Beverly W. Reid

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For the United States Navy ship, see USS Beverly W. Reid (APD-119).
Beverly William Reid
Born (1917-04-22)April 22, 1917
New Orleans, Louisiana
Died August 24, 1942(1942-08-24) (aged 25)
Pacific Ocean, near the Solomon Islands
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1935–1942
Rank Ensign
Unit USS Lexington (CV-2)
Torpedo Squadron 3
Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor
Fighting Squadron 2
Fighting Squadron 6
Battles/wars World War II
*Attack on Pearl Harbor
*Doolittle Raid
*Battle of Midway
*Battle of the Eastern Solomons
Awards Navy Cross

Beverly W. Reid (1917–1942) was a United States Navy officer who received the Navy Cross for his actions in combat during World War II.


Beverly William Reid was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on 22 April 1917. He attended Redemptorist College in New Orleans, before he enlisted in the U.S. Navy on 17 June 1935. After completing boot camp, Reid reported on board the aircraft carrier USS Lexington (CV-2) on 28 November 1935, and remained in that ship for over two years. Reporting to Naval Air Station Pensacola at Pensacola, Florida, 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 3, in aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (CV-3), Reid was transferred to Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor at Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, on 12 August 1941. He was serving there when Japanese planes raided Oahu on 7 December 1941.

Transferred to Fighting Squadron 2 aboard Lexington on 27 December 1941, Aviation Machinist’s Mate Second Class Reid was aboard that ship as she patrolled southwest of Oahu between 29 December 1941 and 16 January 1942. Having been advanced to the rate of aviation machinist’s mate first class by that point, he was transferred to aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) on 28 March 1942, along with nine other naval aviation pilots, for temporary duty with Fighting Squadron 6, in time for Enterprise's departure with Task Force 16 in support of the Doolittle Raid. On 18 April 1942, the day of the Doolittle Raid, Reid flew with Enterprise's third combat air patrol of the day when lookouts spotted two Japanese guard boats. He and the other seven pilots of the combat air patrol then strafed the enemy vessels, sinking one and forcing the other, Nagato Maru, to surrender.

Having been warranted as a machinist on 23 April 1942, Reid was designated a naval aviator on 5 May 1942. During the Battle of Midway, he flew three combat air patrol missions on 4 June 1942, including one during which his section was vectored over to defend the crippled aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5). He carried out aggressive attacks on two Japanese torpedo planes and 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 6 June 1942.

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 Fighting Squadron 6 fighters scrambled for the combat air patrol over Task Force 17, and, as one of two pilots listed as missing in action, was probably shot down by a Mitsubishi A6M “Zero” fighter in the ensuing action. Never seen again, Reid was presumed killed in action.


For his attack Japanese torpedo bombers on 4 June 1942 at Midway, Reid received the Navy Cross.


The U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Beverly W. Reid (DE-722) was named for Ensign Reid. She was converted during construction into the high-speed transport USS Beverly W. Reid (APD-119), and was in commission as such from 1945 to 1947 and from 1967 to 1969.