Smith -- Sgt Maynard H Smith


Maynard Smith went into the Army at Detroit, Mich., Aug. 31, 1942. He took basic training at Sheppard Field, Texas, and graduated from the Aerial Gunnery School at Harlingen, Texas, in November 1942, with rating of sergeant.

He was promoted to staff sergeant the next month at Pocatello, Idaho, where he was assigned to the 413th Bomb Squadron. He served briefly at Casper, Wyo., then went to Europe for combat duty with the 306th Bomb Group's 423rd Squadron. Smith flew his first mission May 1, 1943, as a gunner. On return, over St. Nazaire, France, his bomber was subjected to intense enemy anti-aircraft fire and fighter plane attacks, being hit several times, with fires in the radio compartment and waist sections. Sergeant Smith succeeded in extinguishing the fires, besides rendering first aid to a wounded crew member, manning the workable guns, and throwing exploding ammunition overboard.

For this heroic deed he was awarded the Medal of Honor. The citation reads, in part: "...The situation became so acute that three of the crew bailed out into the comparative safety of the sea. Sergeant Smith elected to fight the fire by himself... he manned the workable guns until the enemy fighters were driven away. This soldier's gallantry in action, undaunted bravery and loyalty to his aircraft and fellow crew members, without regard for his own personal safety, is an inspiration to the armed forces of the United States."

Smith flew four more combat missions and earned two Air Medals before being taken off flying for medical reasons. He remained in the combat zone in administrative assignments and returned to the United States in March 1945. He was honorably discharged from the Army Air Force at Miami Beach, Fla, May 26,1945.

See the
full citation at the Congressional Medal of Honor Society website.