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Smithey, Talmadge A.

Talmadge A Smithey was born on 31 October 1910 in Madison, Alabama. He attended Mississippi State College before enlisting in the US Navy on 31 October 1940. Warrant Officer Talmadge Smithey was a member of the crew of the submarine tender U.S.S. CANOPUS (AS-9), serving in the Philippine Islands prior to  and during World War II as part of Submarine Squadron 20. After the ship was severely damaged by Japanese forces on December 29, 1941, and subsequently scuttled on 10 April 1942 to prevent the vessel from falling into enemy hands, he and his surviving comrades joined the ground forces in defense of Bataan and Corregidor. WO Smithey joined "Q" Company,  4th Battalion of the 4th Marine Regiment. It consisted of sailors and petty officers from the section base and the now scuttled Canopus, and was officered by a heterogeneous collection of navy and army officers. WO Smithey was the second-in-command of a platoon of 10 enlisted men from CANOPUS. During the final battle on May 5 and 6, 1942, WO Smithey fought valiantly to stem the tide of the onrushing enemy. Resolutely persevering in his gallant efforts to repulse the onslaught of the overwhelming superior numbers of attacking forces, he repeatedly exposed himself to heavy rifle fire and machinegun fire in attempts to annihilate the enemy during the bitter struggle that continued throughout the night and morning. For his bravery in action during this period, WO Talmadge Smithey was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat V. WO Talmadge Smithey was captured by Imperial Japan and sent to Tokyo POW Camp near Shinjuku, Japan where 2,353 other  American POWs were held. WO Smithey was held for 1,232 days, one of the longest durations of captivity recorded. LT Talmadge was returned to US military control in September 1945. Remaining in the Navy, Commander Smithey served as the executive and then commanding officer of the Anti-submarine Warfare School at Key West, Florida. Commander Taslmadge Smithey retired from the US Navy and returned to Hunteville, Alabama.