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FAYETTEVILLE - James W. Smith, 90, of Fayetteville, passed away Saturday, March 5, 2011, in Johnson City, Tenn.

Mr. Smith was born June 29, 1920, in Elizabethton, Tenn., to the late Bruce A. and Della B. Absher Smith. In addition to his parents Mr. Smith was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy Ruth Smith, whom he married February 28, 1940, in Gate City, Va.; three sisters, Wanda Parks, Bernice Shipley and Nancy Hall; and a brother, Harry Smith.

James proudly served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II from 1942 to 1946, during the Korean War from 1951 to 1954, and during the Vietnam War from 1967 to 1968 with the 82nd Airborne Division's 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He was a first sergeant during World War II and made Warrant Officer 4 before retiring.

During his 30 years of service, Mr. Smith was awarded many awards and decorations. He received three Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal, multiple good conduct medals, two National Defense Service Medals, the European-African Campaign Medal with four battle stars and one arrowhead, the Army Occupation Medal-Germany, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Republic of Korea War Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal Korea, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal with campaign stars, two Army Presidential Unit Citations, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation, Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation, World War II Glider Badge, Master Parachutist Badge with two stars, Combat Infantryman's Badge with one star, Expert Marksman, Honorable Service Lapel Button, and the Infantry Blue Cord. He was also awarded the French Fourragére for the parachute invasion of Normandy, the Belgian Fourragére for combat service in the Battle of the Bulge and the Netherlands Citation.

Mr. Smith was a member of Fort Bragg Lodge #667 and Sudan Shiners.

James is survived by his son, James Smith and his wife, Jane Gray; grandsons, Kevin Smith and his wife, Kelley, and Aaron Rowley and his wife, Meg; granddaughter, Christy Miller and her husband, Mickey; great-grandchildren, Abby Smith, Emily Smith, Carter Smith, Grayson Rowley, Sydney Miller and Brady Miller. Several nieces and nephews also survive.

The family would like to thank Jobelle and Gayle Hood, Jerry Stevens, Cindy Hall, and Sam and Vickey Shipley for all of their love and support. The family would also like to thank James and Martha Grant for their friendship and support.

A gathering of friends for Mr. James W. Smith Sr. will be conducted Friday, March 11, 2011, from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. at Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home in Fayetteville. A military committal service will follow in Lafayette Memorial Park and Mausoleum, 2301 Ramsey St. in Fayetteville. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Cumberland County Chapter 46, Disabled American Veterans, by mail at 520 Johnson Street, Fayetteville, NC 28303, or by calling 868-2251. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family and viewed online at tetrickfuneralhome.com or jerniganwarren.com. Arrangements by Tetrick Funeral Home of Johnson City.

Published in Fayetteville Observer on March 8, 2011

(courtesy of Bill Cody)

Grave marker for James W. Smith in the Lafayette Memorial Park and Mausoleum, Fayetteville (Cumberland county, North Carolina.

James enlisted in the Army at Camp Forrest, TN on 9 October 1942. 

Pvt Smith was assigned to Company B, 50th PIR at Camp Blanding FL. 

He rose in rank quickly as on 5 January 193 he appointed as Pfc and just 25 days later was appointed Cpl.  Then on 31 August 1943 he as appointed to the grade of Sergeant. A month later the appointment to Staff Sergeant occurred.

On 18 August 19443 after completing more than a month in combat he was promoted to First Sergeant.

1st Sgt Smith remained in the army after WWII and saw further service in Korea and Vietnam.

He was commissioned as a warrant officer and retired with the grade of Chief Warrant Officer (WO-4).

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