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MSG Robert Joseph Smith, Jr., U.S. Army, Retired

October 6, 1926 – April 26, 2016

Retired Master Sergeant Robert Joseph Smith, Jr., age 89, of New Castle, DE, passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, April 26, 2016.

Born in Yeadon, PA on October 6, 1926, Bob was one of two children born to the late Robert J., Sr. and Eleanor Marie (Dorn) Smith. He attended elementary school at St. Joseph on the Brandywine and graduated from A.I. duPont High School in June, 1944.

Bob began his military career on February 12, 1945 when he was inducted into the U.S. Army and received his basic training at Camp Blanding, FL. During WWII, he served in the Pacific Theater from August, 1945 until October, 1946. Most of this time, Bob was stationed with the 574th Air Material Squadron. He was honorably discharged from active duty in July of 1947 and then enlisted with Delaware Army National Guard, Battery A 156 Antiaircraft Artillery Gun Battalion. With the exception of a 3-month leave, Bob served continuously until his 60th birthday, amounting to over 40 years of military service and in various capacities from Supply Clerk to Chief Supply Sergeant. During his career with the DANG, he worked in the Logistics field and was a member of the 4th Air Defense Artillery Battalion Headquarters, Company 198 Signal Battalion Headquarters, 261 Signal Command Headquarters, and State Area Command Headquarters.

Bob received numerous service awards including the Good Conduct Medal Asiatic Pacific Theater Medal, World War II Victory Ribbon, Army Occupation Medal (Japan), The Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, The Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Medal for Military Merit with 3 Hourglasses, the Medal for Service in Aid to Civil Authority with one Bronze Star and the State of Delaware Conspicuous Service Cross.

He accepted a full time position with the Delaware National Guard in January of 1969 and was hired as a member of the U.S. Property and Fiscal Office Warehouse Staff. Bob held a number of positions in the warehouse throughout his career as a civilian technician.

He was an active member of the First Delaware Regiment of the American Rifles, an organization he was passionate about and gave of his time by serving as a member of the Color Guard or in any other capacity that was requested of him. Bob served as past Post Commander and in various other offices with the American Legion, Lawrence Robert Post No. 21. Additionally, he was a longtime parishioner of St. Peter the Apostle R.C. Church in New Castle.

Bob is survived by his sister, Anna M. Worden of Austin, TX and many nieces and nephews.
Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11:30 am on Friday morning, May 6, 2016, at St. Peter the Apostle R.C. Church, Fifth and Harmony Streets, New Castle, DE. Interment will follow in Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 2465 Chesapeake City Road, Bear, DE.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Bob’s memory may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.

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  1. Leslie Skibinski, May 16, 2016

    I knew Bob when I worked at the Delaware Museum of Natural History. He was a wonderful man with many great stories. His love for his animals always shone through. He will be missed.

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