Died November 12,2006
General Jacob Edward Smart is deputy commander in chief of the U.S. European Command, senior U.S. military headquarters in Europe. The command directs the activities of all U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force units committed to NATO Defense, supports other unified and specified commands, and supports United States and other national and international agencies and commands.
General Smart was born in Ridgeland, S.C., in 1909 and educated in the public schools of South Carolina and Georgia, at Marion Military Institute, Marion, Ala., and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1931.
The general entered flying training upon graduation from West Point and after completion of Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas, in 1932, served successively in pursuit, observation and flying training units at Albrook Field, Canal Zone, and Randolph Field, Texas, until December 1941 when he became chief of flying training, Air Corps Headquarters, Washington, D.C. In July 1942 he was selected to serve on the Air Corps Advisory Council. As a member of this council, General Smart participated as a planning officer at the Casablanca, Washington, and Quebec conferences, and was awarded the Legion of Merit for his services as a member of the advisory group.
In 1943 General Smart was assigned to the 9th Bomber Command in the Middle East, duty for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. In February 1944, upon graduating from the Army-Navy Staff College, Washington, D.C., he was transferred to 15th Air Force in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations as commanding officer of the 97th Bomb Group stationed in Italy. While flying his 29th combat mission, General Smart's aircraft was destroyed by anti-aircraft fire; he was wounded and made a prisoner of war for the next 11 months. For his combat and non-combat duty prior to being taken prisoner, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal four times.
Returning to the United States in September 1945, General Smart was again assigned to Air Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C., as secretary of Air Staff and later as executive assistant to the commanding general of the Army Air Corps. In November 1946 he was assigned to Headquarters, Air Defense Command at Mitchell Field, N.Y., serving finally as deputy for operations.
General Smart graduated from the National War College, Washington, D.C., in June 1950 and was assigned to Stewart Air Force Base, N.Y., as commander, 32nd Air Division and later as vice commander, Eastern Air Defense Force. In June 1951 he was transferred to the Pacific area and assigned as deputy for operations of the Far East Air Force.
During the Korean War General Smart was again wounded. He was awarded the decoration of Ulchi by the Republic of Korea, was designated an honorary commander of the British Empire, and also awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by the United States.
In June 1955 General Smart returned to the United States as assistant vice chief of staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., and in September 1959 was transferred to Waco, Texas, as commander of the Twelfth Air Force, Tactical Air Command. General Smart became vice commander of Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va., in January 1960.
The general returned to the Pacific area as commander, U.S. Forces in Japan in August 1961. From August 1963 until July 1964 he served as commander in chief, Pacific Air Forces with headquarters in Honolulu, Hawaii.
General Smart assumed his present duty as deputy commander in chief, U.S. European Command in July 1964.