1st Lieutenant, United States Air Force
Now a Naples resident, 1st Lt. Wayne O. Smith was forced to eject over North Vietnam while flying his 90th combat mission on Jan. 18, 1968. On that final mission, Smith was credited with shooting down a MIG-17 in aerial combat before his aircraft was shot down. He was immediately captured and taken as a prisoner of war and spent the next 1,882 days in captivity before being released during Operation Homecoming on March 14, 1973. After recovering from his injuries at Maxwell AFB, Ala., Capt. Smith left active duty on Sept. 4, 1973. He served in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard for a year, and then left the reserves in 1976. In 1999 Smith retired from Mid America Energy as executive vice president and chief operating officer. He was a pilot flying Boeing 727s for Eastern Airlines for a short time before becoming a corporate executive. Smith is now retired.