BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE (Denver Public Library): Sherman L. Smith, son of Donald and Mildred (Sherman) Smith, was born in Reedsburg, Wisconsin June 11, 1918. The family soon moved to Laurel, Montana, where Smith spent his summers herding cattle and learning the basics of mountain climbing. At the age of nine, he began skiing. Smith says that he was not permitted to graduate from high school due to a "disagreement over an English book valued at forty-two cents." Nevertheless, during the 1930s Smith earned two years of college credit while he supported his widowed mother and his younger brother, working as a grave digger, glue factory laborer and warehouseman. Smith joined the 116th Medical Regiment of the Washington National Guard on September 12, 1940. When National Guard units, including the 116th, federalized on September 16, 1940, Smith transferred to Fort Lewis, Washington. In 1942, Smith discovered the recently-activated 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment, then stationed at Fort Lewis. His immediate enthusiasm for the "ski troops" led him relinquish his staff sergeant's stripes in order to obtain a transfer to the 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment as a private. Smith's mountaineering experience earned him an assignment to the Mountain Training Group, which was responsible for developing training procedures and manuals for the newly-formed mountain unit. Smith participated in maneuvers at the Hunter-Liggett Military Reservation in November 1942 and engaged in early training exercises on Mount Rainier, Washington during the winter of 1942-1943. In July 1943, Smith trained at Fort Ord, California as part of the amphibious task force assigned to recapture Kiska Island from Japanese forces. While serving on Kiska, Smith found a booby-trapped Japanese flag, upon which several names were written. More than forty years later, Smith discovered the identity of the flag's original owner, Karl Kaoru Kasukabe. During a 1985 trip to Japan, Smith returned the flag to Kasukabe, and the two former enemies became close friends. Following the Kiska operation, Smith returned to Camp Hale with the 87th Infantry Regiment, where he was assigned to Company G. He remained with Company G during training at Camp Swift, Texas and during combat operations in Italy. After the war, Smith managed the skiing and climbing departments of three sports stores. From 1953 until his retirement in 1979, he worked as a mechanic for a construction company that installed elevators in high-rise buildings. Smith and his wife Mildred had two children. Smith passed away September 12, 2002.