S1c Luther Kent Smith

Unknown Sailor

S1c Luther Kent Smith

Luther Kent Smith was born May 8, 1914 some nine months before the February 1915 death of his father, Calloway, of heart failure at age 35 near Memphis, Tennessee. The father was a farmer and the mother, Leila Hoffman Smith, a homemaker.

The 1920 Census said Mrs. Smith and her four children lived with her parents on a farm in Benton County in northwest Tennessee. She remarried in 1925, but Luther remained with his grandparents. The 1930 Census identified him and his brother Edward as farm hands. The brothers were still together in the spring of 1940, though by then Edward had married and had four children.

Luther worked 25 weeks in 1939 as a farm hand, earning $80. He enlisted in the Navy on Oct. 4, 1940.

He was a seaman first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.


Sources: The Camden (Tennessee) Chronicle; Census; Navy muster roll; Tennessee marriage and death records. Newspaper photograph. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.

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