Gardner, Leonard F.

Gardner/Wilson Collection of the USS Reid 369

ca. 1936-2015
1 box, 1 website 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1047
Depiction of Postcard featuring the USS Reid
Postcard featuring the USS Reid

A destroyer commissioned in 1936, the USS Reid was assigned to the Pacific Fleet and in 1939 was moved to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The Reid was being serviced in port on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor occurred. The Reid survived and was re-assembled so quickly it was out patrolling later that morning. Between 1941 and 1944, the Reid served on numerous patrol and escort missions, including in the Aleutian Islands and Solomon Islands and joined forces fighting in Guadalcanal. During the Reid’s involvement in the battle of Leyte Gulf, it was attacked by twelve kamikaze fighters, several of which made contact with the Reid, including one that crashed into the port quarter and exploded, blowing the ship apart and killing 103 of the 268 aboard.

The Gardner/Wilson Collection represents the efforts of Leonard F. Gardner (BA ’49), Pearl Harbor survivor, who served on the Reid from 1941-1944. Gardner collected photographs, oral histories, and documents from former shipmates and produced a newsletter from 1997 to 2015 that recorded the lives of shipmates and included photographs and information about the USS Reid. In addition to the original materials Gardner collected, a full run of the newsletter and other documents related to the Reid’s service in World War II, the Gardner/Wilson collection includes a website curated by Gardner and designed, created, and maintained by James M. Wilson III (MBA ’86, MS ’86, PhD ’00), whose father, James M. Wilson, Jr., served on the USS Reid from 1940 and survived its sinking in 1944. The original website can be found at http://ussreid369.org. SCUA also maintains an archived version of the site. Several documents and photographs relating to the sinking of the Reid were added to the collection by Gordon Seastrom, a Pearl Harbor survivor and Reid shipmate.

Background on Gardner/Wilson Collection of the USS Reid 369

A destroyer commissioned in 1936, the USS Reid was assigned to the Pacific Fleet and in 1939 was moved to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The Reid was being serviced in port on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor occurred. The Reid survived and was re-assembled so quickly it was out patrolling later that morning. Between 1941 and 1944, the Reid served on numerous patrol and escort missions, including in the Aleutian Islands and Solomon Islands and joined forces fighting in Guadalcanal. During the Reid’s involvement in the battle of Leyte Gulf, it was attacked by twelve kamikaze fighters, several of which made contact with the Reid, including one that crashed into the port quarter and exploded, blowing the ship apart and killing 103 of the 268 aboard.

Before that fatal attack on the USS Reid, the shipmates experience on the Reid included an interesting ceremony. When a sailor crossed the equator for the first time they were made to participate in a ceremony that involved King Neptune, the shipmates were given instructions on what they were to wear and what they were to do in the presence of King Neptune. The King Neptune event consisted of someone dressing in a robe, wig and crown to pose as King Neptune and giving a speech to the participating sailors. Starting in the 1960s, the survivors gathered together again to hold fairly regular reunions and a newsletter was created with the help of James M. Wilson Jr. and Leonard F. Gardner.

Leonard F. Gardner (BA ‘49) is a Pearl Harbor survivor who served on the Reid from 1941-1944. In 2018, Gardner was awarded an honorary degree by UMass Amherst. He is responsible for putting together the collection, curating the website and helping run the newsletter from 1997 to 2015.

James M. Wilson III (MBA ‘86, MS ‘86, PhD ‘00) created and manages the website http://ussreid369.org. Wilson’s father, James M. Wilson, Jr., served on the USS Reid from 1940 until the sinking in 1944. Wilson, Jr. ran the Reunion newsletter from 1975 to 1996.

Scope of collection

The Gardner/Wilson Collection represents the efforts of Leonard F. Gardner (BA ’49), Pearl Harbor survivor, who served on the Reid from 1941-1944. Gardner collected photographs, oral histories, and documents from former shipmates and produced a newsletter from 1997 to 2015 that recorded the lives of shipmates and included photographs and information about the USS Reid. The photographs include photos of the shipmates from their time on the Reid and over the years at reunions.

In addition to the original materials Gardner collected, a full run of the newsletter and other documents related to the Reid’s service in World War II, the Gardner/Wilson collection includes a website curated by Gardner and designed, created, and maintained by James M. Wilson III (MBA ’86, MS ’86, PhD ’00), whose father, James M. Wilson, Jr., served on the USS Reid from 1940 and survived its sinking in 1944. The original website can be found at http://ussreid369.org. SCUA also maintains an archived version of the site.

Several documents and photographs relating to the sinking of the Reid were added to the collection by Gordon Seastrom, a Pearl Harbor survivor and Reid shipmate. Also included are: recollections of the shipmates of their time on the Reid, there are photos and a letter from King Neptune, documenting a ceremony that was done when sailors crossed the equator for the first time. There are also photographs, announcements and financial documents in regards to a model that was built of the USS Reid 369 and completed in July 1995.

Inventory

Correspondence: Carney, Robert D., Admiral
1993-1996
Box 1: 1
Financials
1985 Mar-1991 Oct
Box 1: 2
Histories and Logs
ca. 1941-2003
Box 1: 3
King Neptune Letter
1942 Oct
Box 1: 4
Newsletters
1975
Box 1: 5
Newsletters
1976
Box 1: 6
Newsletters
1977
Box 1: 7
Newsletters
1978
Box 1: 8
Newsletters
1979
Box 1: 9
Newsletters
1980
Box 1: 10
Newsletters
1981
Box 1: 11
Newsletters
1982
Box 1: 12
Newsletters
1983
Box 1: 13
Newsletters
1984
Box 1: 14
Newsletters
1986
Box 1: 16
Newsletters
1987
Box 1: 17
Newsletters
1988
Box 1: 18
Newsletters
1989
Box 1: 19
Newsletters
1990
Box 1: 20
Newsletters
1991
Box 1: 21
Newsletters
1992
Box 1: 22
Newsletters
1993
Box 1: 23
Newsletters
1994
Box 1: 24
Newsletters
1995
Box 1: 25
Newsletters
1996
Box 1: 26
Newsletters
1997
Box 1: 27
Newsletters
1998
Box 1: 28
Newsletters
1999
Box 1: 29
Newsletters
2000
Box 1: 30
Newsletters
2001
Box 1: 31
Newsletters
2002
Box 1: 32
Newsletters
2003
Box 1: 33
Newsletters
2004
Box 1: 34
Newsletters
2005
Box 1: 35
Newsletters
2006
Box 1: 36
Newsletters
2007
Box 1: 37
Newsletters
2008
Box 1: 38
Newsletters
2009
Box 1: 39
Newsletters
2010
Box 1: 40
Newsletters
2011
Box 1: 41
Newsletters
2012
Box 1: 42
Newsletters
2013
Box 1: 43
Newsletters
2014
Box 1: 44
Newsletters
2015
Box 1: 45
Photographs: Locations, locals, postcards and a plane
1941
Box 1: 46
Photographs: Reunion
ca. 1960-2010
Box 1: 47
Photographs: Reunion
ca. 1960-2010
Box 1: 48
Photographs: Reunion
ca. 1960-2010
Box 1: 49
Photographs: Ship Model
1995 July
Box 1: 50
Photographs: Shipmates
1936-1944
Box 1: 51
Photographs: USS Reid 369
1937-1944
Box 1: 52
Poetry
1944 Feb-July
Box 1: 53
Recollections
1941-1987
Box 1: 54
Recollections
1941-1987
Box 1: 55
Reid Relaunch, Memorial Service pamphlet and reunion pin
1981 June-1993 Oct
Box 1: 56
Reports (News, Sinking, Action and Officer’s Reports
1942-1945
Box 1: 57
Reunion Group Biographical Information of Shipmates
1944-1996
Box 1: 58
Reunion Group Biographical Information of Shipmates
1944-1996
Box 1: 59
Rosters
1936-1980
Box 1: 60
Rosters
1936-1980
Box 1: 61
Ship’s Model Project
1994-1996
Box 1: 62
VFW Magazine
1980 Sept
Box 1: 63

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Provenance

Gift of Leonard F. Gardner and James M. Wilson III, 2018.

Processing Information

Processed by Katherine E. Bailey, 2019.

Language:

English

Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: Gardner/Wilson Collection of the USS Reid 369 (MS 1047). Special
Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Destroyer escorts–United States
  • Kamikaze Pilots
  • Pearl Harbor (Hawaii), Attack on, 1941
  • Warships–United States
  • World War, 1939-1945 — Naval operations

Contributors

  • USS Reid 369 [main entry]
  • Gardner, Leonard F.
  • Wilson, James M. III
  • Seastrom, Gordon

Genres and formats

  • Correspondence
  • Documents
  • Photographs
Gift of Leonard F. Gardner and James M. Wilson III, 2018

Subjects

Destroyer escorts--United StatesKamikaze pilotsPearl Harbor (Hawaii), Attack on, 1941Warships--United StatesWorld War, 1939-1945 -- Naval operations

Contributors

Gardner, Leonard F.

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