From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Larry Smith '61

Date of birth: January 19, 1939

Date of death: September 16, 1968

Age: 29

Lucky Bag

From the 1961 Lucky Bag:


From his high school yearbook

From the December 1968 Shipmate:

Lt. Larry E. Smith, USN (Ret.), died 16 Sept. in the Naval Hospital, Oakland, Calif., as the result of an aircraft accident. Services and interment were held at Sac City, Iowa.

Lt. Smith was born in Portsmouth, Va. and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1961. He served in USS Bridget, then completed flight training at the Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, Tex. He was assigned to Fighter Squadron 38 in USS Bennington, then had jet transition training at the Naval Air Station, Kingsville, Tex. He was serving with Attack Squadron 125 at the time of the accident. He was retired this past September due to physical disability.

Surviving are his widow, Loretta… ; two sons, Donald Edward and Rodney Douglas, and two daughters, Debbre Linn and Darlene Francis; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Donald F. Smith.

Attack Squadron (VA) 125 based in Lemoore, California. Two papers have the exact same wire story of his death, and imply that the ejection occurred shortly before his death.

Other Information

From researcher Kathy Franz:

Larry was a graduate of Sac City High School in 1957. In his junior year, he played Larry Hobson, the next-door neighbor in the play “Money Mad.” He was also in the Projector’s Club.

At the Naval Academy in May 1961, he participated in intramural sports and the reception committee and was on the superintendent's list (honor roll) for three years. He next went to San Diego for duty on a destroyer escort.

His funeral was held at the First Christian Church on September 21. He was buried in Cory Grove Cemetery with his parents.

Survivors were his parents Donald and Olena, brother Jon, an electronics technician in the Navy (who died June 22, 2020,) sister Barbara, and grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Claude Miller.

Larry has a memory marker in Iowa.


It's unclear on why Larry's name is so late on the panel; he appears between a CDR and a Captain with the implied date of loss sometime after 1974.

Class of 1961

Larry is one of 23 members of the Class of 1961 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.