Skip to main content

Richard P. Smith Papers

Identifier: 1996-0017

Scope and Content

The collection contains photographs, correspondence, ephemera and similar materials documenting Mr. Smith's military service during World War II and attendance at the Nuremberg Trials.


  • circa 1945


The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use and Copyright Information

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from both the University of Connecticut Libraries and the owner(s) of the copyright.


Richard P. Smith was born in New Britain, Connecticut, on July 24, 1914. The Smiths moved to Hartford, Connecticut, in 1927 so Richard could attend Hartford Public High School, from which he graduated in 1932 with high honors. He received his bachelors degree with distinction in Economics from Wesleyan University in 1936 and his J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1940.

Richard Smith enetered the U.S. Army in 1942 and received his basic training at Camp Gordon in Augusta, Georgia. After graduating from Officer Candidate School in 1943, he became a Judge Advocate in the 71st Infantry Division, at that time stationed in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Originally designated as a mule pack outfit training for Burma, the 71st was sent to Fort Benning (Georgia) for retraining as a mechanized infantry division. Arriving in LeHarve, France, in January 1945 and joining Patton's Third Army, Smith's unit moved through Germany at a rapid pace until the end of the war in Europe in May 1945. Smith served three years as Judge Advocate of the 71st and 9th Infantry Divisions with the rank of Captain, JAGD, and became prosecuting attorney of a blue ribbon military court that prosecuted only capital cases such as murder and rape. One several occasions, he was the guest of Thomas J. Dodd at several session of the war crimes trials held at Nuremberg, Germany, including the trial of Hermann Göring. Smith was stationed in Augsburg, Germany, for a year after the end of the war as part of the occupation troops and returned to Connecticut in July 1946.

In 1941, Smith entered politics when he was elected Alderman-at-Large in the City of Hartford and served as minority leader of the Republicans until he departed for the military. Upon his discharge from the Army, Mr. Smith an active member of the Charter Revision Committee in Hartford and was involved in the transition to the council-manager form of government. Smith moved to West Hartford in 1948 and was elected to the West Hartford, Connecticut, Town Council in 1955. He served for six years as Councilman and two years as Mayor.

Mr. Smith served in various capacities in the law department of Phoenix Mutal Life Insurance Company for 43 years until his retirement in 1979.

Richard P. Smith died on April 27, 2006.


3.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection contains materials documenting Mr. Smith's World War II military service and experiences at the Nuremberg Trials in addition to his later career in West Hartford politics.

Provenance and Acquisition

The collection was donated by Mr. Smith in July 1996.

Related Material

Archives & Special Collections has a substantial collection of materials pertaining to various aspects of Connecticut history and politics. For detailed information on these collections please contact the curator or ask at the Reading Room desk.

Richard P. Smith Papers
Archives & Special Collections staff
2012 January
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US