MONROE CITY, MO, USA U.S. Army CPT, HHC 5TH BATTALION 101ST AVIATION REGIMENT, FORT CAMPBELL, KY 42223 TIKRIT, IRAQ 11/07/2003
The long grey line added another stellar hero-Benedict John Smith. While piloting ACFT 431, a UH-60 Black Hawk, Benny took on enemy fire over the skies of Tikrit, Iraq on 7 Nov, 2003. He knew it was the way he was intended to “give all”.
This native of Monroe City, Missouri, was a faithful man, a dedicated man, a leader. Assigned to the 101st Aviation Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky, he gave so much of himself each day that his comrades still hold strong memories of him.
A valiant warrior, his story is shared by those who served with him to their next generations.
Benny joined the Army after graduating in 1993 from Monroe City High School, where he participated in track and was a second-team all-conference basketball player his senior year. Always one to go for a challenge, he attended and graduated from West Point in 1999 as a second lieutenant, then attended flight school at Fort Rucker, Ala., where he learned to fly the Black Hawk.
So proud of their fun-loving, courageous hometown hero, the Monroe City Council decided to rename their airport in honor of Ben. On Ben’s birthday, 4 October 2008, the new “Captain Ben Smith Airfield” was commemorated.
It is true “some gave all”, but Ben gave once wrote, “if his career cost him his life he would be at peace giving it in a helicopter serving his country in this cause of freedom.” Ben’s example of the warrior ethos shines for all to see and more importantly to remember. The long grey line has added a true warrior and hero.