Col. Eugene Smith

Col. Eugene Smith


Dec. 1913 - Nov. 1952

In route to Elmendorf Air Force base in 1952, Col. Smith and 51 others were lost when their C124 transport plane crashed into Mt. Gannet in Alaska. Gene's family believed this would be his final resting place. Two years ago, the receding Colony Glacier unveiled the crash site and was found by the Alaska Air National Guard. Recovery missions were launched. Through DNA technology, Gene's remains, along with 16 others, were identified and are being returned home.

Gene Smith was born in County Cavan Ireland. His family immigrated to the United States in 1926 settling on Monroe Street in Wilmington, DE.

A graduate of Salesianum School, Gene joined the Delaware National Guard. He was selected for Officers Training School and was commissioned a 2nd LT. During WWII, Gene served as an investigator in North Africa and Europe. His work in Africa with the French earned Gene an honorary membership in the French Foreign Legion. Gene received many other Military honors including the Bronze Star. By the end of the war, Gene achieved the rank of Colonel and was commander of the Army's Criminal Investigation Division (CID) in Europe.

Gene transferred his investigation skills to the newly formed USAF with the Office of Special Investigations (OSI). He was selected to command the USAF Alaska Air Command's OSI and was flying there the day of the fateful crash.

Gene was preceded in death by his parents, Patrick and Mary, his sisters Mary Badger, Susan Gorman and Margaret (Peg) Coen, his brothers John, Patrick, and Mike Smith. He is survived by 9 nieces and nephews along with many great and great-great-grandnieces and nephews.

Colonel Eugene Smith is being brought home via Military Dignified Transfer on Thursday, July 24th, 2014. Visitation for family and friends will be held at the Doherty Funeral Home, 3200 Limestone Road Pike Creek, on Friday morning from 8am to 9am. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10am at St. Elizabeth's Church, Cedar and S. Clayton Sts., Wilmington, DE 19805. Burial with full Military Honors will follow at All Saints Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Wounded Warrior Project.

To send condolences, visit:


Funeral Home

Doherty Funeral Homes - Pike Creek
3200 Limestone Road Wilmington, DE 19808
(302) 999-8277

Published in The News Journal from July 22 to July 24, 2014