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CMOHS.org - Major SMITH, JOHN LUCIAN, U.S. Marine Corps

Recipient Detail

 

SMITH, JOHN LUCIAN

Rank: Major
Organization: U.S. Marine Corps
Company:
Division: Marine Fighter Squadron 223
Born: 26 December 1914, Lexington, Okla.
Departed: Yes
Entered Service At: Oklahoma
G.O. Number:
Date of Issue:  
Accredited To:
Place / Date: In the Solomon Islands area, August-September 1942
 
 


SMITH, JOHN LUCIAN Photo
 
Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and heroic achievement in aerial combat above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of Marine Fighting Squadron 223 during operations against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands area, August-September 1942. Repeatedly risking his life in aggressive and daring attacks, Maj. Smith led his squadron against a determined force, greatly superior in numbers, personally shooting down 16 Japanese planes between 21 August and 15 September 1942. In spite of the limited combat experience of many of the pilots of this squadron, they achieved the notable record of a total of 83 enemy aircraft destroyed in this period, mainly attributable to the thorough training under Maj. Smith and to his intrepid and inspiring leadership. His bold tactics and indomitable fighting spirit, and the valiant and zealous fortitude of the men of his command not only rendered the enemy's attacks ineffective and costly to Japan, but contributed to the security of our advance base. His loyal and courageous devotion to duty sustains and enhances the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.