Remembering Lieutenant (jg) James C. Smith

Very few information on the Internet about this pilot. No ship with his name.

Smith is a very common name so I had to look carefully for the right Smith in this book.

The name Smith appears 118 times.

Lieutenant (junior grade) James C. Smith’s name is under the group picture but without his first name nor his rank…

I found his full name in the book when he landed on the Saratoga. He had made the 61,000th landing.

Lieutenant (junior grade) James Smith died as he was leading SCARLET STANDBY into the battle on August 24th, 1942.

This is all we know about how he died with Ensign Horace Bass and Bill Reid on August 24th, 1942.

Bustering north from TF-11, the VF-5 standby division of Jim Smith, Ike Eichenberger, and Ens. Horace Bass joined the melee just as the Zuikaku carrier bombers entered TF-16’s AA fire. Either Zuikaku Zeros or AA accounted for Smith and Bass, as well as Bill Reid of Runyon’s RED 4.. Ship observers noticed a dogfight develop off the port bow, from which one enemy plane and one F4F fell out of control. Wrapped in flames and wings badly damaged, a second F4F plunged vertically into the water 4,000 yards off the Balch’s port beam.


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