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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive

Leonard "Smitty" Smith

Dear Bennie and Friends:

My dear friend Smitty, a decorated hero of the Battle of the Bulge just passed away. He was my heart.

Below is a farewell from the remaining members of the NY Chapter of the 761st Tank Battalion.

I hope that the friends that I met here will say a prayer for Smitty.

K Wyer Lane
Long Island/NY Chapter
761st Tank Battalion



No time to honor your memory and say goodbye like we wanted to.

We will miss you terribly. We were lifelong friends and still in our teens when we went away to war. The band was playing “Flying Home” when we sailed from New York harbor to join “The Big Show” in Europe.

And what a Big Show it was!

The men of HQ Company C served their country with honor and distinction. Even during those dark and cold days at the Battle of the Bulge, you kept our spirits up to fight the glorious fight. When we wanted to give up the fight, you yelled, “Remember the Savoy!” Spoken like a true son of Harlem! How could the black men of the 761st NOT continue their fight with such a Harlem Battle Cry?

We were proud when you were decorated with a Bronze Star for bravery. How lucky we were to know you. Your golden heart was brave and at the same time loving and good.

We will remember the years that we spent at the 761st Tank Battalion Reunions. We will treasure all of those days. Most of all we remember you today.

Flying Home to God’s heart.

“Bill” William McBurney and “Prescott” Preston McNeil
The Long Island/New York Chapter The 761st Tank Battalion

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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