Robert Grant Smith, often known as R. G. Smith, (May 7. 1914 - May 29, 2001) was an internationally respected aviation artist. His paintings and prints can be found in museums, on the walls of the Pentagon, on board naval vessels, and on permanent display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. His powerful depictions of the Battle at Midway help fill an historical void caused by an absence of photographic records of the battle.
Born in Los Angeles, he began his career as an engineer with Douglas Aircraft later known as McDonnell Douglas where he was involved in the development of all Navy combat aircraft while he worked there. During World War II, he was told that his work was vital and was barred from enlisting. During the Vietnam War, he toured the country as a sketch artist. In 1973, he became one of the few people to be designated by the United States Navy as an "Honorary Naval Aviator".
In 1994, he became the first recipient of the "R.G. Smith Award", an award for "excellence in naval aviation art".
He died in Rancho Mirage, California, at the age of 87.
His painting The Battle of Midway June 4th 1942 was used as the cover art for the classic wargame Victory in the Pacific while another painting of his "Battle of Midway" series was used as the cover art for the reprint of another classic wargame -- War in the Pacific (second edition).