Colonel Eugene Smith

Colonel Eugene Smith

United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations, U.S. Government

End of Watch Saturday, November 22, 1952

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Eugene Smith

Colonel Eugene Smith was killed in a plane crash on Mount Gannett in Alaska.

Colonel Smith was en route to Elmendorf Air Force Base when the plane lost contact with controllers during a violent storm with strong winds. The plane wreck could not be recovered despite search and rescue missions due to severe snow and weather. The Colony Glacier shifted, and the plane was not found until 2012. Investigators identified Colonel Smith's remains with DNA and buried him with full military honors in 2014.

Colonel Smith was a United States Army World War II veteran and was credited with solving the Hesse crown jewel theft case in Germany. After the war, he transferred to the Air Force and the Office of Special Investigations. When the plane crashed, he was on his way to take command of the Office of Special Investigations at the Alaska Air Command.

At the time of his death, Colonel Smith was survived by his mother, father, two sisters, and two brothers. One of his brothers served as a Wilmington Police Department detective. His other brother was the only immediate relative to know that his remains had been found, but he passed away before his burial service. In 2014 at his funeral service, he was survived by nine nieces and nephews and many great and great-great grand nieces and nephews.

Colonel Smith is buried at All Saints Cemetary in Wilmington, New Castle Country, Deleware. He also has a memorial at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetary in Bear, New Castle County, Delaware.


  • Age 39
  • Tour 11 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Aircraft accident
  • Location Alaska

aircraft accident, weather

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“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9

Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service (Retired)

December 28, 2022

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