World War II American General Officers' Project



A project dedicated to the study of the American General Officer and the preservation of their original uniforms, flags and medals.

Admiral William W. Smith

  Admiral William Ward Smith had just returned from operations in the Coral Sea and was now preparing to leave Pearl Harbor alongside the  hastily repaired carrier Yorktown for what would become known as the Battle of Midway the turning point of the war against Japan.   During the Midway opperation as the Yorktown began to launch her attack against the Japanese fleet, Admiral Smith on board the heavy cruiser Astoria was in command of the Yorktown's cruiser and destroyer escort and had one of the best available overall views of the ongoing battle. During the battle the Yorktown would be sunk but the losses to the Nation of Japan were far greater losing four carriers, a loss Japan could not recoup. For the Battle of both the Coral Sea and Midway Admiral Smith was awarded the Distiguish Service Medal with the citation reading "the aggressive and determined action of Rear Admiral Smith and the skill and devotion to duty of the units under his command caused the infliction of heavy damage on attacking enemy Japanese air forces with ultimate success for our forces in these distinctive enggagements." 

 Back to the Collection