Woodbury County

Sgt. Richard K. Smith
Born 23 May 1920
Died 27 Feb 1942

Obituary Link


Richard Smith, Former Central Pupil, Was in Army Corps

Richard K. Smith, of the Army Air Corps, a Central high school graduate, has been missing since early March, the War Department as just informed the youth’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ray Smith, who resided at 3 Shore Acres Court until last week.

The news was received here by Mrs. Smith’s sisters, Mrs. Dewey Weddle, 1956 Nash street, and Mrs. Garrett Grosma, 5448 Military road.  The parents moved last Monday to Berkeley, Cal., to be nearer the son.

The Smiths had received a letter from Richard March 11, from Australia.

Richard was graduated from Central high school in 1939.  Enlisting the next December, he trained at Hamilton field, near San Francisco, and had been a flying instructor.

A sister, Helen Smith, resides in California.

Source:  The Sioux City Journal, May 25, 1942 (photo included)

Sgt. Richard Smith Loses Life in Java Sea Action

Mr. and Mrs. Ray Smith, former residents of Sioux City, now living at Palo Alto, Cal., have received official confirmation of the death of their son, S. Sgt. Richard K. Smith, who was reported missing in action in the battle of the Java Sea, February 27, 1942.

S. Sgt. Smith, American air forces, was aboard the aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Langly, when it was struck and sunk in the Java Sea.  Sgt. Smith was among the survivors picked up by the destroyer U.S.S. Edsall, which was bombed and sunk 18 hours later.  None of the crew has been found, according to the letter received by Sgt. Smith’s parents from the War Department. 

Sgt. Smith was born in Sioux City, May 23, 1920, where he attended public schools, graduating from Central high school in January, 1939.  He enlisted in the air forces in December, 1939, at Moffett field, Cal.  On January 11, 1942, he left Hamilton field for duty in the Pacific.

Mrs. G. D. Weddle, 1956 Nash street, and Mrs. Garrett Grosma, 5221 Military road, are aunts of Sgt. Smith.  A sister, Mrs. Helen Foreman, lives in Palo Alto.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, January 31, 1946 (same photo included)