Frank C. Smith
Submitted by: Bob Ravener
Frank C. Smith served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 1916-1959.
Maybe it was the thought that eventually the United States would enter the war in Europe or maybe Frank was outraged that his beloved country was invaded several times with American fatalities that motivated him to serve. It also could have been little more than a young man seeking adventure and adding some excitement to his seemingly routine life as a twenty year old.
The newly minted private was immediately assigned to Battery C of the 2nd Field Artillery Regiment, part of the unit commanded by Colonel George A. Wingate, which would become the 105th Field Artillery Regiment and ultimately became part of the 52nd Field Artillery Brigade commanded by Wingate in WWI. He was promoted to private first class and his unit were federalized and sent to the Mexican border from July to December 1916.
Arriving home with the New York National Guard in early January, Frank was subsequently sent to officer training at Camp Wadsworth, SC. Promoted to sergeant on 01 June, 1917, and then an artillery gun chief, Frank was called up to the regular Army on 05 August 1917 and sent to Fort Niagara, NY in September to train others in artillery proficiency. He became engaged to Mathilde Putz of NY that month as well. Frank's regiment was converted to the 105th Field Artillery and he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on 01 June 1918, after completing his officer training.
His service record gives him credit for six months of combat duty as a sergeant and a year as a 2nd LT. He is also credited with overseas time in France in 1917 and Belgium in 1918. Awards during this era included Mexican Border Service Medal, WWI Victory Medal, WWI Army of Occupation Medal, Expert Badges in pistol and rifle.
Frank went on to continue his military service both in the newly formed Reserves and then again on active duty, until his official retirement on his 64th birthday, 15 September 1959. He went on to reach the rank of colonel and added to his medals with the Army Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Medal, American Campaign Medal, Europe-Africa Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, WWII Army of Occupation Medal, National Defense Medal