The Reid (DD-369) was laid down on June 25, 1934 in Kearny, N.J. by Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. The Mahan-class destroyer was launched on January 11, 1936, sponsored by Mrs. Beatrice Reid Power, and commissioned on November 2, 1936 with Captain Robert B. Carney in command.
Action in World War II
From 1937 to 1941, the Reid engaged in fleet maneuvers and training in the Pacific and Atlantic. During the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Reid battled against Japanese planes, her fleet of destroyers bringing one down. Afterwards, the Reid patrolled just off of the Hawaiian Islands, Palmyra Atoll, and Johnston Island during the month of December. After her stint of patrol, she was launched off to Midway Island and escorted convoys from Pearl Harbor to San Francisco.
The Reid raised anchor at Pearl Harbor on May 22 and set off north to launch an assault on Japanese positions on Kiska Island, Alaska on August 7th. The vessel assisted with landings at Adak, Alaska on August 30th, and on the 31st sank the Japanese submarine R0-61. The Reid patrolled the waters near New Caledonia, Samoa, and the Fiji Islands during October and November after delivering five prisoners to Dutch Harbor, Alaska.
After leaving Suva Harbot, Fiji Islands on Christmas Day in 1942, the Reid helped ferry Army troops to Guadalcanal then protected a convey set for Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides. In January of 1943, she assaulted several enemy positions at Guadalcanal.
Just after patrolling the Solomons, the Reid offered radar information and directions for fighters landing at Lae, New Guinea on September 4th. The naval vessel brought down a pair of enemy fighter planes while she was assisting with landings at Finschhafen, New Guinea.
After her tour of New Guinea, she set sail from Buna Roads to carry soldier transports to landings at Arawe, New Britain on December 15th, 1943. There the Reid safeguarded landings at Cape Gloucester, New Britain, and at Saidor, New Guinea. She then protected the landings at Los Negros Island, Admiralty Islands on February 29th and on April 22 was stationed at Hollandia, New Guinea.
On December 11th, the Reid downed seven Japanese plans before sinking due to kamikaze attacks. 150 survivors were rescued.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, especially during World War II, naval destroyers also pose a lasting health risk to soldiers serving on them. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were common, especially on older ships, because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with these ships should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.