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Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Interim 1920 - 1940 - U.S. Marine Corps

Albert Joseph Smith

  • Rank: Private (Highest Rank: Sergeant)
  • Conflict/Era: Interim 1920 - 1940
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: February 11, 1921
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Marine Barracks, Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, USA
At about 7:30 A.M. on the morning of 11 February 1921, Pvt. Smith, while on duty as a sentry, rescued Plen M. Phelps, late machinist's mate second class, U.S. Navy, from a burning seaplane which had fallen near his post, gate No. 1, Marine Barracks, Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Fla. Despite the explosion of the gravity gasoline tank, with total disregard of personal safety, he pushed himself to a position where he could reach Phelps, who was pinned beneath the burning wreckage, and rescued him from the burning plane, in the performance of which he sustained painful burns about the head, neck, and both hands.
Medal of Honor Recipient Albert J. Smith
Medal of Honor Recipient Albert J. Smith
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Michigan
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: October 17, 1921
    Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, presented by Brig. Gen. Harry Lee
  • Born: July 31, 1898, Calumet, Houghton County, MI, United States
  • Died: March 27, 1973, Detroit, MI, United States
  • Buried: Grand Lawn Cemetery (MH) (X-64-5), Detroit, MI, United States
  • Location of Medal: Michigan Heroes Museum, Frankenmuth, MI

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