Korean War Veterans Honor Roll

Walter B. Smith

Born in Winnebago, Illinois

September 5, 1929 September 24, 1951

Westview Cem., Monroe Co., Tn

Sergeant, U.S. Army
Service Number 14217821
Died of Wounds
Died September 24, 1951 in Korea

 

 

Walter B. Smith was son of Mr. and Mrs. Mack Smith of Sweetwater. Sgt. Smith was wounded September 21, 1951 while fighting with the 23rd Inf. Regiment, 2nd Div. and died three days later at a field hospital.

The 22 year old sergeant enlisted in the Army on Nov. 1, 1950, having served three years previously in the Army shortly after the end of World War II. He was employed at Rockford, Ill. prior to entering the service.

Funeral services will be held from the East Sweetwater Methodist Church, Saturday, with Revs. B.F. McCracken and D.R. Greenhoe officiating. Burial will be in West View Cemetery. The body will be taken to the family residence on North Main Street this afternoon. The Sweetwater Veterans of Foreign Wars post will furnish Military Honors at the grave. (A long list of names of pallbearers was also given)

Sergeant Smith was a member of the 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. He was seriously wounded by the enemy in North Korea on September 21, 1951 and died of those wounds on September 24, 1951. Sergeant Smith was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

Sergeant Walter B. Smith served with the 23rd Infantry Regiment, Second Division in Korea. He re-entered the service on November 1, 1950 having served three years prior.
He was born September 25, 1929, in Sweetwater, Tennessee, to Mr. S. Mack Smith and Annie Lee Smith of Sweetwater.
The battle started on September 13, 1951, when elements of the 9th Infantry and Sgt. Smith's 23rd Infantry attacked the North Korean position on several key hills. Hill 931 was the center of Heartbreak Ridge just a few miles north of the 38th parallel and the battle for that hill was still ongoing eight days later on September 21, 1951. Sgt. Smith's Regiment was engaged with the enemy and several times that day of heavy fighting the elements of the 2nd Division would fight their way to the crest of the hill only to be repulsed by the enemy with heavy machine gun fire, mortar fire, and grenades hurled at their advancing positions. It was during one of the advances that Sgt. Smith was wounded by the enemy and he was taken to the back of the lines to a field hospital. He died of those wounds on September 24, 1951.
His journey back to the United States began aboard the transport Loma Victory in the last months of 1951. He was repatriated at San Francisco, California, on December 22, 1951 and from California across the United States aboard the railroads. Sgt. Smith was returned home on January 10, 1952, and funeral services were held at 2:30 pm January 12, 1952, at Sweetwater Methodist Church. Sweetwater Post Veterans of Foreign Wars furnished military honors at the graveside in West View Cemetery.

Researcher and Designer

Joy Locke & Joe Irons