HARDING E SMITH SR
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HONORED ON PANEL 8E, LINE 5 OF THE WALL

HARDING EUGENE SMITH SR

WALL NAME

HARDING E SMITH SR

PANEL / LINE

8E/5

DATE OF BIRTH

03/11/1918

CASUALTY PROVINCE

LZ

DATE OF CASUALTY

06/03/1966

HOME OF RECORD

LOS GATOS

COUNTY OF RECORD

Santa Clara County

STATE

CA

BRANCH OF SERVICE

AIR FORCE

RANK

COL

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Contact Details

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR HARDING EUGENE SMITH SR
POSTED ON 3.19.2022
POSTED BY: Lucy Micik

Thank You

Dear Col Harding Smith, Thank you for your service as a Weapons Systems Officer. Glad you were identified in 2003. Welcome home. Saying thank you isn't enough, but it is from the heart. It is the last day of winter, and it's Lent. Time moves quickly. Please watch over America, it stills needs your strength, courage, guidance and faithfulness, especially now. Rest in peace with the angels.
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POSTED ON 3.11.2020
POSTED BY: ANON

Never Forgotten

Col. Harding E. Smith, Sr. is buried at Mission City Memorial Park, Corridor C #31, in Santa Clara, CA.

Your sacrifice is not forgotten.
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POSTED ON 11.10.2015
POSTED BY: KEVIN HARKINS

THE FLAG

Sir, I fly the POW/MIA flag in my front yard 24/7 in honor of you and others who never made it home. Thank you for your service. I hope some day you will be returned to your family and your country.
GOD bless you and i know all your landings now are in the wings of the Angles.
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POSTED ON 11.8.2014

Final Mission of COL Harding E. Smith Jr.

CAPT Theodore E. Kryszak was the pilot of an AC-47 gunship assigned to the 4th Air Commando Squadron at Ubon Airfield, Thailand. The aircraft, dubbed "Puff the Magic Dragon" had evolved from earlier versions of the Douglas C-47. Puff introduced a new principle to air attack in Vietnam. Troubled by difficulties in conducting nighttime defense, Capt. Ronald Terry of the U.S. Air Force Aeronautical Systems Division remembered reading about flying missionaries in Latin America who lowered baskets of supplies on a rope from a tightly circling airplane. Throughout the series of pylon turns, the basket remained suspended over a selected point on the ground. Could this principle be applied to fire from automatic weapons? Tests proved it could, and could be extremely successful. Puff's "flare kicker" illuminated the target, then the pilot used a mark on the window to his left as a gun sight and circled slowly as three multi-barrel 7.62mm machine guns fired 18,000 rounds per minute from the door and two windows in the port side of the passenger compartment. The aircraft was called "Puff" after a popular song of the day, and because it resembled a dragon overhead with flames billowing from its guns. Men on the ground welcomed the presence of Puff and the later Spooky version, which was essentially the same as the Puff, because of its ability to concentrate a heavy dose of defensive fire in a surgically determined area. CAPT Kryszak's Puff was assigned a mission which took it over Khammouane Province, Laos on June 3, 1966. His crew that day included 1LT Russell D. Martin, COL Harding E. Smith Jr., TSGT Harold E. Mullins, TSGT Luther L. Rose, and SSGT Ervin Warren. On such a crew, it was common for the officers to be the flight crew, while the sergeants acted as aerial gunners. On this crew, Mullins was the flight engineer. At a point about 10 miles east of Ban Pha Philang near the borders of Savannakhet and Khammouane Provinces, CAPT Kryszak's aircraft was shot down. The Puff was seen to crash by another aircraft in the area. No parachutes were seen and no emergency radio beeper signals were heard, yet at least one of the men onboard the aircraft was known to have survived (COL Harding E. Smith, according to a list compiled by the National League of Families of POW/MIA in Southeast Asia survived this incident). According to the Air Force, subsequent searches for the aircraft revealed the wreckage of the aircraft, but the crew could not be located. All personnel aboard were declared Missing in Action. [Taken from pownetwork.org]
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POSTED ON 1.21.2014
POSTED BY: Elisabeth Smith

POW MIA Bracelet

I chose Col Smith's MIA bracelet as an AF ROTC cadet during a remembrance vigil in 1987. Wore it for many years. Very glad to know he has come home and has been laid to rest. Peace...
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