Joseph Smith, “Joe”
March 19, 1936 – May 16, 2013
“Wishing you light winds & calm seas at your new duty station…”
Joseph Smith, known as “Joe” to his friends, grew up in South Carolina, earning the rank of Eagle Scout on his 15th birthday.
In his youth, as a boy scout, he played in his first baseball league as an outfielder. In high school, he changed positions to catcher. When he joined the Navy he played softball and fell in love with the game. He was a catcher and a good hitter. His team’s first string pitcher hurt his arm and Joe was the only one who could throw under hand…he did so well he was the team’s primary pitcher after that.
His first job out of high school was as a “Roving Hauler” in a textile mill. His job was to take a product called roving (which was kind of like we think of twine) from where is started as raw cotton and to take large containers of roving to the spinning room, where the roving was wound tighter and more uniform. He developed good muscles from all the heavy lifting!
Joe started off in the Navy in 1953 as a Seaman Recruit in South Carolina, and then, in ’54 became an Aviation Electronics Tech. He started flying as a radio operator in his first squadron at North Island, San Diego, CA (“VU-7”). He was assigned to a target towing squadron at first. The aircraft he flew was called a JD by the Navy and B-26 by the Air Force. He had a large reel of cable in the aircraft to which they attached a banner or target. They reeled the target out several thousand feet while in flight and ships or aircraft took gunnery practice!
He went to Atsugi, Japan (“VU-5”) in the same type aircraft doing the same job. He stayed in Japan for 5 years, where he met and was married to Ikue Hashimoto. Their first child, Pete, was born a year and a half later. The family then moved to Washington, where Joe became an electronics instructor. He was later transferred to Okinawa to a Patrol Squadron and became an Anti-Submarine Warfare Operator, part of “VP FOUR”. He operated equipment which helped locate and track enemy submarines. They also patrolled the ocean in certain areas and plotted shipping. Joe’s daughter, Irene, was born there. He remained in that patrol squadron through 1966.
(continued history of military and private life, hobbies, career, etc...with a lot of photos, etc... this is a sample of a bio that can be written of your loved one, living or deceased, through research and family interviews...)