|By Ed German (Admin) on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 - 01:10 pm: Edit|
Eugene "Gene" Smith
December 1913 - November 1952
Remains recovered from military crash site in 2014
Eugene “Gene” Smith was born in County Cavan, Ireland. His family immigrated to the United States in 1926, settling on Monroe Street in Wilmington, DE.
A graduate of Salesianum School, Gene joined the Delaware National Guard. He was selected for Officers Training School and was commissioned a 2nd LT. During WWII, Gene served as an investigator in North Africa and Europe.
His work in Africa with the French earned Gene an honorary membership in the French Foreign Legion. Gene received many other Military honors including the Bronze Star. By the end of the war, Gene achieved the rank of Colonel and was Commander of the Army's Criminal Investigation Division (CID) in Europe.
Gene transferred his investigation skills to the newly formed USAF with the Office of Special Investigations (OSI). He was selected to command the USAF Alaska Air Command's OSI and was flying there the day of the fatal crash in 1952.
Enroute to Elmendorf Air Force base in 1952, Col. Eugene "Gene" Smith and 51 others were lost when their C124 transport plane crashed into Mt. Gannet in Alaska. Gene's family believed this would be his final resting place.
In 2012, the receding Colony Glacier unveiled the crash site and it was found by the Alaska Air National Guard. Recovery missions were launched. Through DNA technology, Gene's remains, along with 16 others, were identified and returned home.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents, Patrick and Mary, his sisters Mary Badger, Susan Gorman and Margaret (Peg) Coen, his brothers John, Patrick, and Mike Smith. He is survived by 9 nieces and nephews along with many great and great-great-grandnieces and nephews.
Colonel Eugene Smith was brought home to Wilmington, Delaware via Military Dignified Transfer on Thursday, July 24th, 2014. Burial with full Military Honors was at All Saints Cemetery.
Published by The Times Reporter from Jul. 22 to Jul. 24, 2014.
At the time of this posting, obituary details were online here