Edward H. Smith, World War II CasualtyPorter County Data on World War II Casualties . . . .

Edward H. Smith
Private First Class
Date of Death: November 18, 1942
Cause of Death: Killed in Action (gunshot wounds in the South Pacific)
Date of Enlistment: May 18, 1942
Hometown: Valparaiso

Newspaper Notices:

Get Word of Son's Death In Far East
PFC. E. H. Smith, Native of Valparaiso, Killed in South Pacific Action.

Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Field, 405 Beech street, received a telegram Sunday morning announcing that their son, Pvt. First Class, Edward H. Smith, had been killed in action in the South Pacific.

The missive, from the Secretary of war, stated young Smith had died Nov. 18, of gunshot wounds.

Private memorial services were held Sunday evening in Smith's honor at the Field home, with only members of the immediate family attending. Rev. Chester W. Wharton, of the Presbyterian church, officiated.

Born in Valparaiso

Pvt. Edward H. Smith, a son of Mrs. Clarence Field, was born in Valparaiso twenty-four years ago. The family later moved to Chicago where he received his education.

In September, 1941, the family returned to Valparaiso, and Smith was employed at the Indiana Steel Products company. He joined the army on May 18, 1942.

Survivors include the mother, Mrs. Clarence Field, of this city; on brother, George, of Chicago, and four sisters, Mrs. Margaret Gustafson, of Joliet, Ill.; Mrs. Mildred Pennington, Valparaiso; Mrs. Lois Burr, Whiting, Ind., and Mrs. Edith Donahue, Chicago.
Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; November 23, 1942; Volume 16, Page 1, Column 6

Ten Porter County Men Dead Or Missing Since U. S. Went Into War Against Japan

"Remember Pearl Harbor" Today Valparaiso and Porter county citizens remembers that event which transpired just a year ago today when a Japanese air squadron, more than 100 strong, roared out of a peaceful sky to deal destruction and death to American warships, air dromes and U. S. fighting men at Pearl Harbor.

With quietness and an air of solemnity, citizens recalled dastardly Japanese sneak attack and resolved to "Remember Pearl Harbor" as their battlecry to retaliate in full measure to the Japanese for their treachery in causing the unwarranted deaths of several thousand brave members of the U. S. fighting forces.

Not until yesterday was the full extent of the carnage at Pearl Harbor revealed to the public on the theory that such information would have proved valuable to the enemy.

Local Youth Wounded

Porter county had only one casualty at Pearl Harbor. He was Harold Lenburg, of Valparaiso, who was critically wounded in the onslaught. Lenburg spent considerable time in hospitals recovering from his wounds before he was able to return home. He is recipient of the Purple Heart award.

Since that eventful day a year ago in the Pacific, ten Porter county men have been included in the government's casualty lists as killed in action or missing.

First to answer the summons was Charles McKindred Proffitt, gunner on the U. S. destroyer Jacob Jones, which was torpedoes in the Atlantic in September.

DeForest Dye, a member of the Navy, was next reported missing in the Pacific in March. Then in May, Capt. Robert F. Ruge, of the Marine Corps, was reported missing. Ruge had been on Bataan and Corregidor just before U. S. forces on those points capitulated to the Japanese. Later he was promoted to the rank of major.

Hebron Youth Missing

Another Porter county man stationed at Corregidor, Joseph Twa, of Hebron, was also reported missing. In both the Ruge and Twa announcements it was not known whether they were killed or captured. No further word has been received.

Next to be added to the honor roll of Porter county was the name of Glen Owens, of Valparaiso. He was reported killed in action in the Pacific in June. His body was buried at sea.

Soon after the announcement of young Owens' death, came word that John Hales Bates of Hebron was missing from a carrier in the Pacific. He was a member of the U. S. air service.

Another man to pay the supreme sacrifice was Howard L. Pumroy, of Kouts. Pumroy was reported killed in the Solomons while fighting with the marines.

John Jacob Birky, student pilot of the Royal Canadian Air Force residing on Valparaiso RFD 3, was killed at Centralia, Ontario, in October when a plane which he was flying during night practice crashed. The body was brought to this city for memorial services.

Capt. William H. Chambers of the U. S. air force was reported missing in action since Oct. 19. He was believed to have been in Alaska region.

The latest casualty reported was Pvt. First Class Edward Smith of Valparaiso. He was reported killed in action in the South Pacific on Nov. 18.
Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; December 7, 1942; Volume 16, Page 1, Column 6

Return to List of Porter County World War II Casualties

Information abstracted and transcribed by Steven R. Shook


CSS Template by Rambling Soul