Gunnery Sergeant Eddie Albert "Ab" Reed

Gunnery Sergeant Eddie Albert "Ab" Reed
United States Marine Corp
 

Submitted by Ed Reed
"In recognition of my father"

Gunnery Sergeant Ab Reed enlisted in the United States Marine Corp (USMC) in Oklahoma City, OK in October 1940 at 21 years of age.  After completing Basic Training and Sea School in San Diego, CA in January 1941 he was assigned to the battleship USS California (BB-44).

While aboard the USS California, the flagship of the Battle Force, Private First Class Reed served in the Fleet Marine Force Detachment as a Fleet Artillery Crewman.  He was aboard the USS California on December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese airstrike.  He survived the attack although the USS California was hit by two torpedoes, a 550 pound bomb and a second near miss bomb.  She eventually settled to the harbor bottom with her decks awash. 

In March 1942 the USS California was refloated at Pearl Harbor.  PFC Reed was aboard when she departed in June 1942 under her own power for a major reconstruction at the Puget Sound Nary Yard in Bremerton, WA.  In May 1943 while home on leave he married Viola Mae Stinley in Gotebo, OK.  Sergeant Reed was assigned to the USS California until March 1944.

From March to September 1944 Sergeant Reed participated in field combat and artillery training at Camp Lejeune, NC and Camp Pendleton, CA..  He served in the Pacific Campaign from October 1944 to February 1946 assigned to the 1st and Headquarters Batallions, 12th Marine Regiment (nicknamed “Thunder and Steel”), 3rd Marine Division (known as the “Fighting Third”).  During the Pacific Campaign he participated in the seizure, occupation and defense of the enemy hold of the island of Iwo Jima and the Vulcano Islands.  He also participated in combat patrols at Guam and the Marianas Islands.

After six years of military service Gunnery Sergeant Reed was honorably discharged in November 1946 at Great Lakes, IL.  During his military service he was awarded the Marine Good Conduct Medal with Bar, American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp and one Bronze Star device, American Campaign Medal,  Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with Fleet Clasp and two Bronze Star devices, World War II Victory Medal, Expert Rifleman Badge and Sharpshooter Badge with four certifications.

He began his civilian career with Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in March 1947 as a Lineman in southwestern Oklahoma.  After more than 30 years of service he retired as a Chief Deskman in May 1977.  He was also a 32nd Degree Mason.  He and his wife, Mae, raised four children, a daughter and three sons, and were married for 58 years.

After his retirement his hobby was wood crafting.  For a number of years he and Mae operated a craft store in Altus, OK.  He also became actively involved in the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association.  As a long time member he and Mae traveled frequently to USS California survivor reunions around the country.

Gunnery Sergeant Eddie Albert Reed was 82 when he passed away in September 2001.

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