WILLIAM R. SMITH, LTJG, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall
William Smith '56

Date of birth: December 22, 1933

Date of death: December 6, 1957

Age: 23

Lucky Bag

From the 1956 Lucky Bag:

1956 Smith LB.jpg

WILLIAM ROBERT SMITH

Pensacola, Florida

After spending a year at Marion Institute, Bob joined the ranks at USNA with all the enthusiasm commonly accorded new Plebes. He was well prepared for Academy routine by his father's thirty years of Navy life. His quick wittedness and his theory of "brain over brawn" quickly earned him the title of "Dim n Fox." Being the outdoor type, Bob spent some time on the cross country and steeplechase teams. After giving up the more strenuous sports, he spent much time enlivening the afternoon on the yawl with his easy conversation. No outstanding dislikes and an ability to meet people are the hallmarks of the Desert Fox.

1956 Smith LB.jpg

WILLIAM ROBERT SMITH

Pensacola, Florida

After spending a year at Marion Institute, Bob joined the ranks at USNA with all the enthusiasm commonly accorded new Plebes. He was well prepared for Academy routine by his father's thirty years of Navy life. His quick wittedness and his theory of "brain over brawn" quickly earned him the title of "Dim n Fox." Being the outdoor type, Bob spent some time on the cross country and steeplechase teams. After giving up the more strenuous sports, he spent much time enlivening the afternoon on the yawl with his easy conversation. No outstanding dislikes and an ability to meet people are the hallmarks of the Desert Fox.

1956 Smith LB 2.jpg

Obituary

From USNA '56:

Bob came to the Academy well prepared after sharing 19 years of his father's 30-year Naval career and enduring a preparatory year at Marion Military Institute. Bob's quick-wit and his advocacy of "brain over brawn" soon earned him the nickname "Desert Fox." An outdoor person, Bob initially engaged in cross country and steeplechase, but gave up the more strenuous efforts for on-the-water activity and spent much time sailing the yawls, enlivening the afternoons with his easy conversation. Bob seemed to like almost everything and easily met and interacted positively with others.

After graduation Bob entered Naval flight training. On December 6th, 1957, both Bob, who was the pilot, and his father, George W. Smith who was on board, died in an aircraft accident at NAS, Pensacola. They were survived by Bob's mother, Mary Houghton Smith, and his brother George W. Smith Jr., who lived in Warrington, FL at that time. Bob was unmarried.

He is buried in Florida.


Class of 1956

William is one of 26 members of the Class of 1956 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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