General USMC (Retired) - USMC Web Site United States Marine Corps
From the QCWA Website
e-mail from Bill, W5USM:
I, like so many others, was saddened today to learn of W5KL passing. Let me share with you my favorite W5KL story.
In 1971 I met General Leland Smith when he invited me and my then 8-year old daughter to visit his beautiful Arkansas home. During this visit he showed us the den where he had an excellent collection of Japanese and other WW-II memorabilia. We were both awestruck. Lois had the typical youngster questions.
"Where did you get those swords?" she asked.
The General lifted her up in his arms, held and told her, "From Japanese soldiers who didn't need them anymore."
The next question was obvious.
His answer was carefully chosen and soft spoken. She clearly understood and recounted it to me later that day.
Following that the General took her for a ride in his prized Model T.
My daughter remembers the General to this day. She commented upon visiting him when I told her today the General had passed.
To know Leland was to know one fine gentleman of no equal and a glorious American.
It would be easy to be very sad, but the General would prefer celebration of a life well spent. Indeed it was, every day.
RIP old soldier, General Leland Smith, USMC (Retired).
73 de Bill Smith, W5USM
e-mail from Norm, K1AA:
I am saddened by the passing of my old friend Leland.
The past couple of years we have exchanged emails 2 or more times each week with much pleasure.
He was a loyal participant in the QSO Parties and I can remember working him on four different bands during the party.
We also shared many memories of our Marine Corps service.
He recently celebrated his birthday and was so pleased that his two sons were there to join him
Rest easy up there old friend Leland.
73 Norm K1AA (Colonel USMC (Ret))