Dewey Smith was born on November 11, 1929, in Louisville, Kentucky. He was commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Air Force through the Air Force ROTC program at Western Kentucky State College on January 22, 1953, and went on active duty beginning May 8, 1953. Lt Smith next completed pilot training and was awarded his pilot wings at Vance AFB, Oklahoma, in June 1954, followed by B-26 Invader transition training from June to July 1954. He then served as a C-46 Commando pilot with the 19th and then the 6461st Troop Carrier Squadrons, and as a Detachment Commander in South Korea from September 1954 to September 1955. Lt Smith served as an Adjutant with the 3550th Motor Vehicle Squadron at Moody AFB, Georgia, from November 1955 to July 1956, and then attended Instrument Pilot Instructor School at Moody from July to September 1956. His next assignment was as an instructor pilot with the 3550th Combat Crew Training Squadron at Moody AFB from October 1956 to February 1958, followed by service as a Flight Instructor Advisor and Academic Instructor with the 3565th Flying Training Squadron at James Connally AFB, Texas, from February 1958 to June 1961. Capt Smith attended the Missile Launch Officer Course at Lowry AFB, Colorado, from June to October 1961, and then Tactical Missile Launch Officer Combat Crew Training at Orlando AFB, Florida, from November 1961 to April 1962. His next assignment was as a Missile Launch Officer and Missile Combat Crew Commander with the 71st Tactical Missile Squadron at Bitburg AB, West Germany, from June 1962 to June 1963, followed by service as an Operations Officer, Assistant Chief of the Operations Plans Division, and then Chief of the Operations Plans Division with the 36th Combat Support Group at Bitburg AB from June 1963 to June 1966. Maj Smith next completed F-105 Thunderchief Combat Crew Training in December 1966 before serving as an F-105 pilot with the 34th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Korat Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, from February 1967 until he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War on June 2, 1967. After spending 2,103 days in captivity, Col Smith was released during Operation Homecoming on March 4, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at Andrews AFB, Maryland, and then attended Air War College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, from July to October 1973. His final assignment was as Special Assistant to the Commandant of Air War College from October 1973 until his retirement from the Air Force on February 1, 1974. Dewey Smith Flew West on February 9, 2015, and was buried at the Bethany Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky.
His 1st (of 2) Silver Star Citation reads:
Major Dewey L. Smith distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as Tactical Fighter Pilot over North Vietnam on 14 May 1967. On that date, Major Smith was a member of a flight of F-105s assigned to destroy an extremely heavily defended barracks area. With complete disregard for his own personal safety he flew through intense and accurate anti-aircraft and missile fire to deliver his ordnance directly on target. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Major Smith has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.