Chief Warrant Officer (CW4) Bruce Alan Smith of West Liberty, Iowa was killed in combat on 02 November 2003 while proudly serving America in Operation Iraqi Freedom as a member of Fox Company, 106th Aviation. CW4 Smith was Pilot in Command of a CH-47 Helicopter when it was attacked by a surface to air missile about 40 miles west of Baghdad. He sustained injuries from the crash and died at a military field hospital.
CW4 Smith was born 03 May 1962 in Washington County, Iowa. He was the son of the late Arnold and Allene (Miller) Smith. Bruce graduated in 1980 from Columbus Community Schools in Columbus Junction, Iowa. On 18 September 1983, he married Oliva McWeeny in Iowa City, Iowa. As a civilian, Bruce worked from 1980 to 2000 at the University of Iowa as Research Assistant in the College of Medicine and the Departments of Pediatrics and Anesthesia. Bruce served his nation with distinction for over 23 years in the Iowa Army National Guard before giving his life for his country and comrades.
CW4 Smith enlisted before his senior year of high school in 1980 as a Medic in the Iowa Army National Guard and then served as a Combat Medic in the 209th Medical Company in Iowa City, reaching the rank of Sergeant. Bruce was appointed as a Warrant Officer and graduated from helicopter training programs as a UH-1 Huey Pilot in 1987. Bruce later attended advanced Army training courses including CH-47 Flight School in 1994 and Instructor Pilot School in 2000. He was an Instructor Pilot with over 2,000 hours of experience in the CH-47 Chinook and UH-1 Huey Army Helicopters, including deployments to Honduras, Guyana, Iraq, and disaster and law-enforcement support in Iowa. Beginning in 2000, Bruce worked as a Full-Time Training and Readiness Officer at the Army Aviation Support Facility located in Mount Joy, near Davenport, Iowa. In addition, Bruce served as the Aviation Safety Officer and Instructor Pilot for Detachment 1, Fox Company, 106th Aviation. On 03 February 2003, Bruce was mobilized to deploy to Iraq with his National Guard unit, Fox Company, 106th Aviation, as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He served initially in Kuwait and was later reassigned to the central Iraq area, where he flew many missions transporting troops and supplies in support of the U.S. efforts in Iraq. Bruce was active and volunteered his time to many organizations in the West Liberty and Iowa City area community. He was a member and former President of the Noon Optimist Club in Coralville, Iowa. Bruce had two children; his two greatest loves were his family and flying.
CW4 Smith was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Bronze Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon. CW4 Smith was additionally nominated for the Distinguished Service Cross, the second-highest military medal for extraordinary heroism in combat at the risk of life.
We honor you, Bruce Smith.
(#Repost @67th Troop Command, Iowa National Guard)