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Birthdate & Date of Loss

Date of birth: January 20, 1917
Date of death: February 27, 1944
Age: 27

Lucky Bag

1940 Smith, C LB.jpg

From the 1940 Lucky Bag:


Prestonburg, Kentucky

Forsaking college in Kentucky for a naval career, Smitty arrived at the Academy, a bundle of enthusiasm. Nor has he lost any of this valuable trait during the ensuing years; rather it has increased a hundred-fold in the aging. Whether at work or play, his whole heart is put into his efforts. When not engaged in long sessions with the books, Carthel has found time to become quite proficient at bowling, tennis, and bridge. Never one to shirk duty or refuse a request, his generosity has made him a friend to all. His inherent desire to get ahead, coupled with ability, predicts a successful future for Smitty.


Smitty was lost when USS Grayback (SS 208) was sunk by Japanese aircraft on February 27, 1944 south of Okinawa.

His wife was listed as next of kin.

Silver Star

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Carthel Hill Smith, Jr. (NSN: 0-85293), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity as Diving Officer of a United States Submarine in action against enemy Japanese forces during an aggressive War Patrol during World War II. Controlling the depth of his ship skillfully and with excellent judgment throughout this period of hazardous operations, Lieutenant Smith rendered valuable assistance to his Commanding Officer in directing vigorous torpedo attacks which resulted in the sinking and damaging of an important amount of enemy shipping, including an auxiliary cruiser and, by his unwavering perseverance and tireless efforts, contributed materially to the success of his vessel in executing effective evasive tactics during severe hostile countermeasures. Lieutenant Smith's cool courage and steadfast devotion to duty under extremely perilous conditions were an inspiration to the officers and men of his submarine and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Pacific Fleet Board Awards: Serial 78 (November 17, 1944)
Rank: Lieutenant

Memorial Hall Error

Memorial Hall lists him as a LT, but multiple other sources have him as a LCDR.

Class Navigation

Class of 1940
Carthel is one of 89 members of the Class of 1940 in Memorial Hall.
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