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Rear Admiral Paul Albert Smith,
who retired from the Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1954, died paul a smithin the Washington, D.C. area on June 4, 1978.

Admiral Smith joined the Coast and Geodetic Survey as a junior engineer in 1924, after obtaining his degree in surveying and geodesy from the University of Michigan. His last assignment prior to retirement from the Coast and Geodetic Survey was a special assignment to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Development.

Admiral Smith will be remembered in various capacities in his service with the Coast and Geodetic Survey. Most know him as Chief of the Aeronautical Chart Branch. Other assignments were hydrographic surveying in interior and along the coasts of the United States, Alaska, and the Philippine Islands. He served as U.S. representative of the Council of ICAO with the temporary rank of Rear Admiral and personal rank of Minister, heading the U.S. Mission to ICAO.

Among his outstanding accomplishments before retiring from the Coast and Geodetic Survey were the introduction of plastic sheets in cartography; development with Air Force of plans and specifications for world aeronautical charts; cooperation with industry in the development of fluorescent paper for aeronautical charts; research on submarine canyons of the Atlantic coast of North America and the Congo; and the discovery of the topographic character of submarine relief of the Pacific coastal areas, and engineering and navigation values of the application of topographic contouring to hydrographic surveys and nautical charts. He also made contributions in the development of principles of propagation of sound in sea water and practical application of these principles to hydrographic surveying. He served on numerous advisory committees for the Departments of Commerce and Air Force.

In 1964, Admiral Smith received an Air Force decoration for exceptional civilian service. As chairman of the Geophysical Panel of the Scientific Advisory Board to the Secretary of the Air Force and to the Chief of Staff, USAF, Admiral Smith's leadership in panel activities and his personal contributions greatly enhanced the application of scientific advances to the Air Force's geophysics program.

He also received the Department of Commerce's Exceptional Service Award. As a consultant, he worked with several National Academy of Sciences committees over many years.


Publication of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library.
Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:27 AM

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