Skip to content

Veteran centenarians recognized

Edwin F. Smith Photo by Cherie Vaughan

By Allyson Dix

Managing Editor

Barren County Progress


Monday morning the Barren County Judge/Executive Jamie Byrd issued a proclamation designating April 12 as Edwin F. Smith Day.

The court highlighted Smith’s military service in the proclamation to honor and celebrate his 100th birthday. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force in 1941 and survived the war only to escape death on August 17, 1945, just three days after Armistice Day while on one more assignment.

The assignment was to complete five radar-controlled night bombing runs and then return to base. As a 22-year-old co-pilot leading ten other highly trained men on this ‘practice run’, the plane Smith was in malfunctioned. 2nd Lieutenant Smith would be one of two survivors of the 18 servicemen aboard two B-29 Superfortress Bombers that collided over Weatherford, Texas.

In 1945, Smith was discharged due to his injuries. He would go on to earn a degree in accounting, establish his own company, marry, and become a father.

April 12 is Smith’s 100th birthday and Byrd proclaimed, “Barren County Fiscal Court is honored to celebrate U.S. Army Air Force 2nd Lieutenant Edwin F. Smith and as Author, Bob Hopkins stated, ‘He is truly a remarkable man. Living proof of how God works.’”

Paula Ratliff read a statement from the Glasgow Independent School District wishing a happy birthday to Smith as one of its longest-living graduates and supporters.

“We truly appreciate Mr. Smith’s service and dedication to our nation, our community, and our school system,” Ratliff read, “He’s been a Scottie in its truest form since he was a student of Glasgow.”

A representative was present on behalf of Senator Rand Paul to deliver a birthday card to Lieutenant Smith and read a personal letter from Senator Paul expressing his deep gratitude of Smith’s service to his country.

Also recognized was World War 2 veteran Lee Robertson who also celebrated his 100th birthday this year. He was present on behalf of Western Kentucky University and presented a recognition for his service and what he described with a smile as a “sack full of goodies, too.” Robertson was a teacher and coach of Park City High School (1950-52). In 1957 and 1958, he was named assistant superintendent and then superintendent of Barren County Schools.

The Barren County Judge/Executive Jamie Byrd issued a proclamation designating April 12 as Edwin F. Smith Day. Photo by Cherie Vaughan

Leave a Comment