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William Ward Smith

naval officer , manufacturer executive.

William Ward Smith, American naval officer, manufacturer executive. Member Society Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.


Smith, William Ward was born on February 8, 1888 in Newark. Son of Samuel H. and Elizabeth (Selander) Smith.


Bachelor of Science, United States Naval Academy, 1909.


Passed midshipman, June 1909, and advanced through the grades to v. admiral, 1945. Commander of destroyers, on staff of Commander Naval Forces, European Waters, based Queenstown, Ireland, World War I. Service in Atlantic and Pac.

Fleets, Asiatic, C.A. and S.A. waters. Head of department of mathematics, Naval Academy, 1936-1939. Commanded cruiser United States Ship Brooklyn, 1939-1940.

Chief of staff, United States Pacific Fleet, 1941. Commanded cruisers of Pacific Fleet Task Force, 1942. Battle of Coral Sea, Battle of Midway.

Commanded cruisers and destroyers operating in Aleutian waters. Commanded Task Force in bombardment of Kiska, 1942. Director Naval Transportation Service, Naval Operations, Washington, District of Columbia, January 1943-March 1945.

Commander Service Force, United States Pacific Fleet, March-December 1945. Retired, 1946. Chairman United States Maritime Commission, 1946-1949. Vice president Fruehauf Trailer Company, Detroit, since 1950.

Decorations for World War I (Destroyers). Expeditionary Force (China.). Nicaragua (2d Campaign).

Order of Merit (Nicaragua). Order of Leopold of Belgium. Expert Rifle and Pistol awards, Distinguished Service Medal Coral Sea and Midway), American Theater, Pacific Theater and Victory Ribbons.


  • Author: Midway: Turning Point of the Pacific, 1966.


Member Society Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. Clubs: Army and Navy.


Married Elizabeth Virginia Purdy, September 2, 1913. Children: Virginia Elizabeth (deceased), William Ward (A.U. S.).

Samuel H. Smith

Elizabeth (Selander) Smith

Elizabeth Virginia Purdy

Virginia Elizabeth Smith (deceased)

William Ward Smith (A.U. S.)