Robert P. Smith

Robert P. Smith was born May 18, 1924, in Greenport. He died 91 years and one day later May 19, 2015, just 65 miles away in his daughter’s home in Middletown, R.I. He lived in Lexington, Mass. for close to 40 years. 

Robert grew up hunting (“going gunnin’”) with his father Joseph, who was Greenport’s chief of police. He played football in both high school and college, and was a devoted New York Yankees fan, even during his four decades in Red Sox country. He was an avid reader.

He also lived in Hiram, Ohio, where he graduated from Hiram College, and in (or near) Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Boston and a few other cities, where he worked as a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Robert had many colorful stories about his work with the Bureau, including many about keeping Soviet spies under surveillance in New York City during the Cold War. There is also this story: FBI associate director Mark Felt personally helped Robert transfer from
the New York to the Boston office in 1970. Years later, Mark Felt was revealed to be Watergate’s “Deep Throat.”

Robert also resided – though against his will – for eight-and-a-half months in the North 1 Compound of Stalag Luft 1, just outside of Barth, Germany, where he was an American POW until the Soviet army liberated his camp in May 1945. 2d Lieutenant Robert Smith was a bombardier with the 749th Squadron, 457th Bomb Group, and Eighth Air Force (based in Glatton, England). His plane, a B-17 nicknamed the Denver Bandit, was flying in tight formation over Magdeburg, Germany on Sept. 28, 1944, when it was hit by flak and went down. He and most of the crew survived by bailing out with parachutes, but one crew member fell to his death and another was shot after he landed on the ground.

Robert is predeceased by his his wife of 49 years, Eleanor E. (Regan) Smith, and his brothers Harry and Joseph. He is survived by his son, Geoffrey Smith of Lenexa, Kan. and his daughter Kristina High, both of whom loved and admired their father. He is also survived by his daughter-in-law, Marcia Smith; his son-in-law SFC (P) Kent High and his seven grandchildren, Harrison Smith, Connor Smith, Melanie Smith, Kathleen (John) Rairdin, Rebekah High, Katrina High, and Nathaniel Smith.

This is a paid notice.