As some may have heard me say more than once, “All roads lead to Winston-Salem.” Don’t believe me?

Tom Smothers graduated from R.J. Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem in 1925, and the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1929 and became a career military officer. He had just been promoted to major when he was captured by the Japanese army in the Philippines in 1941. He was transferred to a hospital in Japan, where he remained for some time. In the spring of 1945, while being transferred by ship to Korea, he died of pneumonia and was buried at sea. He was awarded the Bronze Star medal with oak leaf cluster.

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Black & Gold, 1925. Tom was known for his enormous vocabulary. In the class prophecy, which he wrote, he is mentioned as having published a dictionary containing 20,000 words of 15 syllables or more. Click for full image.

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Tom Smothers is at far left in the front row. Click for full image.

Along the way he married and had two sons and a daughter. In 1952, a committee named the new Army Reserve armory on Stadium Drive in Winston-Salem for Major Thomas B. Smothers, Jr. Some of his friends bought air tickets for his children so that they could fly from California to attend the naming ceremony.

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I think that Sharon is saying “Actually, mom likes me the best.” Certainly, nobody had heard of the Smothers Brothers at that time. Click the pics for full image. Below is the full story as published in the Twin City Sentinel in 1952.

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As usual, our super page Janice gets credit for bringing this to my attention. If Janice ever leaves us, the NC Room will have to shut down.

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