Paul Wilbur Smith
|HOME OF RECORD:
2nd Street, New Matamoras, OH
|NEXT OF KIN:
Wife, Mrs. Clemma Smith
|DATE OF BIRTH:
5/31/1944 – 3/1/1946
|DATE OF DEATH:
|LAST KNOWN RANK:
Born and raised in Washington County, Ohio; the son of Alla and Marion Smith. Paul attended the Cleveland Trades School and worked as a welder in civilian life. He married Clemma Creighton on November 17, 1940.
Paul was inducted into the Marine Corps on May 31, 1944, and reported for duty on June 5. After completing his training at Parris Island, he was assigned to the 17th Replacement Draft as a buck private. The draft was shipped out to the Hawaiian Islands, and Paul joined Company B, 24th Marines, at Camp Maui on November 22, 1944.
After a few final weeks of training, during which time he learned the role of an automatic rifleman, Paul boarded the USS Hendry and sailed from Hawaii for combat. He landed on Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945, and managed to survive a week of of hellish combat. On February 26, 1945 — the day his company was relieved from the front lines and sent to reserve duty — Paul was badly wounded in action and evacuated to the transport USS Sanborn. It was the end of his combat career, and the start of a long journey home.
From Iwo, Paul Smith was first taken to Saipan, and then to a Naval hospital on Guam for evaluation. His injuries were deemed serious enough to warrant evacuation back to Hawaii, and he was likely flown to Pearl Harbor and put up in Naval Hospital #10 at Aiea Heights. From there, Paul was sent to medical facilities in Oakland, California and finally Bethesda, Maryland. He would remain under a doctor’s care and on limited duty for more than a year. Finally, on March 1, 1946, he was honorably discharged with the rank of corporal.
Little is known about Paul’s life after the war. He returned to Ohio and resumed his married life with Clemma, and they eventually retired to Arizona. Paul died in 2002, and is buried in Mound Cemetery, Marietta, Ohio.