Smith, Donavon Francis, Lt Gen

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Lieutenant General
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
1021A-Pilot
Last AFSC Group
Aircrew
Primary Unit
1949-1950, Royal Air Force (RAF)
Service Years
1942 - 1973
Lieutenant General

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

69 kb

Home State
Michigan
Michigan
Year of Birth
1922
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Robert Bruce McClelland, Jr. to remember Smith, Donavon Francis, Lt Gen USAF(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Dowagiac, Michigan
Last Address
Windcrest, Texas

Date of Passing
Sep 10, 1974
 
Location of Interment
United States Air Force Academy Cemetery - Colorado Springs, Colorado
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot: 003 B 073

 Official Badges 

NORAD Command Badge Supreme Headquarters Allied Forces Europe (SHAPE) Air Force Commander Headquarters Air Force

Air Force Retired


 Unofficial Badges 

Cold War Medal Air Ace American Fighter Aces Congressional Gold Medal


 Military Association Memberships
American Fighter Aces Association
  2015, American Fighter Aces Association


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
He was credited with destroying 5.5 enemy aircraft in aerial combat plus 1 probable, 2 damaged, and 2 destroyed on the ground during WWII.

His DSC citation:
Awarded for actions during World War II
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to First Lieutenant (Air Corps) Donavon F. Smith (ASN: 0-665628), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Pilot of a P-47 Fighter Airplane in the 61st Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Group, EIGHTH Air Force, in aerial combat against enemy forces on a bomber escort mission against military objectives in the heavily-defended area of Emden, Germany, on 11 December 1943. Near the target the bombers were attacked by a large force of rocket-firing enemy fighters. Disregarding the enemy's superiority in numbers and fire power and the danger from attack by fighters known to be flying above the rocket-carrying aircraft, Lieutenant Smith's flight attacked and became engaged with five ME-110 type fighters. Lieutenant Smith himself destroyed one enemy plane and damaged another. In the heat of battle Lieutenant Smith became separated from his flights and while trying to rejoin he observed an ME-110 airplane below and made a diving attack. He was immediately attacked by a FW-190 fighter from above, and without regard to his personal safety, Lieutenant Smith continued his attacks and destroyed the enemy plane. He then maneuvered into position for a head-on attack against his pursuer. Holding a collision course and firing accurately, Lieutenant Smith closed to such a short range that his enemy, fearing collision, bailed out, leaving his airplane to crash. Through his heroism and exceptional flying skill on this occasion, Lieutenant Smith rendered distinguished and valorous service to our nation. His unquestionable valor in aerial combat is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 8th Air Force, and the United States Army Air Forces.

General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Strategic Forces in Europe, General Orders No. 26 (April 29, 1944)

Action Date: 11-Dec-43

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: First Lieutenant

Company: 61st Fighter Squadron

Regiment: 56th Fighter Group

Division: 8th Air Force

   
Other Comments:
Sources:
http://veterantributes.org/TributeDetail.php?recordID=734
http://www.af.mil/information/bios/bio.asp?bioID=7170
http://valor.militarytimes.com/recipient.php?recipientid=27264
http://www.cieldegloire.com/014_smith_d_f.php
http://www.cieldegloire.com/fg_056.php
http://www.littlefriends.co.uk/gallery.php?Group=56
http://www.56thfightergroup.co.uk/62fs.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/56th_Operations_Group
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=17692576
   

 Ribbon Bar


Aviator (Command)


 
 Unit Assignments
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)61st Fighter Squadron  - Zemke's Wolfpack56th Fighter GroupRoyal Air Force (RAF)
  1942-1942, M 0273, USAAF Flying Training Command
  1942-1944, M 1055, 61st Fighter Squadron - Zemke's Wolfpack
  1942-1945, M 1055, 56th Fighter Group
  1944-1945, M 1065, 61st Fighter Squadron - Zemke's Wolfpack
  1949-1950, Royal Air Force (RAF)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1945 World War II
  1943-1943 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Northern France Campaign (1944)
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)
  1945-1945 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Central Europe Campaign (1945)
  1966-1968 Vietnam War
 Colleges Attended 
National War College
  1962-1963, National War College
 My Aircraft/Missiles
P-47 Thunderbolt (Jug)  F-80/P-80 Shooting Star  F-86 Sabre  F-86 Sabre  
F-102 Delta Dagger  F-106 Delta Dart  
  1942-1945, P-47 Thunderbolt (Jug)4
  1950-1950, F-80/P-80 Shooting Star
  1951-1954, F-86 Sabre
  1956-1957, F-86 Sabre1
  1960-1962, F-102 Delta Dagger
  1960-1962, F-106 Delta Dart
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