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Ernest Lee Smith, 39th Infantry Regiment, KIA 10-13-44

Allan H.

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Today marks the 78th anniversary of the death of Ernest Lee Smith of South Carolina. Private Smith served in the 39th Infantry Regiment of the 9th Infantry Division and was a recent replacement to the unit when he was killed. The unit history states that many of the seasoned veterans were taken off the line for some R&R and replaced with "greenhorn" replacements. The Germans determined that something was up and decided to probe the lines when a battle ensued. 


According to the family, as the attack on their positions began, PVT Smith jumped in front of a fellow soldier and saved that soldier's life. PVT Smith was shot in the left eye and died immediately. He was only 24 years old. Ernest Smith left behind a 24 year old wife and a 22 month old daughter. His wife never remarried. 


PVT Smith earned a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his actions. May he Rest In Peace.



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Nice tribute Allan, thanks for remembering this veteran. May he rest in Peace.


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