The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
SMITH, JOHN LUCIAN
Rank and Organization:: Major, U.S. Marine Corps,
Marine Fighter Squadron 223, Place and Date In the Solomon Islands area,
August-September 1942. Entered Service at: Oklahoma. Born: 26 December
1914, Lexington, Okla. Other Navy Award: Legion of Merit.
For conspicuous gallantry and heroic achievement in aerial combat above and beyond the
call of duty as commanding officer of Marine Fighting Squadron 223 during operations
against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands area, August-September 1942.
Repeatedly risking his life in aggressive and daring attacks, Maj. Smith led his squadron
against a determined force, greatly superior in numbers, personally shooting down 16
Japanese planes between 21 August and 15 September 1942. In spite of the limited combat
experience of many of the pilots of this squadron, they achieved the notable record of a
total of 83 enemy aircraft destroyed in this period, mainly attributable to the thorough
training under Maj. Smith and to his intrepid and inspiring leadership. His bold tactics
and indomitable fighting spirit, and the valiant and zealous fortitude of the men of his
command not only rendered the enemy's attacks ineffective and costly to Japan, but
contributed to the security of our advance base. His loyal and courageous devotion to duty
sustains and enhances the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
Citation Courtesy of www.HomeOfHeroes.com
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