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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.
Photographed 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
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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 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.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & SpaceWar, World II. In addition, it is included in the Distinguished Service Medal, and the Valor in Aerial Operations series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is December 11, 1943.
 
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. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Niles MI 49120, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
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); The Old Fifth Street Viaduct (approx. 0.4 miles away); U.S.S. Maine Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Chapin House / Henry Austin Chapin (approx. 0.4
Donavon F. Smith Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, September 6, 2013
2. Donavon F. Smith Marker
At the Veterans Memorial Park
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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Niles.
 
Donavon F. Smith Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, September 6, 2013
3. Donavon F. Smith Marker
Donavon F. Smith Veterans Memorial Park Monument in background
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 23, 2019. It was originally submitted on September 9, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 648 times since then and 76 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 9, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.

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Jul. 25, 2024