Donald E. Smith
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MANSFIELD: Donald E. Smith, age 95, died at The Good Shepherd nursing home in Ashland, Ohio on Saturday, January 19, 2013. He was born May 26, 1917 in Shelby, Ohio, the son of William A. Smith, M.D. and Mary S. Smith.
He was graduated from Mansfield Senior High School; Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania; and the (Case) Western Reserve School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, and after receiving his law degree, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and served with distinction in the Eighth Air Force, European Theater, from August, 1943 through December, 1945. He was assigned to the 92nd Bomb Group (H), "Fames Favored Few", based in Podington, England, where he flew 43 combat missions over Nazi Germany and occupied Europe in B-17 Flying Fortresses. He became lead bombardier of the 325th Bomb Squadron in 1944, and of the original crew of ten airmen with whom he trained and shipped overseas was one of four to survive the war. Major Smith was highly decorated for his service during World War II. Among these decorations were: the Distinguished (Presidential) Unit Citation; Air Medal with Oak Leaf Clusters; Bronze Star; Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster; and Croix de Guerre (War Cross) with Bronze Palm, France's highest military award for valor.
After the war, he returned home to practice law and live in peace on the family farm he so enjoyed throughout his long life. He was a member of the Richland County Bar Association, a member and past president of the Mansfield Rotary Club, and served on the Richland County Draft Board. He took special pride and pleasure in helping form the original Mansfield Airport and Aviation Commission, in the early 1950's, and serving on that board with two devoted friends and fellow aviators, James C. Gorman and the late Lloy D. ("Pete") Bonar, M.D.
He is survived by his loving wife of 66-years, Susan P. Smith of Mansfield; son, Timothy S. Smith of Mansfield; daughter, Roberta S. Shaw of Santa Fe, New Mexico; daughter in law, Diane Lee-Smith of Mansfield; a cousin, Gail C. Harlow of Bangor, Maine; two sisters; and a niece and several nephews. He was preceded in death by a son, Chiron W. Smith, and daughter in law, Cheryl R. Smith, both of Mansfield.
In keeping with his wishes, there will be no funeral or memorial services. A gathering for family, friends, and those who wish to honor Donald's memory will be held at a time and place to be announced. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of North Central Ohio, 1050 Dauch Drive, Ashland, Ohio 44805. Wappner Funeral Directors is privilege to serve the family of Donald E. Smith.
Online guest registry at www.wappner.com
Published in the News Journal on Jan. 27, 2013