Beverly William Reid--born in New Orleans, La., on 22 April 1917--attended Redemptorist College, New Orleans, before he enlisted in the Navy on 17 June 1935. After completing boot camp, Reid reported on board the aircraft carrier Lexington (CV-2) on 28 November 1935, and remained in that ship for over two years. Reporting to the Naval Air Station (NAS), Pensacola, Fla., on 25 March 1938 for flight training as a naval aviation pilot (NAP), he received his wings on 29 March 1939. After service with Torpedo Squadron (VT) 3, in Saratoga (CV-3), Reid was transferred to NAS, Pearl Harbor on 12 August 1941. He was serving there when Japanese planes raided Oahu on 7 December 1941.
Transferred to Lexington and Fighting Squadron (VF) 2 two days after Christmas of 1941, Aviation Machinist’s Mate 2d Class Reid sailed with that ship as she patroled southwest of Oahu between 29 December 1941 and 16 January 1942. Having been advanced to the rate of aviation machinist’s mate 1st class by that point, he was transferred to Enterprise (CV-6) on 28 March 1942, along with nine other NAPs, for temporary duty with VF-6, in time for the carrier's departure with TF 16. On 18 April 1942, the day of the Halsey-Doolittle Raid, Reid flew with Enterprise’s third combat air patrol (CAP) of the day when lookouts spotted two Japanese guardboats. He and the other seven pilots of the CAP then strafed the enemy vessels, sinking one and forcing the other, Nagato Maru, to surrender.
Having been warranted as a machinist on 23 April, Reid was designated a naval aviator on 5 May. During the Battle of Midway, he flew three CAP missions on 4 June, including one during which his section was vectored over to defend the crippled Yorktown (CV-5). Awarded the Navy Cross for carrying out aggressive attacks on two Japanese torpedo planes on the 4th, he was credited with two confirmed “kills.” He also took part in strafing the Japanese destroyers Asashio and Arashio as they assisted the crippled heavy cruisers Mogami and Mikuma on the 6th.
Reid, commissioned an ensign on 23 July 1942, took part in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons on 24 August 1942. He flew one of the 27 VF-6 planes scrambled for the CAP over TF 17, and, as one of two pilots listed as missing, was probably shot down by a “Zero” in the ensuing action. Ens. Reid, never seen again, was presumed killed in action.
(APD-119: d. 1,650 (tl.); l. 306'0"; b. 37'0"; dr. 12'7"; s. 23.6 k.(tl.); cpl. 204; trp. 162; a. 1 5", 6 40 mm., 6 20 mm., 2 dct.; cl. Crosley)
Beverly W. Reid (DE-722) was laid down on 5 January 1944 at Neville Island, Pa., by the Dravo Corp.; launched on 4 March 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Eloise Ziegler, Ens. Reid’s mother; reclassified a high speed transport and designated APD-119 on 17 July 1944; taken down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to Orange, Tex.; completed there by the Consolidated Steel Corp.; and commissioned on 25 June 1945, Lt. Comdr. Gordon D. Kissam, USNR, in command.
After fitting out, Beverly W. Reid departed Galveston, Tex., on 10 July and arrived at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on the 13th. Following shakedown, the warship sailed for Norfolk, Va., on 7 August and reached her destination on the 10th. At Norfolk, she underwent a post-shakedown availability that lasted well into October. Proceeding thence to New York City, Beverly W. Reid took part in President Harry Truman on “Navy Day” review on 27 October 1945. She departed New York on the 30th and, after anchoring overnight at the Harbor of Refuge, reached Philadelphia on the 31st. She sailed on 17 November for Norfolk, sailing via the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, and reached her destination on the 18th. Bad weather postponed Beverly W. Reid’s sailing for Florida until 23 November. Pausing at Jacksonville en route, she arrived at Green Cove Springs on 27 November 1945. Inactivated and placed in reserve on 1 September 1946, she was decommissioned on 5 May 1947.
After two decades of inactivity, Beverly W. Reid was recommissioned on 18 March 1967 at the Norfolk Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Norfolk, Va., Lt. Comdr. Aloysius G. Hennessey, Jr., in command. Assigned to Amphibious Squadron (PhibRon) 8, she was home ported at the Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Va., to which she shifted on 19 April. After fitting out and local operations, she sailed for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on 5 May. There, she carried out shakedown training into mid-June. Beverly W. Reid sailed for Little Creek on 16 June, and arrived there on the 19th. Following post-shakedown upkeep at Little Creek, she conducted training in amphibious landings and underwater demolition team exercises. In late July and early August, the high-speed transport visited Montreal, Canada, for the international exposition, “Expo 67.”
Back at Little Creek on 11 August, Beverly W. Reid resumed amphibious exercises on the 16th and remained so occupied through the end of August. She spent most of September pierside in upkeep at Little Creek, making only a single five-day excursion to Onslow Bay late in the month. In October, the ship operated off the Virginia capes from the 9th to the 15th, then carried out more amphibious drills at Onslow Beach. In port at Little Creek from the 19th until the 31st, she met Raleigh (LPD-1) at sea for more exercises off the Virginia capes on 1 November. Back at Little Creek on 2 November, Beverly W. Reid moored alongside Vulcan (AR-4) on 6 November for a tender availability. The repairs lasted until the 24th, when she returned to Little Creek for the rest of 1967.
On 2 January 1968, Beverly W. Reid sailed for Puerto Rico to join the Caribbean Amphibious Ready Group, arriving at Roosevelt Roads on the 6th. After amphibious training at Vieques until the 9th, she sailed with Muliphen (AKA-61) and Spiegel Grove (LSD-32) for a port visit at Curaçao. The trio of warships called at Willemstad from the 12th to the 16th and then headed back to Vieques to resuming amphibious training with TG 44.9 the following morning. After a whole repertoire of drills--ship-to-shore exercises, gunfire support and antiaircraft exercises--Beverly W. Reid visited Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands, from 23 to 26 January. She returned to Puerto Rican waters briefly on the 28th and 29th and then headed for the Canal Zone on the 29th in company with Raleigh (LPD-1), Spiegel Grove, Grant County (LST-1174), Guam and Muliphen. The ready group carried out its mission in Panamanian waters, and then Beverly W. Reid called at Grenada from 15 to 22 February. The high-speed transport rejoined the ready group on 23 February and headed back to Puerto Rican waters. She reached Vieques on the 24th, and operated locally until the second week in March 1968.
After a visit to Fredricksted on St. Croix in the Virgin Islands, Beverly W. Reid set sail on 17 March to return to Little Creek. She arrived on 23 March and remained there for almost a month, before embarking a six-day trip to Onslow Bay to do sounding surveys on 21 April. She returned to Little Creek on the 27th and stayed close to home during May, mixing upkeep with surveys of the waters off Camp Pendleton and work with Shakori (ATF-162) to help New Jersey (BB-62) in gunnery calibration exercises off the Virginia capes. Underway on 1 June, Beverly W. Reid sailed for Port Canaveral, Fla., arriving there on the 3d. Over the next several days, she served as an observation platform for the Naval Ordnance Test Unit during test firings of “Polaris” missiles by the fleet ballistic missile submarines John Marshall (SSBN-611) and Thomas Edison (SSBN-610). Tests complete, she sailed for the Tidewater area on 18 June.
Beverly W. Reid arrived at Little Creek on 20 June but tarried there less than two weeks. Instead, she embarked upon a succession of port visits, stopping at New York City; the Canadian ports of Pictou and Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Boothbay, Maine. Back at Little Creek on 13 July, she resumed training with the Atlantic Fleet Amphibious Force, evolutions that included gunfire support exercises off Camp Pendleton as well as work in ASW and amphibious warfare tactics. During that time, the warship was reclassified a small amphibious transport and was redesignated LPR-119 on 14 August 1968. On 23 August, the locus her operations shifted to the waters near Charleston, S.C., where she provided services to the ballistic missile submarine John Marshall until late on the 24th. She returned to Norfolk for a tender availability alongside Sierra (AD-18) between 27 August and 20 September.
After a final series of amphibious drills at Onslow Beach late in September, Beverly W. Reid was placed in reduced operational status on 1 October 1968 as part of an economy measure. She remained in that status at Little Creek for the better part of a year. Finally, she departed Little Creek on 30 September 1969 bound for inactivation at Orange, Tex. The warship arrived at the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility at Orange, Tex., on 6 October and began the process immediately. Beverly W. Reid was placed out of commission, in reserve, at Orange on 14 November 1969, and she remained there for almost five years. Her name struck from the Navy list on 15 September 1974, and she was sold to J. R. Steel, Inc., in August 1975 for scrapping.
Robert J. Cressman
31 January 2006