WWI Profile: Curtis L. Smith 1897-1982

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Curtis Lee Smith
Mill Branch, Brunswick County, NC
NC National Guard

September 11, 1916 – April 9, 1919
May 11, 1918 – April 2, 1919
Awarded Silver Star

Curtis Lee Smith was born and raised in Brunswick County, NC. A family tree is located in FamilySearch.

On September 11, 1916, Curtis enlisted in the NC National Guard. In November, he was promoted to Private First Class.

In 1917 when the United States joined the war, Pfc Smith was assigned to Company G, 119th Infantry, 30th “Old Hickory” Division. Refer to the previous posts outlining the history of the division, training at Camp Sevier, SC, and their famous Hindenburg Line assault. After arriving in France, in August 1918, Curtis was promoted to corporal.

Cpl Smith was not injured during the Hindenburg assault or the push afterwards that wounded both Pfc Albert Williams and 1st Sgt Van Mintz. But his gallantry on October 10, 1918 earned him a Silver Star. (Events of that operation are described in the two profiles of those fellow soldiers.)

Corporal Curtis Lee Smith received the following citation.

By direction of the President, under the provisions of the act of Congress approved July 9, 1918 (Bul. No. 43, W.D., 1918), Corporal Curtis L. Smith (ASN: 1315927), United States Army, is cited by the Commanding General, American Expeditionary Forces, for gallantry in action and a silver star may be placed upon the ribbon of the Victory Medals awarded him. Corporal Smith distinguished himself by gallantry in action while serving with Company G, 119th Infantry Regiment, 30th Division, American Expeditionary Forces, in action near St. Souplet, France, 10 October 1918, in alone going forward and operating his machine gun, after the rest of his squad had become casualties.

After the war, he returned to Brunswick County, married, and began raising a family. Some time after 1940, he relocated and eventually lived in Archdale, NC, in Randolph County.

Curtis Lee Smith passed away on September 7, 1982, almost two years after his wife. He is buried in Floral Garden Memorial Park, High Point. His flat marker includes “U.S. Army Hero, WWI”

Corporal Curtis Lee Smith was one of three known soldiers from Brunswick County to be awarded medals during WWI.

If you would like to help us honor Curtis Lee Smith or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

Click here for the announcement: Announcement: Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran
Click here for directions to donate and honor a veteran: How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

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