Stanley C. Smith

  • Lieutenant Junior Grade
  • WW II


Stanley Charles Smith was born in Providence, Rhode Island on 24 February 1921. He was the son of Arthur and Ethel Smith. He was a 1940 graduate of Classical High School, Providence, Rhode Island. Stanley entered Rhode Island State College (RISC) in September 1940 with the class of 1943 majoring in Mechanical Engineering. He was a member of Theta Chi Fraternity, the Grist Staff, Rifle Team and participated in the Army ROTC program for two years. Like so many of his classmates, Stanley left RISC after two years and enlisted in the U.S. Navy Aviation Cadet Program.

He attended air cadet training at Floyd Bennet Field, New York; aviation training at Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida and advanced aviation training at Corpus Christi Naval Air Station, Texas. He was commissioned an Ensign, U.S. Navy Reserve in 1942. Ensign Smith was assigned to the US Navy Squadron VP-207 at the transition training squadron, Banana River, Florida to be trained on the Martin PBN Mariner Patrol Bomber.

His next assignment was at the U.S. Navy Base, Key West, Florida with the USS Albemarie, a seaplane tender. Key West was one of several U.S. Navy bases on the east coast assigned the mission of anti-submarine warfare. The Martin PBN Mariner Patrol Bomber was equipped with big lights attached to the right wing which assisted the crew in identifying a suspicious target while on night patrol. The attack plan was to descend to 100 feet while approaching the enemy target. The enemy target was illuminated at one mile and attacked with depth charges. Throughout the course of World War II, Martin PBN Mariner Patrol Bombers were credited with sinking ten German submarine.

Sadly, on 20 August 1944, Lieutenant (jg) Stanley Smith with a crew of seven were killed in a crash approximately 25 miles north of Bermuda while on an anti-submarine bombing mission. There were no survivors, and the plane sank in 900 feet of water. Only a few small parts of the plane were recovered.

Lieutenant (jg) Stanley Charles Smith was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart Medal; and his name is on the Tablets of the Missing, East Coast Memorial, New York, New York. Lieutenant (jg) Stanley Charles Smith’s courage and devotion to duty contributed to the success of our forces in defeating the Germans and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He was a son of Rhode Island State College who answered the call to service during World War II and gave his life in service to the State of Rhode Island and our country. He was another member of the “Greatest Generation.”