Date: 2012-06-22 07:07 am (UTC)
My dad was in the Navy, but joined circa Vietnam, so I can't really help you with the sword. However, I can say that the Navy records survived the St. Louis fire (if this person's records aren't held by NARA now), if your cousin is extremely curious (I don't know how easy it is to get old records for someone you aren't related to, though.)

I've never used this list, but I had some good luck with the WWI Rootsweb mailing list. You/your cousin might want to ask about this here:
http://lists.rootsweb.ancestry.com/index/other/Military:_Naval/USNAVY.html

(You would think there are some sort of historical Naval Academy records, somewhere, especially ones 100+ years old.)

I took a gander @ Fold3, and while there are some Naval records there, it's sort of a mish-mash. There's some stuff @ Familysearch (I don't know if it's any different than what's @ Fold3 & Ancestry, tho), but Albert Smith was not an uncommon name.
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