Pedro Andre Smith

Army Of The United States
20 August 1947 - 15 February 1967
Sturgis, MI
Panel 15E Line 036


Pedro A Smith


Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal (with Combat V), National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Pedro Andre Smith

The photograph of CPL Pedro Andre Smith was taken in January 1967 at an awards ceremony for a recent action; Pedro received the Army Commendation Medal with Combat "V". The ceremony took place in the Battalion rear area at Long Binh, RVN.

Corporal Smith died as a result of a firefight on 15 February, 1967. Pedro Smith's platoon was operating in the Gia Dinh Province, just outside Saigon. Gia Dinh was an area frequently patrolled by elements of the 4th Battalion, 12th Infantry. He had been in country just 2 months.

I provide this picture because I still owe Pedro $10.00 (in military script of course). I did not know Pedro except as another platoon member. In December, 1966, B Company was down at Bear Cat pulling security duties for the advanced party of the 9th Infantry Division which had just arrived in country. One day right after Christmas, Pedro and I passed each other going opposite directions on one of the dirt streets of Bear Cat. As we passed we said "Hi ... blah ... blah ..." Somehow he ended up loaning me ten dollars on the spot even though we did not "run together" in the unit. Now $10.00 is a big deal to an E4 whose base pay is around $105.00 a month.

Anyway, Pedro and I went our separate ways and he died during that firefight a week or so later before I could repay him. That's been on my mind now for all these years. It was his kindness to a stranger (me) that has stayed with me still. PFC (later promoted to Corporal) Smith was just barely 19 years old when his life came to a shattering end. For me it's not the money or monetary debt owed, it is remembering the mark of a soldier, still barely a boy all those years ago. As life goes, it could have been me instead of him dying that day ... it was just another day humping a ruck in Vietnam.

I don't know what all this means, except I have always wanted to tell someone this little tale about the consideration of one soldier to another while the world seemed to be going crazy around them. Thanks for the site:

Then-SP4 Ian Knight
Rifleman, 1st Squad, 1st Platoon
B Company, 4th Bn, 12th Inf
199th Inf Bde (Lt, Sep)
Dec 1966 - Nov 1967 RVN

A memorial from a fellow soldier,
Ian Lawrence Knight
Sergeant Major
United States Army ( Retired ) 
01 Oct 2001

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)