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Remembering World War II
Name: Charles William Smith Rank: Private First Class Service Number: 31359807 Service: 135th Infantry Regiment, 34th Infantry Division, US Army Awards: Purple Heart Date of Birth: June 27, 1912 Place of Birth: Grand River, Richmond County, Nova Scotia Date of Enlistment: June 2, 1943 Place of Enlistment: Boston, Massachusetts Address at Enlistment: Everett, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Age at Enlistment: 30 Height: 5 feet, 8 ½ inches Complexion: Light Hair Color: Red Eye Color: Gray Occupation: Pressmen and plate printers, printing Marital Status: Single Religion: Protestant Next of Kin: Florence B. Parker (Mother) Date of Death: February 4, 1944 Age: 31 Cemetery: Massachusetts (exact location unknown) Charles was the only son of a Charles Smith (1871/72-1912) and Florence ‘Flora’ Bell (Campbell) Smith (1889-1979). His mother born in West Bay, Richmond County, Nova Scotia. After Charles’ father died in 1912, Charles and his mother moved to the United States, in Massachusetts. His mother remarried William Johnson Parker (b. 1858) in 1919, in Malden, Mass. Charles had a half-brother, Alton Benson Parker (1906–1985). Charles declared his intention to become a US citizen August 14, 1931, became a US citizen April 24, 1939, and registered for the US Draft on October 16, 1940, in Everett, Massachusetts. He listed his next of kin as his mother, Florence Bell Parker on his draft card, and was employed with the Davidson Press Corporation. In the 1940 census, Charles W Smith and his mother Florence B Parker are living alone in Everett, Mass. and he’s working as a job shop printer. After enlisting at the beginning of June 1943, Charles went on to serve with the 135th Infantry Regiment of the 34th Infantry Division (known as the Red Bull Division), US Army. The 34th was the only US Infantry division serving in the North African and Mediterranean Theaters of Operation throughout the war. The 34th Division landed in Italy in September 1943. Principal action in the fall and winter of 1943, and 1944, included Benevento, the Volturno River where the Division made three crossings in the face of bitter enemy resistance, and Mount Pantano and Monte Cassino. At Cassino, some of the worst fighting of the Italian Campaign occurred. The First Battle of Monte Cassino took place North of Cassino, January 17 to February 11, 1944. The attack started on January 17th as British Empire, American and French troops fought uphill against the strategic German defences. The German defences were extremely well integrated into the mountainside, and, following large losses, the Allies pulled back on February 11th. On February 4th and 5th, the 135th fought desperately to force its way across Highway 6, but its advance was repelled. Private Charles William Smith died of wounds received in battle, a gun shot wound, on February 4, 1944. Private Charles William Smith exact location of burial in Massachusetts is unknown. He is likely interred at the Glenwood Cemetery in Everett, Middlesex Co.
Charles William Smith
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Sources: findagrave Background image:National WWII Memorial Washington, DC.
Boston Globe, April 6, 1944