Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2010 01:45:12 +0000
Subject: Father on USS Reid
I recently found your website. My father,
Marvin T. Keith, was on the USS Reid at the time it was sunk.
He died March 3, 1979 of a cerebrovascular accident and diabetes.
He had a successful career as a sales person for a heavy equipment
Through the years, Dad suffered a good bit from the shrapnel in his
groin and legs.
I appreciate the work and effort you have done on the website and look
forward to sharing it with Dad's children and grandchildren.
Linda Keith Hudson
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2010 10:41:03 -0700
Subject: Nicholas Shuman
Dear Len--it is with the saddest heart that I let
you know that Dad passed away very unexpectedly on Sat. the 18th--he
just slumped over in his chair and was gone--the service will be a
military service next Sat the 25th--our very real consolation is that he
and Mom are back together again--By the way he will be buried with his
Reid Hat!!--thanks for all that you do for the USS Reid--Sheila Ottone
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2010 09:37:22 -0700
Subject: USS Reid Hat
Hi Len --just a note to let you know that my Dad-- Nick Shuman is doing
well since my Mom passed away over a year ago--we recently celebrated
his 89th birthday and his son and grandsons came from Fla--along with
those of us who live out here in Ca. I am wondering if there is a way to
get him a new Reid hat--he wears his EVERYWHERE and it is beginning to
show wear and tear--I don't really know how long he has had this
one--any info you can get me would be greatly appreciated.--thank you--
Subject: RE: USS Reid Hat
Date: Mon, 20 Sep 2010 14:46:20 +0000
You can find these hats on the
internet. Try militarygifts.com.
Another one is militarybest.com.
to your dad on reaching the 89 mark. I'll be joining him at that
mark next month. We have quite a few shipmates in their 90s too.
hope you have shown your dad our ussreid369.org website.
Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2010 15:50:32 -0700
Subject: My dad, SFC, USN, LSM-42, Witnessed sinking of USS Reid
Dear Mr. Gardner,
I've spent the afternoon reading papers saved by my dad, Charles
Stapleton, LSM-42 Group Staff Six lead signalman. He witnessed the
sinking of the USS Reid from the conning tower of LSM-42. His ship shot
down the ZEKE which made the suicide dive into the Reid. I also have his
copies of the declassified Confidential action reports of the USS LSM-42
regarding the sinking. I'm reading a letter to Scott MacDonald,
Associate Editor Surface Warfare Magazine. It's all very interesting and
I wish now that I had sat and actively listened to all my dad's stories
and recollections. He wanted desperately to tell the story to anyone who
Just wanted to connect with you, as I am sure my dad would have had he
not passed away before the internet became such a part of day to day
Thank you, Joy Stapleton Chalk
Date: Sat, 26 Jun 2010 08:25:51 -0400
Please update your shipmates area on the
Death of Moon Mullen who died on 11-25-09 was born 6-4-1918, now resides
in Arlington Cementary, was placed there in April of 2010 by his
two Great Nieces, Crystal and Jana. Thanks so much
Subject: Charles G Johnson
Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2010 23:04:06 -0400
Please be informed that Sea 2/c Charles
“Gordon” Johnson passed away on Thursday September 2, 2010 at the
age of 87 years old.
Gord was aboard the USS REID during its final
mission up until its sinking on December 11, 1944. Charles “Gordon”
Johnson was born on December 20, 1922 in River Rouge, Michigan.
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2010 00:35:14 +0000
John E. Goodrich
My name is Mark Goodrich. My Father, John E. Goodrich, served on the USS
REID 369 from November 1942 to February 1944. Last Saturday Dad pasted
away after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s. I discovered
your site about a year ago while researching Dads history and
experiences in the war. On behalf of my family, thank you so much for
all the work you have done so that we may understand more fully the
great sacrifices and courage shown by our Dad. I am sure many other
families have by touched by your efforts.
Attached is Dad's Obituary which speaks to his life and leagcy. I also
attached a picture of both Dad and my Mother (I noted you posted
pictures of "REID Sweethearts"). Please feel free to post or
distribute in the REID's publications.
Thank you,Mark Goodrich
to hear from you, though sorry to hear that our shipmate has passed
away. There are not many of us left.
have very little information on your father, Charles Young. He
enlisted 2-23-1943, came aboard 6-19-1943 as a Seaman 2/c probably in
Pearl Harbor and became a Sonar Man. He was Sonarman 3/c when the
ship went down 12-11-1944. He was not listed as wounded. As
a sonarman, he probably had duty in the radar shack on the bridge where
I was a signalman. I probably knew him at the time.
would very much appreciate having more information about your father:
where born? When born? Family background? Why choose
Navy? When left Navy? What he did as a civilian? Also,
please email me some pictures, especially those from war years. A
picture of your father and mother when they were young, such as a
wedding picture. If you can't scan them, send them to me and I
will scan and return them promptly.
Regards, Len Gardner, shipmate
Date: Sun, 6 Jun 2010 19:14:54 -0700
I am contacting you in regards concerning my
Father, Charles Young. He was on the USS Reid. He passed away
August, 1970. He never talked much about his experiences during the war,
but, I would greatly appreciate any information you might have
concerning my father. My email address is:email@example.com ,
or if you have any correspondence my address is: 1017 North
Jasmine, Lompoc, CA. 93436.
Thanking you for your time, Rick Young
Mr. Gardner and Mr, Wilson,
I just wanted to say thank you on this Memorial Day for creating and
maintaining the web site for the USS Reid. My father,
John Donovan, served on the Reid but, like many servicemen and women, he
did not talk about the war. Your site has given my family an
important connection to that part of his life.
A small Memorial Day flurry has broken out amongst
my Facebook friends, with everyone posting photos and momentos of family
and friends who served. I was able to proudly post a link to your
website. Thank you again, and best wishes for this Memorial Day,
The film was taken by a 23 year old woman on 8mm
It sat in a box in a home for half a century.
The women's son then had the film transferred to DVD so the old woman
could relive old family memories. She passed away a few years ago.
This past week her elderly son was watching "The Pacific" and
recalled the old footage. He contacted Channel 7 in Brisbane on
Thursday and they were around in a flash to collect it. So Channel
7 found it not me. I was just rolled in as the so called
"expert" to comment on the find.
webmaster passed your inquiry on to me as the ship's historian. I
have only basic information on your uncle. He enlisted on December
22, 1943 and came aboard the USS REID on August 10, 1944 and went down
with the ship on December 11, 1944.
Orvis came aboard the REID when the ship
was in Pearl Harbor for overhaul, having been in the southwest Pacific
for nearly a year, most of the time in heavy action in the area around
New Guinea. As was common in those times, when experienced ships
came into a home port, experienced crew members were siphoned off to man
new construction and replaced by newer recruits. This was the case
in August, 1944. More than 60 were transferred at that time.
Your uncle was one of the new crew members to come aboard.
I don't have a record of what your
uncle's battle station was, but as a seaman, he most likely was on
deck manning one of the guns or in the magazine moving ammunition to the
deck. Most of those lost when the ship went down were stationed in
the engine room or manning the after guns or magazines. That is
where the devastating damage was done by the kamikaze strikes.
That is about all I can tell you.
However, you might be able to help me. Do you have a picture of
your uncle in uniform? What can you tell me about him? Where
born? When born? What did he do before joining the Navy?
We will add whatever you have to our website about your uncle.
Hoping to hear from you.
On Mon, Jan 25, 2010 at 11:07 AM, DENNIS J
Hello there. My name is Dennis J. Orvis. I'm
doing some research on a uncle of my that was on the USS Reid with your
dad when it sunk on 12-11-44.
His name was Carol W. Orvis, he was 1 of the 108 who were K.I.A.
I would like to know where he was on that day, and what his duty was.
Any information would be of great help.
Thank you so much for having this website. It has
allowed me to finally track down my Grandfather’s ship he served on
during pearl harbor and the war. He was a signal man named Dallas Foley,
he served on the Reid from 1940 – 1943. It is fantastic to see
the ship and listen to the accounts of the shipmates.
I truly appreciate what you are doing.
is always a pleasant surprise to hear that someone has found our website
and has a connection with someone found there. It is what makes it
I will pass your email on to our
I remember your grandfather well.
We were not only friends in the signal gang (both of us were signalmen)
but we went on many liberties together. As I recall, he was known
as Flip Foley. Why he was given that nickname, I don't know.
He came aboard the Reid almost a year before I did. He joined
the Navy when he was 17.
I have his key dates- birth, death,
aboard the Reid and minimal info on what he did as a civilian. What
else can you tell us about your grandfather? Where born? Any
interesting stories about growing up, his parents? Why join the
If you have pictures of him during
wartime, wedding day, later in life, can you email them to me?
If not, plz send them in mail and I will scan them and return them.
Did he write up any of his war stories? We are setting up a
section on the website for war stories and another for pictures of
sweethearts. We also may set up a section of bio sketches of
We have recently started a trust fund to
cover the costs of perpetuating our website, so that your grandchildren
and great grandchildren will be able to find their ancestors.
Hoping to hear from you further,
I was delighted to discover your web site this
morning. My father was Leland Wayne Van Allen and was aboard the
USS Reid when she sank. He was from Phillipsburg, Kansas and
enlisted with his best friend, Truman D. Strong, after the attack on
Pearl Harbor. I would be happy to share my father's navy photos
My father passed away February 25, 1992.
Thank you for keeping his memory alive.
Sincerely, Barbara Van Allen Polfer
|December 13, 2009
RE: U.S.S. Reid
It is always a pleasant surprise to hear that someone has found our
website and has a connection with someone found there. It is what
makes it all worthwhile.
I will pass your email on to our webmaster, like you, a son of a
shipmate, and you may see your email on the website in the coming
months. Also, we will take #15 off our "unknown" list
and transfer his information to the master list of shipmates, along with
The only information I have on your father is that he enlisted
September 9, 1941, reported aboard the Reid November 19, 1941 and was a
survivor of the sinking. Apparently our Reunion Group and
he never made a connection.
What can you tell us about your father? Where born? When? Any
interesting stories about growing up? Why join the Navy?
What did he do after leaving the Reid? What did he do as a
civilian? If not living, when did he pass away?
If you have pictures of him during wartime, wedding day, later in
life, can you email them to me? If not, plz send them in mail and I
will scan them and return them. Did he write up any of his war
stories? We are setting up a section on the website for war
stories and another for pictures of sweethearts. We also may set
up a section of bio sketches of shipmates.
We have recently started a trust fund to cover the costs of perpetuating
our website, so that your grandchildren and great grandchildren will be
able to find their ancestors.
Hoping to hear from you further,
Date: Sun, 13 Dec 2009
brother found your newsletter via the History Channel, then on the web.
He brought it to my attention and we both enjoyed reading it.
Then, while further exploring, he found a series of pictures showing
unidentified crew members (in your 2007 Vol # 13, no 3.) After
asking me to look at the article, and consequently after I forwarded it
to our dad's surviving sister and brother, we all believe that the
picture of the man at the top left on page 10, picture #15 is a
picture of Carl William Radebaugh, Rdm, aboard the USS Reid from
Pearl and until/throughout her final action. After the
sinking, Carl was rescued by a supply ship and, we believe, can
be seen in another of the pictures in the same issue - that of a group
of survivors being rescued aboard an LSI. There is a group
of 4 men resting (above the very large rope) with their heads silhouetted
against the water; because of his very unique hairline, we
believe it is Carl who is sitting just below the man whose
head is the highest of these 4 men in the picture.
brother had advised he would try to supply you with this
information but I've never heard that he did. And its
too important to me to not try.
you receive this e-mail, I'd be very interested in hearing
from you and attempting to supply any other information I might. I
remember Dad telling us that he was temporarily re-assigned to
Washington D.C. after the sinking, to help serve as one of the clerical
personnel for records of the crew members and and for notifying
Thu, 19 Nov 2009
Mr. Len Gardner,
All this week the History Channel has
been running a mini series about WWII. Last night (18 Nov.) they
featured the battle that took place at Leyte in the Phillipines. I know
that the Reid was a part of this because my grandfather served on and
survived the sinking of that great ship. His name is William Halfpap.
After watching that show, I went online and found ussreid369.org.
I was thrilled to find 2 pictures of him on the site. However, sadly, he
passed away on 12 May, 2008 after battling Alzheimer's Disease. He was
very proud to have served on the Reid. He was the nicest, kindest person
anyone could have met. He is greatly missed.
I just want to thank you for the web site
dedicated to the USS Reid. My grandfather would have liked it.
Sincerely, Doug Van Remortel
you for writing to me. Someone recently informed me of your
grandfather's passing, although I can't seem to locate the record just
now. It's discoveries like yours and letting us know, that make
the website worth while. Most of the credit for the site belongs
to Dr. James Wilson, son of a shipmate, whose dedication and
creativity have made it possible.
I served with your grandfather and knew
him at the time. I served as a signalman on the bridge and he as a
radioman on the deck immediately below. As we were both in the
communications business, we had frequent contact.
Sir?Ma'am or whom it may concern,
name is Erin Aitken. I am writing you in hopes you may be able to
contact former crew member and plank owner by the name of John G.
Bradford. I am in possesion of his Honorary Plank Owner
Certificate for the USS Reid (FFG-30) Commisioned on February 19,
1983. I moved up to Washington from California and bought this
item at a garage sale for $2.00 because I thought it was preety neat.
Then I had it stored away in a closet away from my little boys so they
would break the glass after we relocated again I was going through my
closet, and thought maybe he would like to have his certificate back. I
dont know why or how he parted with it, but in case it had fallen in the
wrong hands, I thought maybe he would like to have it back for
sentimental purposes, or maybe pass it on to a family member. I can send
it to him, no charge of cource, if he would like to have it back. If it
was my fathers, I would want to have it. Hope you can help.
you for taking the time to search for the owner of what certainly
qualifies as a family heirloom.
I am the contact person for the third naval ship
named USS REID DD369 whose website you found on the internet.
The fourth ship named USS REID was Bradford's ship, the
FFG30. I have attached a picture of that ship. It served
the nation well for many years, but it is no longer a commissioned
U.S. Navy ship.
I am forwarding your inquiry to the
first captain of the FFG30 and to a member of the first crew. I
expect that one or both of them will be in touch with you.
Thanks again for your concern in
preserving the momento you acquired. Also in the last few days,
we have upgraded our USS REID DD369 website, in case you are
interested in the heritage of our WWII ship.
30 Oct 2009
me start by thanking you for this wonderful site. I just found it
tonight and have enjoyed reading about the USS Reid . My uncle was one
of crew that was killed.I would like to know if you knew him or anything
about him or anyway I might find any information on him. His name was
Howard Frederick Rawlings,20.Seaman First Class, from East Ocean
View ,Virginia.His nickname was Smokey.Anything you can tell me would be
would like to thank you for your service to our Country and for the web
you are unable to help, I thank you anyway.
Thu, 29 Oct 2009
I would like to submit the following information on my grandfather for
updating the Shipmate portion of the USS REID website;
Ralph Uland Whittington
3/c (GM 2/c - 5/1/38, GM 1/c - 2/16/40, Chief GM -
Reid: 11/02/1936 (reported to duty on
retired from the Navy on 9/1/1956 with the rank of CWO-W-2 after 30
years of service. Thank you for keeping the information updated on
5 Oct 2009
A lucky break, a long lost cousin of mine
(also named Joseph Wieczorek) was doing
some research on our Uncle Joe and came across my letter to you on your
website. He sent me the attached photo and has promised to send some other
family documents. I hope this photo will strike a memory from one of his
shipmates who could tell us something about him and perhaps his last few days.
Thanks for staying in touch and for doing
such a wonderful job in helping all
of your shipmates and their families to be able to communicate.
Sent to Len
Gardner: October 27, 2008
late father Philip Niessen served in the Navy during the War
and was a Classification Specialist, SP (c) 3/c, stationed at
Bremerton, WA in 1944 and 1945. During that time he kept a diary
of his interviews (without names) and conducted interviews of the USS
Reid survivors as they returned to the States. The notes on the
Reid interviews are very brief but I thought that they might be of some
interest to your group.
we all had to work. 120 survivors came in from the
a DD announced lost due to enemy action in the 2nd Battle of
the Philippines. They were brought back on the USS
Nashville and arrived here this morning. All records
were lost, of course, so a card had to be made out on every man.
We also made up a SF form on each man and shore-duty scores on
those who rated them. They came here from small
stores where they were given the usual Navy tailoring job (too short or
too long). None of them had contacted their families
yet, who probably think they are lost. They are due
to get their survivor’s leave tomorrow so we rushed them through.
The Reid had been through quite a bit of action and some of the
men rated 9 stars. They were a boisterous lot, and it
was quite apparent they were all glad to be alive. 106
men were lost with the ship. They each had a thick
packet of letters which they were given a few minutes before coming here
and they kept themselves pretty busy reading these while waiting to be
interviewed. They hadn’t heard from their families
for a month or more. While I was filling out the SF
form on one man, he was reading letters from his wife. He
showed me a picture of his 2 year old girl. Attached
to a page of the letter was two little candles from her birthday cake.
He just smiled from ear to ear while reading the letter.
of the fellows I interviewed was 17 years old and had several months of
sea duty already, climaxed by his ship being sunk. I
wonder what I’d be like today if that had happened to me when I was
– How was your ship sunk --- torpedoed?
– Well – that’s what we were told to say.
– We were suicide-bombed by a Jap plane.
– Well, that’s fairly common nowadays – why the mystery?
– They don’t want information to leak out how effective suicide
bombing is. The way I look at it is, it’s not only
the damage to ships that is effective, it’s the mental impression that
it makes on those it hits. The sight of a burning,
twisting plane diving toward you for what seems like several minutes is
rather hard on the nerves. There must have been 50
ships throwing up stuff at the plane that finally got us. Ten
planes peeled off and each one went for a ship.
– How long were you in the water?
– About a half hour – it wasn’t so bad. Most of
the damaged ships in the yard were suicide-bombed. On
the Reid two gun mounts were wiped out; most of the men lost were below
already sent you an email but it was before I had the chance to go through this
website. This is an incredible website and I was stunned to find a photo
of my Grandfather. I’ve never seen that photo before. I was astonished. Thank
you so much for keeping this site going and thank you again for serving and
giving me an opportunity to live as well as I do today. The more I research the
past the more I see how much we take everything we have for granted. We really
don’t understand how easy our generation has it.
29th, 2007 from the first skipper of the USS REID FFG30
well done website...
|Sent to Len
Gardner on December 7th, 2006:
My name is Albert Owens. I was named
after my Dad who died when the USS Reid went down on Dec. 11, 1944. He and
another sailor named Augustine Miller were from Jessamine County
Kentucky. My Dad did not know at the time of his death that two
months after his demise his wife would give birth to twins. My twin sister
and I, Cheryl Jean (I'm Albert Dean) were born on Feb. 7, 1945. Our older
brother was born on Aug. 5, 1943. My Dad saw him as a baby and got to hold
him but my brother, of course, doesn't recall that although my mother -- who
is still alive now at age 83 -- has pictures of them together. The
Reid and all its sailors are still remembered by the Owens family. Thanks to
you and your fellow shipmates that still survive for serving on the USS Reid
so bravely. Both I and my brother are preachers, me in Vanceburg, Kentucky
and him (his name is Sam, named after our grandfather Owens, Albert's Dad)
in Aviano, Italy near the Air Force base there. I am grateful
that info about the Reid is now available on the Internet. Thanks to all who
make that possible. God bless. Albert Owens