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Highlighting the World Wars I & II Memorabilia Collection of Dave Sleeper

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Smalley, Howard J.


Rank: Seaman, 1st Class
Serial Number: 6558939
Military Branch: USS Bismark Sea, CVE-95
Origin: Oregon
Date of Death: 1945-02-21
Honolulu Memorial
Featured: No

Howard Jasper Smalley, Jr. was born in Salem Oregon on May 5, 1926. With his parents consent, he enlisted in the Naval Reserve on September 17, 1943 in Portland, Oregon. He went to training at Navy Training Station, Camp Farragut, Idaho 21 September, 1943. At some point he was promoted to S2c, thence to S1c 29 March 1944. On 20 May,1944 he reported aboard the USS Bismark Sea.

He married the former Eleanor Rose Struck on August 2, 1944. 

Smalley was aboard the Bismark Sea when it was struck by 2 Japanese suicide planes on the evening of February 21, 1945. His body was not recovered. He was one of 300 killed out of a crew of about 900. Several destroyers were involved with search and rescue. Smalley's short life ended at age 19.

S1c Smalley's medal group includes only his officially engraved posthumous Type 2 Purple Heart and its Navy short titled case. Research from the National Archives and Ancestry.com is included as well as copies of newspaper articles about his death.