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Niles in Berrien County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Donavon F. Smith

Lieutenant General USAF

 

1922 - 1974

 
Donavon F. Smith Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, September 6, 2013
1. Donavon F. Smith Marker
Inscription. This Veterans Memorial Park is named in honor of Donavon F. Smith, Lt. General, USAF. General Smith graduated from Niles High School in 1940. After flight training, he was assigned to the 56th Fighter Group in England where he flew 123 combat missions in a P-47 "Thunderbolt" aircraft. General Smith became a fighter Ace when he show down his 5th enemy aircraft, three of these occurring in a single mission over Germany, 11 December 1943. His military career spanned 32 years with combat in World War II and as chief advisor to the Republic of Vietnam Air Force in the Vietnamese conflict.

His body now rests in the United States Air Force Academy in the foothills of the Rockies.

(Metal Tablet)
General Smith served in a variety of vital Air Force assignments that included tours with Headquarters U.S. Air Force; Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe; Strategic Air Command; and the Air Defense Command. He also served as commander of the Alaskan Air Command and the Sixth Allied Tactical Air Force, Turkey. His military decorations and awards included the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal with One Oak Leaf Cluster, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with Three Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Medal with Eight Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal and Distinguished Unit Citation
Donavon F. Smith Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, September 6, 2013
2. Donavon F. Smith Marker
At the Veterans Memorial Park
Emblem with One Oak Leaf Cluster. The Republic of Vietnam awarded him with the National Order of Vietnam, Fourth Class; Air Force Distinguished Service Order, First Class; Staff Service Medal, First Class; Flight Honor Certificate with Wings; and the Chuong My Medal.
 
Location. 41° 49.609′ N, 86° 14.782′ W. Marker is in Niles, Michigan, in Berrien County. Marker is at the intersection of E. Main Street (State Highway 51) and S. 12th Street, on the right when traveling east on E. Main Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Niles MI 49120, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Donavon F. Smith Veterans Memorial Park Monument (a few steps from this marker); U.S.S. Maine Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Chapin House / Henry Austin Chapin (approx. 0.4 miles away); Trinity Church (approx. 0.4 miles away); Ferry Street School (approx. half a mile away); Second Baptist Church (approx. half a mile away); Four Flags Hotel (approx. half a mile away); Wesley United Methodist Church (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Niles.
 
Categories. Notable Persons
 
Donavon F. Smith Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, September 6, 2013
3. Donavon F. Smith Marker
Donavon F. Smith Veterans Memorial Park Monument in background
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 365 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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