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I just purchased a nice USN postwar group (Good Conduct named, China Service, Occupation Medal "Europe", Korea, UN Korea.

Given only a name "William D. Smart" and an approximate entry date of 1947 (GC is dated 1951), are there any sources which might help me track his service, such as ships?

Thank you

Edited by Michael Johnson
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  • 4 years later...

Still working on this one, and have come up with a possible for the end of his career. There was: SPCM W D Smart USS Constellation CVA-64 1967 ADJAN W D Smart USS America CVA-66 1968 USN ranks are a mystery to me, but I understand the first has to do with steam catapults on carriers. So it looks like he may be missing Vietnam medals as well. How does a non-U.S. citizen access USN service records? b. 1931 in Pennsylvania enlisted 15 Nov. 1948 discharged 15 Nov. 1968 died San Diego 16 November 1980 Any help greatly appreciated.

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First remark Their are very many "Smart" listing. The best fit I found -

Cruise Book.

Name:

Spcm W D Smart

Ship Name:

USS Constellation

Ship Classification:

CVA-64

Year Range:

1967

SPCM - Master Chief Steam Propulsionman (1947-1967) very possible, has a Navy Good Conduct Medal, and 6 other ribbons. Possible: NGC, China Service, WW2 Occupation, National Defense, Korea Service, [Armed Forces Expeditionary (Vietnam) or Vietnam Service], UN Korean Medal. 5 Medal Bars were very typical. I hope this helps. Captain Albert

Edited by army historian
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Thank you, Captain.

I agree that the Constellation W D Smart is a good bet, quite apart from the fact that I've always had a thing for U.S. Navy aviation. I'd like to think he served on carriers throughout his service. And Vietnam service takes me back to my teenaged years, with Phantoms and Skyhawks and Crusaders.

So I need to cross-correlate the carriers which qualified for the Occupation Service Europe with the ones with China Service, and maybe Korea.

It's a pity the Navy Muster rolls aren't available online past 1949.

Michael

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Michael you can order his records from the National Personnel Center - using an SF-180 (find online). SF = Standard Form. It has all the information you will need, but you have to have some information on him: Social security number, date of birth and death is about minimum. Captain Albert

standard-form-180.pdf

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I think that the actual National Defense Service Medal was established a little after the Korean medals came out(just before the group was mounted). Or... he wanted to keep the five medals mounted on the bar that were most important(it costs more to start a second bar). Since everyone received the National Defense Service Medal, maybe he left it off to save a few bucks?

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I think that the actual National Defense Service Medal was established a little after the Korean medals came out(just before the group was mounted). Or... he wanted to keep the five medals mounted on the bar that were most important(it costs more to start a second bar). Since everyone received the National Defense Service Medal, maybe he left it off to save a few bucks?

Would that be the reason that so many of the Second War groups I see are missing the Victory Medal?

Michael

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 years later...

Got Smart's service record today, and he was on both the Constellation and Stribling.  He also received the Navy Achievement Medal for the Constellation's 1968 Vietnam tour, a Navy Unit Commendation Medal, and was also entitled to an Asia clasp on his Occupation Medal.  Also served on USS Van Valkenburgh (probably his Korea ship), and USS Kearsage, plus a number of others.

Oak Leaf cluster (should this be a bronze star?) on his Defense, one Star on his Vietnam, and five stars on his Good Conduct, as he did another ten years with the USNR.

A pity the Personnel Records didn't put in dates as well as ships, but I assume they are listed chronologically.

Michael

Edited by Michael Johnson
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Looks like keeping the catapults in good nick during combat operations 29 June 1968 to  9 October 1968.  And I missed his entitlement to a Combat V, further down the page.

So from a group of five, I'm now up to a rack of ten.

Am I right that the Navy Unit Commendation Medal is just a ribbon bar?

Michael

Omitting shore stations, he served on the following:

USS Van Valkenburgh

USS Everglades

USS William R. Rush

USS Everglades (again)

USS Lofberg

USS Ashtabula

USS Stribling (1954 cruise)

USS Constellation (1968)

USS Cacapon

USS Kearsage

Active Nov. 16, 1948 to Nov. 15, 1968; Reserve to Nov. 1, 1978

Since we know that he was on Constellation in October 1968, I suspect that Cacapon and Kearsage were Naval Reserve postings.

I need to check the cruise books for the other ships, but don't have an Ancestry World subscription anymore.  And since many of the books aren't indexed I'd have to browse, and you can't do that with credits.

Michael

 

scan0001.jpg

Edited by Michael Johnson
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This is really awesome!  The Combat "V" on the medal makes a big difference.  What a great setup with research. I am bummed to see his Achievement medal did not make it onto the bar.  No doubts it would have been engraved with his name and etc as well. 

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It's been an interesting project.  I was born in 1951, so Korea was recent events (although always overshadowed by the Second World War. I was 17 when he won his NAM.

I already have a National Defense, Vietnam, and ROV Medal.  And  a Canadian dealer I know has an "Asia" clasp for the Occupation at a good price.  Just need the NAM and V, and NUC ribbon.

I won't take the group apart and remount it, nor add anything to his GC (I take it one silver star would be correct?).  I might try to sew the Asia clasp onto the ribbon.

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Well, he served 20 years of active duty, which means that he would have received five awards of this medal(unless he lost one or more due to a Mast/Courts Martial).  Five awards would be reflected as four bronze stars on the ribbon.

What makes this confusing is that in 1963, the medal was changed to every four years, versus three.  As a side note, the award frequency was changed again to every three years in 1996.   

Anyway, based upon the period award criteria, he would have received:

Medal in 1951, repeats in 54, 57, 61.  Then the four-year rule started in 1963- so his next medal would have been 1965, with his retirement in 1968.  That makes the medal plus four stars.  He missed his silver star by one year.  

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