James Gunther Smithson was a 22nd century Human man, a career Starfleet officer who rose to captain's rank and commanded a Federation starship.

Born in Bremerhaven in the United States of Europe on Earth, Smithson began his career as a student at Starfleet Academy, with notable marks for his skills at administration and leadership. Over the course of his career, Smithson honed his skills at emergency medicine and psychology, and also became knowledgeable in a number of hand-held weapons and their use in security procedures. Smithson was also competent in a number of technology fields, including sensors, computer use and engineering disciplines including shuttlecraft systems and warp drive operations. He was a capable pilot of small vehicles and was schooled in science applications in astrogation and astronomy, as well as astrophysics. Smithson had knowledge of Federation history, three-dimensional chess, and law.

On reference stardate 1/2803, Captain Smithson used his ship's laser weapons to detonate nuclear weapons launched from the warring nations of planet Vega Proxima. Because he violated the Prime Directive, Smithson was court-martialed. He was the first Starfleet officer to face such a tribunal for a Prime Directive violation. Although his actions in stopping a war were judged as "admirable", a diplomatic approach would have been preferred. Captain Smithson's violation of the Prime Directive cost him his command and his career, on stardate 1/30, he was dishonorably discharged from Starfleet. By the 23rd century, he was deceased. (FASA RPG modules: The Federation, Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update)

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