General Brewster forwards this sad message about the passing of Lt/Gen Keith Smith:
Al Brewster sends:
Subject: Fw: Death of Lieutenant General Keith A Smith USMC Retired
In case you were not aware of this event-
Keith was truly “one of the good guys” (also the only Reserve Officer I am aware of who made GO)
PS We got home from CA late last night so for those few of you who held my mail- I am back on the web with over a 1,000 emails to review
Subject: Death of Lieutenant General Keith A Smith USMC Retired
Date: Tuesday, September 11, 2012, 3:29 PM
General, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I regret to inform you that Lieutenant General Keith A Smith, USMC Retired, passed away September 6, 2012, at the age of 83. LtGen Smith is survived by his wife Mrs. Shirley Smith. A follow-up email will be sent once the memorial and interment plans have been finalized.
Condolence letters can reach Mrs. Smith at the address listed below:
Mrs. Shirley Smith
2006 Barkham Lane
Vienna, VA 22182
Bio: Lieutenant General Keith A. Smith USMC Retired
Lieutenant General Keith A. Smith was the Deputy Chief of Staff for Aviation, Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C.
General Smith was born in Cheney, Washington, November 11, 1928. He graduated from Cheney High School in 1945, and attended Washington State University from 1948 to 1952, earning a B.S. degree in Agriculture.
He enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve on May 12, 1952 I, and attained tile rank of sergeant prior to being commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve on June 6, 1952.
He completed The Basic School at Quantico, Va., in January 1953, and reported for flight training at tile Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Fla. He was designated a Naval Aviator May 12, 1954, and the following month reported for duty with Marine Night Fighter Squadron 542, Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, Calif., prior to being transferred to Marine Nighter Fighter Squadron 513 in Korea. In the spring of 1955, the squadron was redeployed to NAS, Atsugi, Japan, and General Smith completed that tour as Squadron Operations Officer. He was promoted to first lieutenant in August 1954, and to captain in July 1956.
General Smith was transferred to First Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, Camp Smith, Hawaii, in March 1956, as Air Liaison Officer. He returned to civilian life in February 1957, and participated with Reserve Marine Fighter Squadron 216, Naval Air Reserve Facility, Spokane, Washington, flying F9 and F6s; and Marine Fighter Squadron 541, Naval Air Station, Seattle, Washington, flying AD aircraft.
During December 1960, General Smith returned to active duty with the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, N.C. He served as Executive Officer, Marine Air Control Squadron 6 and later, as S4 Officer, Marine Wing Headquarters Group 1. In February 1962, he was reassigned as Officer-in-Charge of tile cadre designated to build the first East Coast Marine F-4B squadron. The cadre picked up the colors of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 531 in July of that year, and over the next three years, General Smith served consecutively as Adjutant, S-1 Officer, Aircraft Maintenance Officer, and Operations Officer. He was promoted to major ill July 1963.
During April 1965, as a member of the first Marine F-4B squadron to see action in Vietnam, he flew 156 combat missions. For his service he was awarded five Flight Strike Air Medals and one Single Mission Air Medal. The squadron was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation Medal for its superior performance in South Vietnam.
He returned to the United States in July 1965, and attended the Command and Staff College at Quantico. Upon graduation, he was assigned as Head, Technical Training Section Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Aviation, Headquarter Marine Corps. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in October 1967.
General Smith underwent F-4 refresher training during March and April 1969, enroute to Vietnam for duty with the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. He was initially assigned as S-1 Officer, Marine Aircraft Group l1 and in August 1969 he assumed command of Marne Fighter Attack Squadron 542 participating in 389 combat missions. In February 1970, he brought that squadron home from Vietnam and assumed command of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323, located at El Toro.
In June 1970, General Smith was ordered to Camp Smith, Hawaii, and served on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific, as Plans Officer, Southeast Asia Plans and Policy Branch. In June 1972, he was reassigned as Head, Aviation Weapons Systems Branch, FMF, Pacific, staff. He was promoted to colonel in August 1972.
General Smith attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces from August 1973 to June 1974, and upon graduation, reported to Headquarters Marine Corps as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Requirements and Programs. He was advanced to brigadier general on May 12, 1976, and assumed duty July 2, 1976, as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Aviation.
During May 1977, General Smith was transferred to the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing on Okinawa, to serve as Assistant Wing Commander and Commanding General, Ninth Marine Amphibious Brigade for the Team Spirit Exercise in Korea. On June 16, 1978, he assumed duty as Commander, Marine Corps Air Bases, Eastern Area and Commanding General, Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, N.C. He was advanced to major general on April 9, 1979. In January 1980, he was assigned duty as Deputy Chief of Staff for Requirements and Programs, Headquarters Marine Corps. General Smith was assigned duty as the Commanding General, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, FMF, Atlantic, MCAS, Cherry Point, N.C., in June 1981. Following his promotion to lieutenant general on August 28, 1984, he assumed his current assignment on September 1, 1984.
General Smith's personal decorations include: the Legion of Merit with Combat "V"; the Distinguished Flying Cross; Meritorious Service Medal; Air Medal with two gold stars and Numeral 26; and the Navy Commendation Medal.
Lieutenant General Smith and his wife, the former Shirley Lee of Hoquiam, Washington, are the parents of nine children. Kelly of Las Vegas, NV; Timothy of Redford, MI, Holly of Seattle, WA; Cynthia of Arlington, VA; Lynn Derbyshire of Herndon, VA; Thad of Putnam Valley, NY; Tadgh of Vienna, VA; and Tara Rose of Suwanee, GA; Vincent, a Marine captain, was killed in action in Beirut, Lebanon on October 23, 1983.
Revised: January 28, 2008
(703)784-9231/33 DSN (278)
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