Frederick E SmithPrivate First Class
A BTRY, 2ND BN, 13TH ARTILLERY, 2 FIELD FORCE
Army of the United States
27 October 1944 - 26 February 1966
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The database page for Frederick E Smith
PFC Frederick E. Smith was a Fire Direction Center draftee who was an original member of A Battery 2/13 Arty. His tour of duty started on January 1, 1966, which places him as a unit member shipped directly from Fort Sill to duty in the Republic of Vietnam. PFC Smith died six weeks later from wounds suffered in a mortar attack. Details are not known.
Unit research shows casualty records prior to June 1968 were removed from Vietnam. PFC Smith has been overlooked, as our battalion source noted 25 casualties were endured between 1966-1970. Corrections to the record accurately show PFC Smith as the first of twenty-eight fatalities from our battalion during the Vietnam War.
As a fire direction officer from A Battery in 1969, I can empathize with the situation PFC Smith found himself in when A Battery was under fire on February 26, 1966. I was born the same month and year as PFC Smith. I took an extra semester in college to complete my student teaching courses. I never knew PFC Smith, but could easily have been there in 1966 if I graduated with my original class. It is up to another veteran to post details of the event. But having served with FDC guys, I am certain PFC Smith was a professional artilleryman grounded in answering the Call to Fire. Fort Sill instills this in every cannoneer and FDC guy. Everything is dropped at the words "Fire Mission." Personal safety is a secondary consideration to timely deliverance of rounds on target. 2/13 Arty was one of the Army's most dependable artillery units in Vietnam, from the early days when PFC Smith started in January 1966 to the millionth round C Battery fired in February 1970. The unit deserved the reputation of general excellence.
Recently LTC William Miracle, who today commands 3/13 Artillery on active duty in Iraq, wrote that his Red Dragon Clan members still honor the sacrifices the 2/13 and 3/13 Artillery Battalions made in Vietnam. LTC Miracle's men, too, have endured injury and death in Iraq. They proudly soldier on, remembering the efforts of the Red Dragon Clan in Vietnam, Korea, World Wars I and II. It is with this in mind that I am posting a belated, but sincere, commemoration to PFC Frederick E. Smith. I encourage anyone who knew PFC Smith to add some memory that will show what a friend he truly was during the early days in Vietnam.
Rest in Peace, PFC Smith.
From a unit veteran,
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009