Walter Smith
Date of birth: November 16, 1875
Place of birth: Cumberland, Maryland
Date of death: September 20, 1955(1955-09-20) (aged 79)
Place of death: Walter Reed Army Hospital, Washington, D.C.
Career information
Position(s): End
College: United States Military Academy

Walter Driscol Smith (November 16, 1875 – September 20, 1955) was an American football player and military officer. He was a consensus All-American football player in 1900 while enrolled at the United States Military Academy. He served in the United States Army until 1946, reaching the rank of Brigadier-General.

Early years and football[edit | edit source]

A native of Maryland, Smith attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He played college football at the end position for the Army Black Knights football team from 1898 to 1900 and was the captain of the 1899 and 1900 teams.[1][2][3] He was a consensus All-American in 1900.[4] He was also selected by Walter Camp as a third-team All-American in 1898.[5]

Military career[edit | edit source]

File:82 Airborne Patch.svg

Insignia of "the All-American division"

Smith graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1901.[6] After graduation, Smith remained assigned to the U.S. Military Academy. He served as an instructor of mathematics from 1905 to 1906 and assistant to the quartermaster from 1906 to 1909. He was stationed in Panama as the Constructing Quartermaster with the Panama Canal Commission from 1909 to 1913. He returned to the U.S. Military Academy from 1915 to 1917 as an instructor in tactics, assistant adjutant, post exchange officer, treasurer, and assistant quartermaster. In 1916, Smith was promoted to the rank of captain in the cavalry. In December 1917, he sailed for France and served as an observer with the British Army. In January 1918, he was assigned to the General Headquarters of the American Expeditionary Forces at Chaumont, France, serving as the Chief of Organization and Equipment Division. He was promoted to the rank of colonel of the field artillery in June 1918. Smith participated in major engagements at Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, Somme Offensive, Oise-Aisne, St. Mihiel, and Argonne-Mueuse. He was awarded the Order of St. Maurice and St. Lazarus and was cited by the commanding general of the American Expeditionary Force "for exceptional meritorious and conspicuous services in Organization and Equipment, General Staff, France."[7]

After World War I, Smith attended the Army War College, the General Service Schools, and the Naval War College. He served as the head of the Army's Transportation Branch, War Department General Staff, from 1924 to 1928. He was assigned to the Army War College as an instructor, director, and chief of the historical section from 1930 to 1935. From 1935 to 1939, Smith was the chief of staff of the Army's 82nd Division,[8] nicknamed "the All-American division."[9] He retired in 1939 and was recalled during World War II with an assignment to the War Department from 1941 to 1946. He reached the rank of Brigadier-General.[8]

Smith died in 1955.[10]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. "Army and Navy Football". Outing. January 1901. p. 456.
  2. "The Navy Succumbs To Army's Prowess". The New York Times. December 3, 1899.
  3. "Army and Navy Football". The New York Times. December 1, 1900.
  4. "Award Winners". NCAA. 2012. p. 4.
  5. "Camp's 1898 All-America Teams". Evening Independent. 1930-11-21.
  6. The Centennial of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, 1802-1902, Vol II, Statistics and Bibliographies. Government Printing Office. 1904. p. 427.
  7. Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of The U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. Seeman & Peters, Printers. 1920. pp. 945-946.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Smith, Walter Driscol, Brigadier-General".
  9. "82nd Airborne Division History". 82nd Airborne Division Public Affairs Office. Archived from the original on 25 December 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  10. "Gen. Walter D. Smith, Canal Builder, Dies", Mason City Globe-Gazette, Wednesday, September 21, 1955, Mason City, Iowa, United States Of America

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