Other deaths of note



November 22, 2006

JACOB SMART, 97 Air Force general

Jacob Smart, a retired four-star Air Force general credited with planning a daring World War II raid over German-held oil refineries, died Sunday in Ridgeland, S.C., in the house where he was born.

It was General Smart's idea to strike the oil refineries in Ploesti, Romania, at low levels with heavy bombers - a strategy some military planners thought suicidal. The plan in August 1943 was to send nearly 180 B-24 Liberator bombers, some of which flew at 200 feet, to hit the refineries that produced much of Germany's oil at the time.

The mission was deemed a success, even though 54 of the 177 bombers that took part were lost, and 53 more were heavily damaged. The refineries' output was greatly curtailed, and five Medals of Honor were awarded, the most for any single American military action. Then-Colonel Smart was not allowed to fly on the mission because his superiors thought his knowledge of Allied war plans and secrets was too great to risk his capture. He was gunned downed later by anti-aircraft fire over Austria and was a prisoner of war in Germany for nearly a year.

A 1931 West Point graduate, he also was a veteran of the wars in Korea and Vietnam and briefly worked for NASA after retiring from the military.

MAURICE GRAHAM, 89 `King of the Hobos"

Maurice Graham, who began hitching rides on trains as a teenager and was known as "King of the Hobos," died Saturday at a nursing home in Napoleon, Ohio. He had recently suffered a stroke.

Nicknamed "Steam Train Maury," he was a founding member of the National Hobo Foundation and helped establish the Hobo Museum in Britt, Iowa.

He was "a true hobo hero," said foundation President Linda Hughes.

"He was a classy and respected man," she said. "No one can live up to Steam Train. He's irreplaceable."

In 1990, Mr. Graham wrote Tales of the Iron Road: My Life As King of the Hobos, telling his stories of hopping trains beginning at the age of 14 and living in hobo camps until 1980. He was named National Hobo King five times at the annual hobo convention in Britt, and was crowned Grand Patriarch of Hoboes in 2004.

He had worked as a mason and founded a school where he taught the trade.

He is survived by his wife, Wanda, and two daughters.

GARY GRAVER, 68 Cinematographer

Gary Graver, a cinematographer who worked with Orson Welles in the final years of the director's life died Thursday at his home in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Mr. Graver was Mr. Welles' director of photography on the films F is for Fake, Filming Othello, It's All True and The Other Side of the Wind - the latter unfinished at his death in 1985. Mr. Graver tried, unsuccessfully, to bring it to the screen.

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