- Ada, Oklahoma

September 19, 2013

Bridge to be dedicated to Ada woman's father

Indianola —

Rock Creek Bridge in Indianola is being dedicated Sept. 24 to Robert Dean Smith.

At 2 p.m., the ceremony will be held at New Hope Free Will Baptist Church on state Highway 113 in Indianola. The bridge is approximately one-fourth mile south of the church, also on Hwy. 113. State Rep. Donnie Condit will be officiating.

Attending will be state Sen. Larry Boggs and Pittsburg County Commissioners Gene Rogers and Kevin Smith.

The ceremony will be open to the public.

Robert "Bob" Dean Smith was raised in Indianola by his parents Sylvester and Gladys Smith.

He had four brothers and sisters, all deceased except for his brother Allen Smith of Michigan.

When Smith turned 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was sent to Korea. During his first week of overseas duty he was shot and captured. He was placed in a prisoner of war camp for 33 months.

After his release, he returned to Indianola where his family, community, and U.S. Rep. Carl Albert welcomed him home with a public reception.

Smith then reenlisted in the U.S. Army, married Anna Stafford of Indianola, and had one child, Theresa Smith King of Ada.

He completed Officers Training School and Flight Training and became a helicopter pilot. On his second tour in Germany, he was killed Sept. 24, 1960, in a helicopter crash during “Operation Flashback.” He was 27 years old.

During his service time, Smith achieved the following medals: Oklahoma Cross of Valor, Army Aviator Wings, National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Expert Rifle Badge, Korean Service Medal, UN Korea Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Army Presidential Unit Citation, 1 Bronze Star, 2 Silver Stars, and a Purple Heart.

Thre will be military honors and Choctaw flag ceremony.