- Jimmy Stewart: Bomber Pilot (2005) with introduction by Walter Cronkite
- Southern Scenes: Journeys Through a Lovely Land (2001)
- Only the Days Are Long: Reports of a Journalist and World Traveler (1986)
Vernon Starr Smith was an author, news journalist, photographer, raconteur and long-time public consultant born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, in 1918. His father was Floyd Rowan Smith. He was the oldest of five children. The family spent time in several other towns in Mississippi before finally settling in Magnolia, Mississippi. Smith graduated from South Pike High School in Magnolia. While he was a student, he wrote articles for the local newspaper, Magnolia Gazette, about the goings on at the school.
In his early teens, he worked as cabin boy on ships leaving the Port of Mobile to Europe and South America during the summers. This experience engendered a lifelong love of travel for Smith. This passion continued throughout his life, leading him to visit over one hundred countries on four continents.
Smith attended Louisiana College in Pineville, Louisiana. During this time, he worked at the local radio station in Alexandria as a broadcast announcer to earn money for college.
Smith had a significant career in the military. In the 1940’s, he joined the army just before Pearl Harbor. In the late 1930’s, he was selected for Officer Candidate School and assigned to the Army Air Corps (U. S. Air Force). During World War II, he served as a combat intelligence officer with the Eighth Air Force in England.
Smith also served on General Dwight Eisenhower’s press and intelligence staff at his London and Paris headquarters, working with many war correspondents. When the war ended, Smith remained in the Air Force Reserves until 1985. He had reached the rank of Colonel by his retirement.
Following active duty, he worked as a journalist and reporter for several radio stations and contributed articles to many regional and national magazines, including Newsweek. Three of his stories have been included in Congressional Records. Many of the historic events he witnessed as a journalist are described in Only the Days Are Long.
Another of his nonfiction books, Jimmy Stewart Bomber Pilot, chronicles the military service of Stewart. Stewart and Smith served in the same bomber group during World War II from 1943-1944.
For much of his adult life, Smith lived in Montgomery, Alabama. He moved back to Jackson, Mississippi in 2009. He died of natural causes on Sunday, January 22, 2012 at The Orchard in Ridgeland, Mississippi. He was ninety-four years old.