BY LT. ADAM JOHNSON, SC, USN
NAVY SUPPLY CORPS SCHOOL
The Navy Supply Corps School (NSCS) dedicated its latest heritage exhibition to the late Cmdr. Raymond J. Smith, Supply Corps, U.S. Navy. After his passing in 2015, as a part of Smith’s estate, the Smith family contributed a monetary donation and a series of lithographs and other items from Smith’s career to NSCS. The Smith family formally presented these contributions to NSCS on June 9, 2017.
Smith was born Dec. 15, 1920 in New York City. Enlisting in the Navy during World War II, he was assigned to various shore installations in the New York area, supplying critical materials in support of the Atlantic Fleet Destroyer Escort squadrons for convoy operations to Europe. Promoted through the enlisted ranks, Smith ended the war assigned aboard the USS Hanson (DD 832) in the disbursing division as the lead petty officer Disbursing Storekeeper 1st Class.
After his completion of active duty in December 1945, then Petty Officer Smith took full advantage of the new GI bill offered to all servicemen after the war. He graduated from the University of New York with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He would later decide to rejoin the Navy, receiving a commission as a Supply Corps officer in 1949.
Upon graduating from NSCS Bayonne, New Jersey, in April of 1951, then Ensign Smith served in the Navy Reserve Force until the Korean War, when he was recalled to active duty and assigned to the USS Orion (AS-18) in Norfolk, Virginia. As the assistant supply officer and disbursing officer, he supported Submarine Squadron Six operations in the Atlantic during the early years of the Cold War. In October 1952, he returned to Reserve duty and held various Supply Corps billets supporting the Naval Reserve component commands until his retirement on December 15, 1980, with 34 years of combined service.
Following his military career, Smith remained an advocate for U.S. Navy non-profits and supported numerous charity events.
The exhibition is currently displayed on the second deck of the west wing at the NSCS Wheeler Center.