed anchor and headed for Australia. After cautiously skirting the Solomon Islands and making a three-day stopover at Noumea, New Caledonia, the submarine tender reached Brisbane on 13 November. During her two-month stay "down under," Sperry refitted seven submarines and made a voyage repair on one.

On 17 January 1943, she sailed for Pearl Harbor.

   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  1542 Also There at This Battle:
  • Abbott, Floyd Eugene, PO3, (1943-1946)
  • Abramson, Arthur, LT, (1942-1945)
  • Agesen, Bruce Martin, LCDR, (1942-1966)
  • Ahlfs, Jerold Francis, CDR, (1940-1954)
  • Albertson, Dean Howard, LTJG, (1943-1953)
  • Alexander, William Patrick, S2c, (1942-1945)
  • Alexatos, Michael Stephen, CAPT, (1942-1970)
  • Ambellan, Charles Herbert, CAPT, (1942-1970)
  • Anderson, Leroy Marvin, LT, (1942-1946)
  • Arnold, Arlington Reid, LTJG, (1941-1946)
  • Arnold, John Jacob, LCDR, (1942-1976)
  • Aschenbrenner, John, S1c, (1943-1945)
  • Azer, John, CAPT, (1928-1948)
  • Badger, Heber Jenkins, CAPT, (1941-1961)
  • Bainbridge, Robert, PO3, (1940-1949)
  • Ballard, John Vernon, LT, (1942-1966)
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