Dorothy Jane Krueger Smith

(This is research for a law school paper – not my family line)

Dorothy Krueger Smith

Dorothy Krueger Smith

Dorothy Jane Krueger was the daughter of famed General Walter Krueger.  Gen. Krueger is best remembered for his  command of the Sixth United States Army in the South West Pacific Area during World War II under Gen. Douglas MacArthur. He was the first soldier to rise from the rank of Private to General in the United States Army. He was on board the U.S.S. Missouri during the Japanese signing of the surrender treaty at the end of World War II. He retired from the Army as a full, 4 star General.

Walter Krueger was born in FlatowWest Prussia (German Empire) (since 1945 Złotów, Poland), the son of Julius Krüger, a Prussian landowner who had served as an officer in the Franco-Prussian War, and his wife, Anna, formerly Hasse. Following Julius’s death, Anna and her three children emigrated to the United States to be near her uncle in St. Louis, Missouri. Walter was then eight years old. After Anna remarried, the family settled in Madison, Indiana.

In September 1904, he married Grace Aileen Norvell. They had three children: James Norvell (July 29, 1905 – December, 1964), Walter Jr (April 25, 1910 – February 15, 1997) and Dorothy Jane, (January 24, 1913 – May 22, 1991.  Both James and Walter Jr attended the United States Military Academy, James graduating with the class of 1926 and Walter Jr. with the class of 1931. Dorothy married an Army officer, Aubrey Dewitt Smith.

Walter met Grave Aileen Norvell in the Philippines in 1903.  She was there to visit her sister, the wife of an Army chaplain.  He returned to the US in Dec. 1903 to Fort Crook, Nebraska.  He took a two month leave beginning 10 Sep 1904 to marry Grace.  The newly weds returned to Fort Crook and their first child, James Norvell KRUEGER was born there.

As the daughter of an ambitious man, Dorothy grew up privileged and sheltered.  Dorothy was born while her father was serving at posts on the east coast.  He was at Fort Ontario, NY and Madison Barracks, NY around the time of her birth.  Gen. Krueger served another short tour in the Philippines.  They returned to  Fort Leavenworth, Kansas upon his return to the US.

Dorothy married Aubrey Dewitt Smith at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, MO in 1934. Her father was stationed at Jefferson Barracks at this time. They had a son in 1936 and a daughter in 1938.  The Smiths were stationed at some point after their marriage in San Antonio, Texas.  Dorothy by this point had a history of mental issues, alcohol abuse, and narcotics abuse.

Aubrey was involved in the conflict in Korea and directly after that was stationed in Japan where he was  Colonel, Chief of Plans and Operations Division [Logistic section] of the U S Army in Japan.  Dorothy continued to have mental and substance abuse issues.  These issues were, in her words, jeopardizing her husband’s career.  She claimed he was going to send her home to the US.  In reality, Colonel Smith got orders to leave for Washington, where a promotion awaited him. Apparently Dorothy, in an alcohol and narcotics haze, misunderstood and thought only she was being sent back to the US.

On October 3, 1952, Dorothy stabbed Aubrey with a hunting knife while he was sleeping. She told her Japanese maid to call a neighbor, who testified that she was sitting on one of their twin beds holding the knife, while Aubrey lay bleeding on the other.  Later the maid’s version of the story was that she took the knife from Dorothy and hid it downstairs.  The neighbor, another Army colonel, called an ambulance for Aubrey.  He was  taken to the hospital where he died, without giving any testimony, 4 hours later.

More on the legal case in the next post.

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