Wallace W Smith - LST 531

Wallace W Smith

Pfc. Wallace W. Smith - U. S. Army
1st Engineering Special Brigade
3206th Quartermaster Service Co.
Name on the Wall of the Missing
Cambridge American Cemetery, England

Memories of Wallace Wilson Smith by his sister, Evelyn Jean Mackey

Wallace Wilson Smith was born on December 21, 1923, to Milton Lee Smith and Edna Erdel Smith at Rush Hill, Missouri. He had an older Sister Genevieve, and an older brother, Clifford. He was later joined by 3 sisters, Mildred, Jean, and Betty.  We lived on a farm where our daddy was a farmer. He attended a one room schoolhouse where all eight grades were taught.  In March of 1936, our dad passed away, leaving our mother on a rented farm with six children to raise. Wallace and Clifford were in the 8th grade and the teacher was allowed to have all their classes before noon so they could go home to take care of the livestock, and do the farming to support our family.  My brother did not have an opportunity to go to high school. He worked for area farmers, until he was older and able to get a job at the A.P. Green brick plant. He loved working on machinery and was overjoyed when we could afford a Model A Ford car, and a farm tractor. In his spare time he liked to hunt rabbits and squirrels. He was a fun loving guy and enjoyed playing pranks, especially on his sisters.

He went to Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, Missouri, for his physical on February 5, 1943, and was inducted into the Army at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, on February 12, 1943.   He worked at the Brick Plant right up until the day he left for the Service!   He received his training at Army Camps in California, Virginia, and Florida.  He had only one furlough when he surprised us in November of 1943.  He came to our home by taxi about midnight and called from the back porch, "Mom I'm home!"   One of my happiest memories is running down the stairs saying over and over, "Oh Boy, Oh Boy!"!   We were so proud of our handsome soldier who was a wonderful Christian boy who helped support his family.  That was the last time we saw him.  He went overseas in January, 1944.

He was in the 3206th Quartermaster Service Co. and gave his life on April 28,1944, along with seven others from Audrain County.  German E-Boats torpedoed the ship, LST 531, that he was on.  Our telegram of May 17, 1944, listed him as missing in action and the telegram of August 12, 1944,  listed him as killed in action.  His body was never found and we knew very little about what happened until we went to Maryland  in 1994, to attend the 50th anniversary of the tragedy.

Since we went to England & France to attend the 70th reunion in April, 2013, (held early because most WII veterans were getting where they could not travel) and I saw the Omaha and Utah beaches, the English Channel, and the Wall of the Missing in the Cambridge American Cemetery, I am more at peace.

Like many other families we always prayed that our loved one would come home. He's gone, but not forgotten,-- and always loved.

                                                                                                                           Evelyn Jean Mackey