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Edward Hanson Smith

Date of birth: October 29, 1889
Date of death: October 29, 1961
Burial location: Tisbury, Massachusetts
Place of Birth: Massachusetts, Vineyard Haven
Home of record: Winchester Massachusetts

Edward Smith was commissioned in the Coast Guard in 1913 upon graduation from the U. S. Revenue Cutter Service School of Instruction. He retired as a U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral in 1950.


Navy Distinguished Service Medal

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Rear Admiral Edward Hanson Smith, United States Coast Guard, for exceptionally meritorious service to the Government of the United States in a duty of great responsibility as Commander of the Greenland Patrol and later as Commander of a Task Force in the Atlantic Fleet from December 1941 to November 1944. During the critical years of 1942 and 1943, Rear Admiral Smith planned, built, organized and efficiently administered the naval bases and stations in Greenland and in the Arctic for the support of the Army in those areas and the Naval control of the North Atlantic. Under extremely difficult conditions, the forces of his command successfully operated patrol and escorts, maintained a system of weather stations and provided full logistic and tactical support for the Army. As Commander of a Task Force in these strategic waters, he skillfully directed vital weather, patrol and escort services which were of inestimable assistance in connection with the ferrying of aircraft and the operation of transport planes to and from the European theaters of war and effectively protected valuable convoys. In all his negotiations and contacts, Rear Admiral Smith distinguished himself by his splendid diplomacy, sound judgment and intelligent planning and consistently maintained excellent relations with other United States forces and those of the Allied Nations. His superior tactical knowledge and steadfast devotion to duty throughout these important years were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 339 (June 1945)

Action Date: December 1941 - November 1944

Service: Coast Guard

Rank: Rear Admiral