James F. SMITH Jr
Pictures from James a few weeks before he lost his life. (Pictures from Saralee Green)
Info from Saralee Green
Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Forces
Service # O-672005
331st Bomber Squadron, 94th Bomber Group, Heavy
Entered the Service: 18 March 1942 Maxwell Field Montgomery, Alabama
Hometown: Montgomery county Alabama
Born: 1921 Alabama
Died: 17-Aug-43 Lummen, Belgium
Awards: Air Medal with 2 Oak Leave Clusters
Picture Rudy Kenis
Letter from Saralee 11 August 2014:
I will tell you of my memories of the boy next door. Everyone called him Denny. I have never known why. I was about 5 years old when my family (mother, father, and me) moved next door to Mr. & Mrs. Frank Smith, their son Denny (about 13 years old) and Mr. Smith's Uncle David J. Bunting. The Smiths had a little girl named Allie who had drowned in the Alabama river when she was about 5 years old. Mrs. Smith was so sweet to me for I was about the age Allie had been.. My father worked for the Railroad and was out of town at night sometimes and my mother did not like for us to stay alone at night and so Denny would come over and spend the night. I was an only child and Denny was that older brother that I would have loved to have had. He would pull me in my wagon and that was so much fun. My family moved about 2 blocks away, so we did not see the Smiths as much, but Denny was always sweet about coming to see us.
Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941, I was 11- Denny was 19. He attended Sidney Lanier High School, which was one of the 5 best High Schools in the United States. He was a very popular boy who had played football in Jr. High School (grades 7-9).
The only Alabamian in the class of aviation cadets nearing their wings and commissions at the Army Air Forces Advanced Flying School, Pampa, Texas, newest aerial university for twin-engine pilots, is James F. Smith, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. James F. Smith, Sr. Montgomery Cadet Smith studied in Montgomery schools and, in civilian life, was a swimming instructor and lifeguard for two years at the Officers' Club, Maxwell Field, Montgomery. He received his primary flight training at Sikeston, MO, and his basic training at Enid Army Flying School, Enid, Okla."
Another article with his picture tells that he was commissioned a 2nd Lt. and received his wings
In August of 1943 I saw Mrs. Smith and asked her when Denny would be home and she smiled and said for Christmas. Denny was at home with his Lord and Savior at Christmas of 1943 and that was when his parents received the notice that Denny had been declared dead. He was 22 years old and his death caused his father to decline mentally and physically. Mr. Smith had served our Country in the 1st World War.
Info: AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION
Info from MACR: