James Smith was a veteran of The Royal Navy. With approximate dates, this is his navy service on board ships:
- Completed training at HMS Ganges – 1961 (Naval training base)
- HMS Vincent (Naval Training)
- HMS Agincourt (Battle class destroyer)
- HMS Grenville – 1968 (Type 15 frigate)
- HMS Sheraton 1970 (Minehunter)
- HMS Blake – 1971-72
- HMS Bristol – 1973-75
- HMS Ark Royal – 1976-79
- HMS Birmingham – 1979-82
- HMS Bulldog – 1983-86
- HMS Fearless 1986
In addition, at some point between 1968 -1970 he was at GI Whale Island and between serving on the Bulldog and Birmingham he was based at Fraser Gunnery Range.
He certainly sailed the seven seas. His long service and good conduct medal was displayed on the coffin on top of the union flag draping over in military style.