Thomas B. Smith – Colonel, United States Air Force

Thomas B. “Smitty” Smith, 96, a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, died July 17, 2006, at his home in Reston, Virginia.

He was born October 21, 1909, in Georgia to the late Reuben and Rose Smith. He received a bachelor’s degree from Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio; a master’s degree from the University of Michigan; and a doctorate from the University of Bonn, Germany.

Smith taught at medical schools in Ulm, Germany, and Munich, Germany. In 1964, he retired from the Air Force after 22 years of service and was the oldest living original Tuskegee Airman.

He then went on to become a professor of microbiology at Howard University, where he retired in 1987. Recently, Smith was a docent at the Smithsonian Naturalist Center in Leesburg.

Smith was preceded in death by his wife, Graciella Smith. He is survived by a son, Thomas B. Smith II of Seattle, Wash., and a daughter, Hilda “Bambi” Nieto of Herndon; one grandchild, Brenna Beattie, of Fairfax County; and two nieces, Rose Jane Gidderon of Oxon Hill, Maryland, and Janet Tucker of High Point, North Carolina.

Funeral services were held July 22 at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Reston. Interment with full military honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery on August 29, 2006, at 11 a.m.

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