Paul Winthrop Smithson

Second Lieutenant
United States Marine Corps
23 May 1947 - 20 November 1968
Bethesda, Maryland
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Paul Smithson

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Paul Winthrop Smithson

18 Nov 2001

Win - Paul

You are not forgotten
Along Western Avenue
The circles Westmoreland
Chevy Chase
The avenues Massachusettes
Up Melrose Street

Departured paths all
But emblazoned
On the only maps
Worth keeping

- Walshes
- Gildeas
- Killicks
- Hurds

From a friend,
Taylor Walsh

09 Aug 2004

Paul's RTO, Cpl. Denny Storms, passed away March of 2003 at his home in Carlsbad, CA. Denny got in touch with me after seeing Paul's memorial page here. Subsequently in email and phone calls he told me about that day at the start of Operation Meade River in November 1968. He had hoped to come to DC in the spring of 2003 to see the Wall and to visit Paul and a friend of his in Arlington, but was unable to do so.

Denny was badly wounded when the booby trap that took Paul detonated, and he suffered from ringing in his ears for the rest of his life as a result.

Denny brought closure for Paul's friends and family that we were certain we'd never have, I know it was terribly difficult for him to recount that day. We are humbled and forever grateful for the courage it took to do so. Semper Fi -- 35 years strong.

From a friend,
Taylor Walsh

18 April 2002

never forgotten,
forever loved.

From his fiance,
Kathleen Coppola Flood

22 Oct 2005

I believe Sgt Cole was not the only other man killed with LT Smithson. I think Cpl Deluna and Cpl Navarro and L/Cpl Yankur were also killed that day. Missed by many, loved by all. They were once warrior kings!

From a fellow Marine,
Bob Redd
Squad Leader
3rd Plt, B 1/1
E-mail address is not available.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The Virtual Wall staff knew two Bravo 1/1 Marines were killed in action on 20 Nov 1968, 2ndLt Paul W. Smithson and Sgt Claude Cole of Galveston, Texas. Thanks to Mr. Redd's comments above, we now know a third man died of wounds received that day - Cpl Carmelo Navarro. The other two men Mr. Redd identifies were killed in a similar incident four days earlier:
  • Bravo 1/1, 16 Nov 1968:
    • Cpl Manuel Deluna, Needville, TX, and
    • LCpl Ronald A. Yanchar, Cleveland, OH.

  • Bravo 1/1, 20 Nov 1968:
    • 2ndLt Paul W. Smithson, Bethesda, MD;
    • Sgt Claude Cole, Galveston, TX; and
    • Cpl Carmelo Navarro, New York, NY (DoW 21 Nov 68).

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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