Medal of Honor Recipient

Medal of Honor

Sergeant Maynard H. Smith


Sergeant Maynard H. Smith

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidly in action above and beyond the call of duty. The aircraft of which Sgt. Smith was a gunner was subjected to enemy fire while returning from a mission over enemy-occupied continental Europe on 1 May 1943. The aircraft was hit several times by anti-aircraft fire, 2 of the crew were seriously wounded, the aircraft's oxygen system shot out, and several vital control cables severed when intense fires were ignited in the radio compartment and waist sections. 3 of the crew bailed out into the sea. Sgt. Smith, then on his first combat mission, fought the fire by himself, administered first aid to the wounded, manned the waist guns, and fought the intense flames alternately. The ammunition in the radio compartment began to explode, the radio, gun mount, and camera were melted, and the compartment completely gutted. Sgt. Smith threw the exploding ammunition overboard, fought the fire until all the firefighting aids were exhausted, manned the workable guns, further administered first aid to his wounded comrade, and then completely extinguished the fire by hand. This soldier's gallantry in action, undaunted bravery, and loyalty to his aircraft and fellow crewmembers, without regard for his own personal safety, is an inspiration to the U.S. Armed Forces.