Veteran of the Week: Private Ortis Randolph Smith

Published 2:50 pm Tuesday, January 14, 2020

By MELANIE POOLE / Special to the Reporter

The Veteran of the Week is sponsored by the National Veterans Shrine and Register of Honor at the American Village — honoring America’s veterans and telling the stories of their service and sacrifice for the cause of liberty.


“The American Village is pleased to join the Shelby County Reporter in recognizing Private Ortis Randolph Smith as Veteran of the Week,” American Village Founder and CEO Tom Walker said. “He is representative of the hundreds of thousands of Alabamians who have risked it all for the sake of our country and its freedom. To all veterans we owe a debt we can never fully repay.”

Visit the website,, today and add your loved ones to the Register of Honor. Help us honor, recognize, respect and remember our country’s veterans.

Here are highlights about this week’s Veteran of the Week: Ortis Randolph Smith was born in Tuscaloosa in 1923. He registered for the draft in 1942, and enlisted at Fort McClellan in 1943. He earned the rank of Private First Class, Infantry, in the U.S. Army and served in the European Theatre, Germany during World War II. Private Smith was a POW at Stalag 2A in Neubrandenburg Mecklenberg 53-13, from 1944 to 1945. After being released he returned to the United States and made a home in Bessemer, where he lived until his death in 1981.

Melanie Poole is Communications Officer for the American Village and can be reached at