William R. Smith (#6464176)

Place of Birth
Date of Birth

Morris, Canada
December 19, 1901
First Sergeant

F / Hq 329th
83rd Infantry
Combat Infantryman's Badge, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, American Defense Medal, American Campaign Medal, European African Middle Eastern with 1 silver star (5 campaigns), WW2 Victory Medal, Expert Markmanship Badge with Pistol, Rifle and Saber bar

William Smith wearing the ceremonial uniform of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment (Dragoons) 1927-1942


William R Smith (#6464176) or Bill as he was called, lied about his birthday and birthplace in an ill fated attempt to volunteer for the US Army during WW 1. Soon found out, Bill returned to Park River, North Dakota to work on the family farm. Bill service record indicates he was born on Dec. 19, 1902 in Park River, North Dakota but in all actuality, Bill was born on Dec. 19, 1901 in Morris, Manitoba, Canada. Bill actually did join the US Army and served from 1921-24 as a PFC Cannoneer in a field artillery unit. Returning to Park River to work on family and neighboring farms in 1924, Bill soon returned to the Army in 1927. He spent most of his early military career at Ft Riley Kansas with the 2nd Cavalry Dragoons. He was a platoon sergeant through 1939. After graduating from Bakers and Cooks training and Quarter Master school Bill was promoted to Staff Sergeant and was a mess sergeant while at Ft Riley.

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the U.S.A. entered WW2 Bill, as was all service men were consigned to post. Bill didn’t see his wife and 6 kids (12 y.o. to 4months) until the cadre reported to Camp Atterbury, Indiana with the reformation of the 83rd Inf. Div. Feb, 1942. Bill was F Co 329th Mess Sergeant while at Camp Atterbury. When the 83rd moved to Camp Breckenridge, Kentucky Bill was listed on the Christmas menu there as a First Sergeant. I do not know when Bill was again F Co 329th Mess Sergeant, whether it was before leaving the continental USA April 6, 1944 or after arriving in England.

Bill was with F Co 329th 83rd until being transferred to Hq Co 329th 83rd in Oct, 1944. I assume Bill stayed with Hq Co until he returned home June 8, 1945 as I can’t find records showing otherwise.Bill was promoted to Technical Sergeant in Oct, 1946 where he held the position of Mess Steward. He retired to farm near Conway Arkansas as a T/Sergeant June 30,1948 after almost 24 years of service.

Cooks at Camp Atterbury. William R. Smith top center was the mess sergeant.

Bill died on July 22, 1966 and received full military honors at the graveside. He is buried at Iron Cemetery outside Little Rock, Arkansas

I had the pleasure of meeting his grandson Keven Smith and his wife Beverly at several Reunions of the 83rd Division Association

Keven and I on the Annual Reunion in Cleveland, Ohio (2017), talking about the 83rd

If somebody has some more information on William R. Smith, please don't hesitate to contact me!!

Keven Smith, grandson