Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 8 years, 11 months
Badge # Not available
Cause: Aircraft accident
Pilot Smith had been working with ground agents Roxy D. Kieffe and Frank Ureta, Jr., of Rio Grande City Border Patrol Station. They were trailing aliens on the Gallagor Ranch, about 10 miles north of Guerra, Jim Hogg County, Texas. Pilot Smith returned to McAllen to refuel. As he was returning to the location of the aliens, he passed about 100 feet over Kieffe, relocated the trail, and started relaying the location to Kieffe. He said, "I found the tr-" and quit transmitting in mid-sentence. Officer Kieffe did not see the crash, but saw the smoke and ran toward it. The plane was completely engulfed in flames, destroyed by the impact and fire. Pilot Smith died on initial impact. A Justice of the Peace from Hebbronville, Texas, held an inquest upon arrival at the scene of the accident and pronounced Pilot Smith dead. Subsequent investigation determined that the aircraft had stalled and the pilot was unable to recover from the stall.
Smith was buried in Valley Memorial Gardens in McAllen, Hidalgo County, Texas. Smith joined the US Border Patrol on November 2, 1970 and served one month short of nine years.