EDWARD J. SMITH, JR., LT, USN
Edward Smith, Jr. '67
Date of birth: January 24, 1945
Date of death: September 9, 1971
From the 1967 Lucky Bag:
From the January 1972 issue of SHIPMATE:
Lt. Edward Jefferson Smith, Jr., USN, died at sea 9 September 1971 as a result of an aircraft accident while on a local acrobatic training mission.
A native of East Orange, N. J., he went to VPI for a year before entering the Naval Academy in the class of 1967. As a midshipman he was active in the Protestant Chapel Choir, Drum and Bugle Corps, Glee Club and the Spiffys.
Upon completion of flight training at NAS, Pensacola, he remained there with the Naval Air Basic Training Command. At the time of his death Lt. Smith was attached to VF-213 in San Diego.
Surviving are his widow, Kay Ann, 5667 Camber PL, San Diego, CA 92117; a son, Shane Christian; twin daughters, Shannon Noel and Tania Marie; and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Edward J. Smith of Mountain Lakes, N. J.
One of his daughters shared that he normally went by "Jeff," his callsign was "Jaguar," and he flew an F-4 Phantom II.
From the Class of 1967's 50th Reunion Yearbook, courtesy of William Belden '67:
Edward Jefferson (“Smitty”) Smith Jr. grew up in Mountain Lakes, NJ, and attended VPI for one year before entering the Academy. He had earned NJ All-State honors in high school choir and carried that talent to the academy. He participated in Protestant Choir, Glee Club, The Spiffys, and Drum and Bugle Corps. Smitty tried out for the 150 lb football team, but injuries restricted his participation. A math major, he spent many nights playing Bridge and was regarded as the best Bridge player in the company if not the battalion. Naval Aviation was his career choice. After graduation, he proceeded to Pensacola and flight training. In spite of injury he successfully completed the jet pipeline. After receiving his wings, he reported as a fleet replacement pilot (FRP) to the A-4 Skyhawk replacement training squadron (“RAG”). Shortly thereafter, the Navy shut down the pipeline for “nugget” A-4 pilots, resulting from the transition of A-4’s to A-7’s in the fleet. Smitty was then assigned to the RA-5 Vigilante RAG as a FRP. Shortly afterwards, the Navy decided not to send nugget pilots to fleet RA-5 squadrons and Smitty was reassigned to VF-121, the F-4 Phantom RAG at Miramar. He completed the RAG in mid-1971 and was assigned to a fleet squadron, VF213.
During VF-213’s pre-deployment work-ups, an aircraft accident on an air combat training mission off the coast of California took Smitty’s life and that of his Radar Intercept Officer on September 9, 1971.
He was survived by Kay Ann (Hokens) Smith of Ontonagon, MI, who he married in 1967 and three children, a son, Shane Christian, and twin daughters, Shannon Noel and Tania Maria. Smitty is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Charles Jeffries, II '67 was also in 16th Company.