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Who's Who

Dr. Major Byron J. Smith


Although, technically not a resident of Montgomery County, Dr. Smith practiced often at Culver Hospital in Montgomery County. He was born Byron J. Smith and was most often known as simply, 'Doc!"

February 1 in 1906 was his birth date and he saw the light of day for the first time in Veedersburg, son of Edgar and Rosa (Palmer) Smith Elaine was a nurse and they had one daughter, Nancy. He died in Crawfordsville (Ben Hur Nursing Home) Oct 29, 1996, age 90.

His military career is quite unbelievable. He became 1st Lt., flight surgeon of the 387th Bomb Group of the 9th Air Force after his year's training. This was the first of the units to fly the B-26 Maurauders. The loss of several men on the first raid was due to flying too low to the ground where the machine guns could easily reach its target. In fact, Smith was the only one of this original group to eventually return home.

He spent almost exactly two years in the Europe, having his dispensary right on the air strip. "I was just the boys' doctor, not superior officer, just the way he desired it."

His time overseas was perhaps filled with luck. When he first got there, a plane landed and of course, ambulances surrounded it. However, the medical personnel was not warned their were bombs aboard and 32 medical personnel were killed because of the plane exploding. Smith was 100 yard from that plane. Another time, the commanding officer noted Smith was needed on base so stayed back when others went on a mission. The plane Smith would have been on was shot down.

At the rank of Captain, Smith received a Medal of Honor when they moved locations and one of the men put up the company flag, catching live wires and receiving a horrendous shock but also being caught on so that he could not get loose. Smith freed him, got him to safety and gave him artifical respiration so that he could regin consciousness and survive. Doc would go on to the rank of Major.

He saved the lives of two men a bit later in the war when Smith helped the two who were trapped in a plan that had crash landed. Smith pulled the two airmen out of a burning wreck to safety then performed emergency surgery on one to further make sure his life was saved. (Some information from Voices of Victory published by the Crawfordsville Journal Review and an obituary on findagrave.com from the Fountain County Neighbor Nov 1, 1996).

Other than the years of war, he practiced medicine in Kingman for over 30 years before retirement. He and his wife are buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Kingman, Indiana.

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Citation: The INGenWeb Project, Copyright 1997-2017 (and beyond), Montgomery County GenWeb site http://www.ingenweb.org/inmontgomery/


The INGenWeb Project, Copyright ©1997-2017... (& Beyond), Montgomery County Website 
© Copyright 2017,,.. and beyond .... Karen Zach

Data contained within this website may only be used with permission of the submitter, for non-commercial research and educational activities, and for personal genealogical information.

Data contained within this website may only be used with permission of the copyright holder(s), for non-commercial research and educational activities, and for personal genealogical information. © 2017... ++++ by Karen Zach, and licensed to the Indiana GenWeb (INGenWeb) Project and The USGenWeb Project. May be used in personal research with a citation.

This page created:  

12 October 2012