Remembering An American Hero
As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.
May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.
With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir
Same Boot Camp Platoon
Graduated 18 Nov. 1966
Silver Star Citation (full)
Awarded posthumously for actions during the Vietnam War
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Lance Corporal Clifton B. Smith (MCSN: 2287748), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as a Squad Leader with Company H, Second Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 30 November 1967 during Operation Kentucky, Lance Corporal Smith's battalion was conducting a search and destroy operation in the vicinity of Con Thien when the lead elements of the unit suddenly came under heavy machine gun, mortar and small arms fire from a well entrenched North Vietnamese Army force estimated to be of battalion size. During the ensuing fire fight, his company was directed to execute an envelopment of the enemy positions. While leading his squad through a heavily wooded area, Lance Corporal Smith alertly detected the source of enemy small arms fire and grenades which were harassing his unit and, after directing his companions to remain in position, fearlessly exposed himself to the hostile fire as he quickly ran forward, and threw a grenade directly into an enemy bunker. As a result of his aggressive attack and courageous disregard for his own personal safety, two North Vietnamese soldiers were killed, significantly reducing the volume of hostile fire in the area. Subsequently, three Marines inadvertently detonated an enemy explosive device and were seriously wounded. Demonstrating bold initiative and sincere concern for the welfare of his fellow Marines, Lance Corporal Smith unhesitatingly maneuvered forward to assist the injured men when he accidentally detonated a booby trap in the heavily mined area and was mortally wounded. His steadfast determination and courageous actions were an inspiration to all who observed him. By his extraordinary courage, bold initiative and selfless devotion to duty at great personal risk, Lance Corporal Smith upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.
Action Date: November 30, 1967
Service: Marine Corps
Rank: Lance Corporal
Company: Company H
Battalion: 2d Battalion
Regiment: 9th Marines
Division: 3d Marine Division (Rein.), FMF
Silver Star Citation
*SMITH, CLIFTON B. (KIA)
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Clifton B. Smith (2287748), Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Company H, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on November 30, 1967. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit and steadfast devotion to duty in the face of extreme personal danger, Lance Corporal Smith upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Home Town: Midland City, Alabama