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Histories of The Individuals Who Served

Francis Charles Smedley

World War II - U. S. Air Force

Francis Charles Smedley
January 1923 - May 1, 1944

Lt. Francis Charles Smedley was a B-17 bomber pilot in the Air Force.

He was shot
down May 1st, 1944 over western Europe and is buried in Ardennes American Cemetery in Neupre, Belgium,  about 12 miles southwest of Liege, Belgium. 

He was awarded the purple heart.  
contributed by his cousin -
Nancy Smedley

Chapel of the Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium

B-17 Flying Fortress
Francis Smedley named his aircraft
"Sunrise Serenade"
after his mother's favorite song.

News Article
Wisconsin State Journal
June 22, 1944
Wisconsin Casualties
European Area

First Lieut. Francis C Smedley - mother Mrs. Clara Smedley Oconto Falls

(1944 news article and photo researched and contributed by: Dean Schaal from his mother's wartime scrapbook)
1st Lt. Francis Smedley

Special in Press-Gazette
OCONTO FALLS, Wis - Mrs. C. W. Smedley, Oconto Falls, has received the Purple Heart award for her son 1st Lt. Francis C. Smedley of the Army Air corps, whose plane was badly damaged by anti-air-craft fire over a target in France on May 1, 1944, according to information received by the young pilot's mother, all the crew but one parachuted and the damaged plane headed toward Burssels, Belgium.
    Although nothing further has been received, the government has listed Lt. Smedley as killed in action on that date. Where the plane landed, when or what happened to the pilot of the B-17 bomber is still a mystery. He had completed going to England before Christmas. He participated in the first daylight raid over Berlin and was rated as one of the top-notch fliers of the A.A.F. He reach his 21st birthday anniversary Jan. 19.
    The citation, accompanied by a certificate signed by President Roosevelt, said in part - "...the president of the United States.....has awarded the 'Purple Heart' to 1st Lt. Francis C. Smedley for military merit and wounds received in action resulting in his death May 1, 1944.

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