Theodore "Ted" Smith, reported to RIVSEC 544, later re-designated as RIVDIV 593 in May of 1968 as the unit was forming at Nha Be. He came from another in country command at Long Vinh. Chief Smith was assigned as a patrol office and began patrolling the Rung Sat Special Zone as soon as the unit was operational.
On November 8, 1968, Chief Smith's patrol left Nha Be at first light en route to Thi Vai/Go Ghia area. This area was known as a Viet Cong strong hold and had been the location of many enemy ambushes in the past. During the patrol, he was directed by higher authority to enter a small canal with his two boats and act as a blocking force for a landing party sweeping the area. His patrol was ambushed coming out of the canal and his cover boat took two direct hits, wounding all aboard.
After cleaning the kill zone, Chief Smith transferred to the cover boat to assist the wounded and maneuver the boat out of the ambush. As he started to move the boat out of the kill zone to medivac the wounded, it took another direct hit from a rocket killing him instantly. For this action, he was awarded the Silver Star and second Purple Heart posthumously for his mortal wounds. He had earlier received a Bronze Star Medal for bravery and aggressiveness under fire.
Chief Smith was a true professional and took the well being of his crew as a first priority. He gave his life trying to help those crewmen that were wounded. He left behind a wife Eiko, now deceased, and a son Rick. His devotion to duty and courage earned him wide renown throughout the Rung Sat Special Zone. We all miss him.
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