Weber County’s first DNB (died non-battle) and the seventh death happened on April 17, 1942, 75 years ago today. Aviation Cadet Sherman Hatch Smith, 21, was killed in the crash of his training plane near Lemo0re, California.
He was born in Ogden on May 20, 1920, to Herbert E. and Arlena Hatch Smith who lived on 1504 Lake Street. He graduated from Ogden High in 1938. In his senior year he received the annual award from the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution, for leadership, soldierly bearing and excellence in the high school’s ROTC program.
After graduation, he attended the University of Utah and was a senior in business administration when the war started. He enlisted in the army on January 7, 1942, just a month after Pearl Harbor. He was accepted as a cadet in the new Army Air Corps and sent to the Mira Loma field in California. After two weeks of preliminary training he was transferred to Lemoore Field in California. He was the second cadet in his group to make a solo flight.
He crashed as he was approaching an auxiliary field at Lemoore. The cause of the crash was unknown.
He was listed as a graduate of the University of Utah in the May 24, 1942 Standard Examiner as one of the “Ogdenites to Get Diplomas at U.of Utah.”
He was buried on April 21, 1942 in the Aultorest Cemetery. His headstone reads “Brief, brave and glorious was his young career.”
He was survived by his parents, two sisters, Marian and Georgia, and his grandparents Mr. and Mrs. John N. Hatch, all of Ogden.
He was the first to die an accidental death (DNB). Unfortunately there would be many more before the war finally ended.