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Friends Remembered Home | Friends Detail

JOE B SMITH III (WA4VSH)


MARCH, 2011


My long time ham radio buddy and friend of 41 years from a long time of cancer with many major operations. Joe was born in Mobile County Alabama and went through his grade school and high years. Went on to Auburn University in Engineering and in his fourth year was drafted into the US Army as a gunner on a Huey gun ship in Vietnam for a year of service on the front lines wherever they were in the 1St Air Calvary. Finished his Army service in Oklahoma with his new Alabama bride and came home to his home State. Went to work with Teledyne Continental and retired as Vice President of Operations Safety and Chief Inspector. Went into the commercial vhf/uhf tower and repeater business and did well. But all the time giving back to his community of Magnolia Springs Alabama VFD and being on the BOD for many years. Never complained nor fussed/whined at all but you knew he was a leader in the truest sense. One who would do anything for you at any time of day not expecting any thing back. An eye to eye hand shake gentleman, but if one attempted to take advantage of his unconditional concern and assistance, he'd not say anything to the person nor share with others, but the offending person would definite get the message never to approach him again. Joe was part Creek Indian from his mother's side of the family and he was endowed with those qualities in both mental and physical status. I sorely miss him. Sincerely, Robert Lawson W4RL Pensacola FL Note: Joe was an accoumplished private pilot and flew his rebuilt Taylor Craft for years. He'd even take it off durning VFR rules from his small air strip near his home and fly across Mobile Bay to the west to Teledyne Continental's air strip on the west side of Mobile Bay and taxi his Taylor Craft into his regular parking space. Attached picture is of "Uncle Joe" and my only grandbabby a little boy, Callan, going off into the semi-swamp lands of Joe's 'way back forty' with grandpa having absolutely no concern trusting my best buddy.

Contributed by: Robert Lawson (W4RL)


Joe and I were in the same Unit in Viet Nam together in 1966-67 with the 1st Air Cav Div (Air Mobile). I have many photos of him there. He also worked on helicopter engines. We were 467 miles North of Saigon, way up in the mountains. We enjoyed telling "War Stories" together on our ham radios. Him in Alabama and me in Kentucky. He is sorely missed!

Contributed by: LARRY COPPALA (USARetSFC) (N4VNV)


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