From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Douglas Smith '25

Date of birth: June 12, 1903

Date of death: October 24, 1944

Age: 41

Lucky Bag

From the 1925 Lucky Bag:


Douglas was lost when the Japanese "Hell Ship" he was aboard, Arisan Maru, was sunk by an American submarine on October 24, 1944.

His wife was listed as next of kin.

Wartime Service

Before his capture, he was commanding officer of USS Oahu (PR 6) since sometime in 1940. In November 1941, he successfully brought his command — a river gunboat that was never designed for the open ocean — from China to Manila. The ship operated in and around Manila Bay until she was destroyed by artillery fire on May 5, 1942, the day before the fall of Corregidor.

Navy Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Commander Douglas Elwin Smith (NSN: 0-59535), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the River Gunboat U.S.S. OAHU (PR-6), in combat against the enemy from 7 December 1941 through 2 April 1942, in the Philippine Islands. While exposed to frequent horizontal and dive bombing attacks by enemy Japanese air forces, Lieutenant Commander Smith directed the anti-aircraft batteries of his ship and conducted operations of strategic importance involving hazardous missions such as to bring great credit to his command and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Service: Navy
Division: U.S.S. Oahu (PR-6)
General Orders: Commander 16th Naval District: District. 281200 NCR 7859 (April 29, 1942)

Prisoner of War Medal

From Hall of Valor:

Lieutenant Commander Douglas Elwin Smith (NSN: 0-59535), United States Navy, was captured by the Japanese after the fall of Corregidor, Philippine Islands, on 6 May 1942, and was held as a Prisoner of War until his death while in captivity.

General Orders: NARA Database: Records of World War II Prisoners of War, created, 1942 - 1947
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander

Class of 1925

Douglas is one of 30 members of the Class of 1925 on Virtual Memorial Hall.