Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Reads in:
 • Somme American Cemetery and Memorial
 • Bony
 • Departement de l'Aisne
 • Picardie
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Sponsor This Memorial! Advertisement
ENS Curtis Seaman Read
Learn about removing the ads from this memorial...
Birth: Aug. 21, 1895
Westchester County
New York, USA
Death: Feb. 27, 1918, France

A member of the "Yale Unit" that formed the nexus of the Air Service, he was designated Naval Aviator #83 in 1917.

He was the son of William Augustus and Caroline Hicks (Seaman) Read, and attended the Bovee School in New York City, the Choate School at Wallingford, Connecticut, and the Pomfret School in Pomfret, Connecticut before matriculating at Yale, where he participated in baseball, and was manager of the football team in 1917, winning his letter. He sang in the Freshman Glee Club, and was active in the work of the Yale Hope Mission.

He left college March 24, 1917, to join the Yale Aerial Coast Patrol Unit No. 1. He was first stationed at West Palm Beach, Florida, and was later transferred to Huntington, Long Island, where he received a commission as a Naval Aviator, with the rank of Ensign, in September, 1917. He was then appointed an instructor in the Naval Aviation Unit at Newport News, Virginia, where he remained until being assigned to foreign service in November. He was stationed for a time at the Bombing School at Montchic, France, from which he was transferred on February 24, 1918, to Dunkirk. His death occurred there two days later as a result of injuries received in a seaplane accident while on active duty. He was the first American officer to be killed at Dunkirk, and was buried there with full military honors. Several months after his death the Distinguished Service Medal of the Aero Club of America was awarded to him. Yale granted him the degree of B.A , posthumously, in June, 1918.

Ernest W. Pettifier noted, in My Small Share, A Quaker Diary From WWI, the finding of Read's body:

"February 26, 1918
An American seaplane crashed into the sea just outside the harbor today. The body of the pilot was rescued and brought to the Hospital, but the observer did not come to the surface. This is only the second casualty sustained by the U.S. Naval Air Service so far. The pilot was a finely built boy, a Yale athlete, Ensign Curtis S. Read. The American officers took two-hour spells on duty outside the mortuary all day and all night. They will find it difficult to maintain this chivalrous custom when they get into real warfare."

Family links: 
  William Augustus Read (1858 - 1916)
  Caroline Hicks Seaman Read (1868 - 1929)
  Curtis Seaman Read (1895 - 1918)
  William Augustus Read (1895 - 1976)*
  Duncan Hicks Read (1896 - 1998)*
  Russell Bartow Read (1898 - 1931)*
  Caroline Hicks Read de Braux (1899 - 1935)*
  Bancroft Read (1901 - 1901)*
  Kenneth Bancroft Read (1904 - 1907)*
*Calculated relationship
Somme American Cemetery and Memorial
Departement de l'Aisne
Picardie, France
Plot: Plot B Row 10 Grave 15
Maintained by: Dennis
Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
Record added: Aug 06, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56099669
ENS Curtis Seaman Read
Added by: Suellen
ENS Curtis Seaman Read
Added by: soilsister
ENS Curtis Seaman Read
Cemetery Photo
Added by: guy
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- laurinlaurin espie
 Added: Nov. 8, 2014
Rest in Peace
- Ed
 Added: Aug. 27, 2014

- Bill Thayer (American and Military History)
 Added: Aug. 17, 2013
There are 2 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service