John E. Smith, Sr.
Sergeant T-4
U. S. Army
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 09/02/1938 - 07/12/1945
Soldier and Forward Spotter in the 3rd Cav. Division, First Cavalry Division

His time as a soldier spanned the years from the horse cavalry to the atomic age. John was born as the son of a soldier in Magnolia, Arkansas, and grew up on or near Army bases where his father served. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on September 2, 1938 at Fort Bliss, when he joined the First Cavalry Division as a horse holder in the artillery. John participated in the Louisiana Maneuvers, which determined once and for all that the horses had no place in modern warfare. Sent to the Pacific in World War II, John was sent to New Guinea, and then saw action in the Admiralty Islands, and on Leyte and Luzon in the Philippines as a forward observer in the First Cavalry Division's 271st Field Artillery Battalion. John was awarded two Bronze Stars for conduct under fire on Los Negros. He was also offered a field commission, but turned it down. John was discharged on July 12, 1945 with the rank of Sergeant T-4. He soon began a long career with Southern Bell Telephone Company.