ANSONIA \u2014 No one can say Al \u201cBuddy\u201d Smith did not live a full life. Seventy-five years ago, he dodged machine gun fire from German bunkers as part of the D-Day invasion on Omaha Beach. Then he broke the barriers as the city\u2019s first black letter carrier, braving blizzards, hurricanes and ice storms while delivering mail. For more than 50 years, Smith spent his free time not only coaching city youths but also serving on the Recreation Commission. Smith died over the weekend at the Veterans\u2019 Administration Hospital in West Haven just a month shy of his 96th birthday. Services are being handled by the Jenkins-King and Malerba Funeral Home, 12 Franklin St. \u201cHe was a living legend,\u201d said Mayor David Cassetti. \u201cHe taught me how to throw a curveball. Ansonia lost a real hero this past weekend.\u201d Five years ago, Cassetti honored Smith by letting him serve as mayor for a day as part of Black History Month. "This isn't so bad," Smith said about two hours into his stint. Smith knows bad. "I saw the bodies of English and American soldiers floating by" during the D-Day invasion,\u201d he said. "That was hard ... I looked up and saw a German pilot smiling as he strafed us." Run into him downtown or in a store and Smith always spent time asking how you were and reliving memories of days gone by. He\u2019d tell you about how he played the cement hard infield for the semi-pro Collins' Grill, once located on Tremont Street. Or recalling the three years he spent serving in Gen. George Patton's Third Army during World War II that led to his receiving five battle stars and the Bronze Star. "My job was in maintenance and repair," he said. "We'd be about a mile behind Patton and the troops. We were responsible for fixing anything ranging from a tent peg to the 105 Howitzer. If something broke on the front lines, they would send it back to us to fix." On the Recreation Commission, his biggest battle was against technology and trying to get more kids playing on fields rather than on their computers. \u201cHe cared about this community,\u201d said Diane Stroman, a retired vice president of TEAM Inc. who also has served on numerous boards and foundations. \u201cTo know Al was to love him.\u201d Smith was a graduate of both Ansonia High School and Bullard Havens Technical School. He was involved with the former Ansonia Community Action Agency, the Valley United Way, the James H. Wilkins Lodge No. 9 Prince Hall of Free and Accepted Masons, the NAACP and the Julian A. Taylor Memorial Scholarship Fund. Smith was also the advisor to the former Copper City Elk\u2019s Drill Team which won numerous awards. \u201cThe drill team had a positive impact on the lives of young men growing up in the Valley,\u201d Stroman said. He is survived by several children and grandchildren. Plans call for a wake April 22 at the funeral home and religious services April 23 at Immanuel St. James Evangelical Church, 123 Malerba St., Derby.