Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: World War, 1939-1945
  • Branch of Service: Marine Corps
  • Unit of Service: 4th Marine Division
  • Location of Service: Marshall Islands; Saipan, Tinian (Northern Mariana Islands); Iwo Jima; Pacific Theater

View full service history

"Then my elders gave me one suggestion, they said 'leave your war stories behind, leave it where it happened.'" (Video interview, Part 2, 28:48)

Albert Smith, from Gallup, New Mexico, enlisted in the Marine Corps when he was fifteen years of age and an eighth grader in boarding school in Fort Wingate. He was determined to join at the same time as his older brother, George Smith (AFC/2001/001/54880). With the 4th Marine Division, Smith took part in the battles of Kwajalein, Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima. In his oral history interview Smith demonstrates his skill as a teacher (a job he held for many years), providing a comprehensive overall history of the war in the Pacific, as well as explaining how the Navajo Code was devised and used in practice. But he also provides some more personal reflections - Smith was sensitive to racial tensions that existed in the military and in American society at the time, and also jokes about the stress of preparing for nighttime banzai attacks on Saipan while constant rain made weapons maintenance almost impossible. He also provides vivid memories from his time on the island of Roi during the Battle of Kwajalein, where Smith and his colleagues had to fight a determined enemy who tied themselves into treetop fighting perches, and hid in drainage ditches after the island was secured so that they could attack American sentries at night.

About this Item

Title

  • Albert Smith Collection

Names

  • Veterans Heritage Project
  • Quint DiGiacomo
  • Smith, Albert
  • Hatch, Barbara
  • DiGiacomo, Kirk
  • Stacey DiGiacomo

State of Birth

  • NM

Home State

  • NM

Headings

  • -  Smith, Albert
  • -  World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Marine Corps.

Repository

  • Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Gender

  • Male

Race

  • American Indian and Alaskan Native

Status

  • Veteran

Service History

  • World War, 1939-1945

    • Branch of Service: Marine Corps
    • Unit of Service: 4th Marine Division
    • Location of Service: Marshall Islands; Saipan, Tinian (Northern Mariana Islands); Iwo Jima; Pacific Theater
    • Dates of Service: 1943-1945
    • Entrance into Service: Enlisted
    • Military Status: Veteran

Materials

  • Video: DVD [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 11/11/2007)
  • Video: DVD [1 item] -- Reference copy (collected 08/04/2009)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/60091

Cite as

  • Albert Smith Collection (AFC/2001/001/60091), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • image
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

Rights & Access

Using VHP Material in Publication or Exhibition

The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service. The Veterans History Project Collection includes oral histories along with documentary materials such as original letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs.

Veterans and interviewers contribute these materials to the Library for scholarly and educational purposes, retaining any copyright they may hold. Therefore, permission must be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these materials should contact the Veterans History Project for assistance.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item from the Library’s collections and for securing any necessary permissions rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Please contact us with questions.

Obtaining Copies of VHP Materials

In order for VHP materials to be duplicated, we must receive written permission from the interviewee for you to obtain a copy of the recording unless the proposed use is limited to personal use, research, or other uses permissible by copyright law. If the interviewee is deceased, their next-of-kin may grant written permission.

Please contact VHP for assistance if you need to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, or if you have received permission from the veteran and need access to high-resolution copies of VHP collection materials.

Citing VHP Materials

Please use the following formats when citing Veterans History Project materials (substituting the appropriate name and collection ID number).

Materials as a whole:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Memoirs (MS02), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Transcript (MS04), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Correspondence (MS01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Recording:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Audio recording (SR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Video recording (MV01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Photograph:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH01), photographer unknown, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH03-PH14), Ralph Williams photographer, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Computer file:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Computer file (CF01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Artifact (AR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Veterans Heritage Project, Quint Digiacomo, Albert Smith, Barbara Hatch, Kirk Digiacomo, and Stacey Digiacomo. Albert Smith Collection. 1943. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.60091/.

APA citation style:

Veterans Heritage Project, Quint Digiacomo, Smith, A., Hatch, B., Digiacomo, K. & Stacey Digiacomo. (1943) Albert Smith Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.60091/.

MLA citation style:

Veterans Heritage Project, et al. Albert Smith Collection. 1943. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.60091/>.