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CPT Allen Bevins Reed, Sr

CPT Allen Bevins Reed, Sr

Liberty, Clay County, Missouri, USA
Death 28 Feb 1965 (aged 80)
Bethesda, Montgomery County, Maryland, USA
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 35, Grave 736
Memorial ID 81686049 · View Source
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US Naval officer (1904-1941). Allen Bevins Reed was born in Liberty, Missouri, the son of Sheriff (1882- 1886) James French Reed and Fannie (Frances G.) Wymore Reed. He was named for his paternal grandparents Allen Grigsby Reed and Missouri America (nee Bevins) Reed. Tragically, an uncle on each side of his family was shot to death during armed robberies in the Wild West of the 1860's. His father's brother, Robert J. Reed, was gunned down in Laramie, Wyoming Territory in 1868 when he was robbed while carrying the payroll for their father, Allen G. Reed's, freighting business across the street.

Two years earlier, his maternal uncle, George C. "Jolly" Wymore, a 17-year old student at William Jewell college was shot to death during the first peacetime, daylight bank robbery in the United States, as he stood across the street from the Clay County Savings in Liberty. Ex-bushwhackers that later became members of the "James-Younger gang", including Frank James, shot young Wymore five times after he yelled an alarm as they were exiting the bank with $60,000 in currency, gold and negotiable instruments on February 13, 1866.

As Deputy Sheriff (1878-1882), Allen Reed's father and his uncle, William H. Wymore, Jr., also a deputy, rode in posses with Sheriff James R. Timberlake in pursuit of Jesse James and the James-Younger Gang. Ironically, Deputy Reed was one of the pallbearers, along with Sheriff Timberlake, at Jesse James' funeral, after the outlaw was shot in the back by Bob Ford on April 3, 1882, two years to the day before Allen B. Reed was born.

Reed graduated Liberty High School in 1900 and entered Annapolis in September that year. He was a graduate of the 62-member US Naval Academy class of 1904. His classmates included future World War II admirals, William F. "Bull" Halsey and Husband E. Kimmel. In April 1905, as a 21- year old "passed midshipman" (completed academic studies and serving 2 years sea-duty prior to commissioning as an ensign) he was the executive officer of the gunboat USS PARAGUA, of the Philippine Squadron, Asiatic Fleet.

Less than a year later, on February 3, 1906, the day after he was commissioned an ensign, Reed assumed command of the gunboat. PARAGUA patrolled the Philippine islands and supported US Army troops fighting pirates, slave traders and jihadist Moro warriors in America's first violent encounters with radical Islamic tribes. During the Third Sulu Expedition in May 1905, the gunboat transported the provisional company of the US Army's 17th Infantry to Pata Island on an expedition to kill or capture a Moro chieftain whose tribe had been robbing other islanders to the point that the panglima in charge of the island had requested the army's assistance. Midshipman Reed volunteered to accompany the expedition ashore and acted as signal officer to the gunboat using "wig-wag" flags and controlled the gunfire on a part of the firing line at the Battle of Pata Island on May 13, 1905. During the fighting the rifle of a soldier standing by Reed became jammed and the midshipman gave him his sidearm to fire. Reed was commended by the army company commander in his report to Major General Leonard Wood, who in his report commended USS PARAGUA for its assistance in the expedition.

In 1912, during the First Nicaraguan Campaign, Lt. Reed was the navigator on the protected cruiser USS DENVER (CL-16) and led a 120 man landing force that landed at Corinto, Nicaragua for duty ashore between 27 August and 26 October 1912 in order to secure the telegraph station and railway lines. Two years later, during the "Tampico Affair" of the Mexican revolution, Lt. Reed was the commanding officer of the Pacific Fleet torpedo boat tender USS IRIS when she accompanied her squadron of torpedo boats to Mazatlan, Mexico to protect American citizens and interests. In May and June 1914, IRIS evacuated American citizen refugees from Mazatlan and Acapulco, including the American consul, Hon. Clement S. Edwards.

During WW I, Commander Reed was the commanding officer of the troop transport, USS SUSQUEHANNA (ID 3016), for which he was awarded the Navy Cross in 1920. His citation reads, "The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Commander Allen Bevins Reed, United States Navy, for distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. SUSQUEHANNA, engaged in the important, exacting and hazardous duty of transporting and escorting troops and supplies to European ports through waters infested with enemy submarines and mines during World War I." SUSQUEHANNA was one of three troop transports in a convoy with the ill-fated USS PRESIDENT LINCOLN when it was torpedoed by a German U-Boat and sank 600 miles off the coast of Belgium in May 1918. It was the largest American ship lost during the war. Reed also received a special letter of commendation from the Secretary of War in recognition of his transport of army troops to Europe and back.

During the 1920's, he was variously assigned to the Bureau of Steam Engineering in Washington, was executive officer of the battleship USS FLORIDA (BB-30), attended the Naval War College, Newport, RI, commanded the destroyer USS WORDEN (DD-288) during the year it patrolled the Mediterranean assigned to Naval Forces Europe, was assigned two years to Ships' Movement Division, Naval Operations, and commanded Div. 30, Dest. Sqd. 11 and
Div. 45, Dest. Sqd. 11, Battle Fleet, before returning to Naval Operations in Washington in 1930.

Promoted to Captain on March 16, 1927, Reed was the first commanding officer of the heavy cruiser USS NEW ORLEANS (CA-32), commissioned February 15, 1934 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Reed skippered NEW ORLEANS during her shakedown cruise to Europe during May - June 1934, when the ship made stops at Stockholm, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Portsmouth, showcasing America's newest cruiser to royalty and the thousands of Europeans who came out to their harbors to greet the American ship and her crew.

In July 1934, NEW ORLEANS rendez-voused at Balboa, C.Z. on the Pacific end of the Panama Canal (where in 1915-17, Lt. Commander Reed had been Captain of the Port) to escort the cruiser USS HOUSTON (CA-30) carrying President Franklin D. Roosevelt on a voyage to Hawaii becoming the first US President to visit the islands while in office. Heading west in March 1935 to join the US Fleet, Scouting Force, Cruiser Division 6 at San Pedro, CA, NEW ORLEANS made a call at her name-sake city in Louisiana when thousands toured the ship during the few days she was there.

Several years later, the NEW ORLEANS class of seven, 10,000 ton "treaty cruisers" saw heavy duty in World War II. NEW ORLEANS was undergoing repairs and without power for her shell hoists when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The famous war-time ballad "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition" was inspired by the exhortations of her chaplain, Lt. Howell M. Forgy to weary sailors passing gun shells on that fateful day. While three of the class were sunk at the devastating Battle of Savo Island in 1942, USS NEW ORLEANS and two of her sister ships that also fought in the Pacific theater, USS MINNEAPOLIS (CA-36) and USS SAN FRANCISCO (CA-38), were among the six most highly decorated ships during World War II, with 17 battle stars each.

After his command of USS NEW ORLEANS (CA-32) ended on August 30, 1935, Capt. Reed spent the remainder of his "active list" naval career in Washington, DC in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations, as Director of Fleet Maintenance and a member of the Executive Committee of the Army Navy Munitions Board. He retired in June 1939 but remained on active duty, as Navy liaison to the Office of Production Management, Council of National Defense and liaison to the US Maritime Commission, working to increase the tonnage of the merchant fleet and with manufacturing executives to plan and prepare coordination of the mobilization of American industrial capacity between private industry and the Navy as the threat of war loomed.

Following his retirement from active duty with the Navy in September 1941, he worked for private ship building firms at Charleston, South Carolina, Houston, Texas and New York for the duration of World War II until his full retirement just after the end of the war. In April 1944, he was appointed Chairman of the newly formed Maryland State USO by the National USO President, Chester Barnard. From 1930 until his death, Capt. Reed made his home in Washington, DC, near the National Cathedral on Woodley Road with his wife, Bessie.

In 1944, Bessie Reed sponsored (christened) the Navy submarine, USS TORSK (SS-423) which is credited with firing the last torpedo of WW2 and sinking the last enemy vessel, a Japanese coastal patrol boat on August 14, 1945. Today TORSK can be seen at the Baltimore Maritime Museum in Maryland.

Captain and Mrs. Reed's graves at Arlington are just south of the Tomb of the Unknowns and the Amphitheater.

Grateful appreciation for the generosity and kindness of member Anne S. for her sponsorship of CAPT. Reed's memorial. God Bless You and Yours!

Family Members


  • Created by: John Donne
  • Added: 8 Dec 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 81686049
  • Anne S
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for CPT Allen Bevins Reed, Sr (3 Apr 1884–28 Feb 1965), Find A Grave Memorial no. 81686049, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by John Donne (contributor 47286829) .